2017 Earth Day Colloquium-Steinbrenner Institute for Environmental Education and Research - Carnegie Mellon University

2017 Earth Day Colloquium

On April 7, the  Steinbrenner Institute held it’s second annual Environmental Colloquium. The day started with an engaging panel discussion titled: Keeping Environmental Science (and funding!) in the Federal Dialogue.

Neil Donahue

The session was moderated by Faculty Director, Neil Donahue.

panel 2panel

The panelists included:

  • Tim McNulty, Associate Vice President, Government Relations (Carnegie Mellon)
  • Matt Weinstein, Assistant Vice President, College Development (Carnegie Mellon)
  • Jennifer Sobol, Director, Foundation Relations (Carnegie Mellon)
  • Baruch Fischhoff, Howard Heinz University Professor in History and Social Sciences (Carnegie Mellon)
  • Barbara Granito, Strategic Director (Science Ambassadors)

The message is that there are very viable sources of funding still available from both the public and private sectors but we: a) must do a better job of being empathetic and personalizing (‘put a human face on’) the benefits of our research; and, b) we must build more diversified and strategic coalitions.

The second event of the day was an exercise that allowed PI’s to ‘pitch’ (in 3 minutes with no visual aids) their research idea to development experts including:

  • Jennifer Sobol and Shaina Sine, University Advancement, Foundation Relations (Carnegie Mellon)
  • Deborah Desjardins, University Advancement, College Development (Carnegie Mellon)
  • Anna Siefken, Scott Institute, Innovative and Strategic Partnerships (Carnegie Mellon)
  • Shane Shaneman, Engineering Research Accelerator, Government Relations (Carnegie Mellon)
  • Barbara Granito, Science Ambassadors

Although this was our first attempt at the type of event, it was very well received with convincing ‘let’s do this again!’ 

The poster sessions session highlighted the day with 29 entries competing for 2, $1500 Travel Awards. 

And, the winners were:

Jonathan Caller and Kathy Lachenauer

Pictured: Jonathan Callura, left, Kathy Lachenaur, right

Researcher: Jonathan Callura, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Title: Development of Novel Adsorbents for Sustainable Separations of Rare Earth Elements

Abstract: Rare earth elements (REE) are widely used components of high-tech equipment, from consumer products to sustainable energy systems. The goal of this work is to develop functionalized adsorbents to extract REE from unconventional aqueous sources. These materials may provide a sustainable alternative to the currently monopolized global REE supply chain.

Collaborators: Dr. Clint Noack, CEE; Kedar Perkins, CHEM; Dr. Newell Washburn, CHEM; Dr. David Dzombak, CEE; Dr. Athanasios Karamalidis, CEE

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 Michael Craig with Eric Bear (CURB) and Fan Tong

Pictured: Michael Craig, Eric Bear (CURB) and Fan Tong

Researcher: Michael Craig, Engineering and Public Policy (Steinbrenner Fellow)

Title: Effects of grid-scale electricity storage on system carbon dioxide emissions in a decarbonizing power system

Abstract: How grid-scale electricity storage will affect system CO2 emissions between the near-term and deep decarbonization is unclear. We quantify the effect of storage participating in reserve and/or energy markets on CO2 emissions as a power system decarbonizes. We preliminarily find that storage reduces CO2 emissions well before deep decarbonization.

Collaborators: Dr. Paulina Jaramillo, EPP; Dr. Bri-Mathias Hodge, NREL

Thanks to our Carnegie Mellon judges for their diligence and careful review of all entries:

  • Kathy Lachenauer, Associate Dean for Advancement  (CIT)
  • Rick Siger, Director for Strategic Initiatives
  • M. Shernell Smith, Assistant Director, Dean of Student Affairs Office