Tag Archives: Fall 2012

Clean Energy Challenges and Opportunities for Investing in Sustainability

by Sharon Muli*

BaxterJason Baxter of Drexel University

If the Earth had six massive solar installations measuring 200 miles long by 200 miles wide filled with 10% efficient solar cells, it could generate enough energy to meet global demand.  While this is a powerful vision that demonstrates the high potential of solar power, it sounds like a rather absurd thought. Yet this image raises a fundamental question; how can we take better advantage of solar power?

This issue was discussed during the Clean Energy and Sustainability Investing Workshop at the Wharton Social Impact Conference on November 16, 2012, organized by the Wharton Social Impact Initiative.  This year, the theme of the conference was “The Finance of Impact:  Innovative Approaches to Social Change”. The discussion of photovoltaics (PV) emerged as a clear example of how financial investments and technological development can lead to more sustainable change. Continue reading

Noam Lior presents on Sustainable Energy Development

IES/IGEL Seminar: Noam Lior
Wednesday, October 17th, 2012
The Carolyn Lynch Room, Chemistry Building
University of Pennsylvania
(Corner of 34th & Spruce Streets)

Noam Lior, Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics at the University of Pennsylvania, will present on sustainable energy development at the upcoming IES/IGEL seminar on October 17th, 2012. This event  is free and  open to the public, no registration required. See the abstract for the presentation and mark your calendar. This is an event not to be missed.

Student Opportunities in Global Water and Sanitation

Student Opportunities Global Water and Sanitation 2012-2013

Job Opportunity with FMC: Sustainability Engineer

FMC, a Sponsor of IGEL,  is looking for a Sustainability Engineer to fill a position in its Philadelphia office. For more details: Sustainability Engineer Job DescriptionApply on the company’s website and mention that you found this posting on the IGEL’s blog.

This Fall: Energy And Its Impacts (EAS 401/501)

The Penn-wide course “Energy and Its Impacts: Technology, Ecology, Economics, Sustainability”  will be offered this Fall 2012, taugth by Professor Noam Lior (an IGEL faculty advisory board member). The course is offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6-7:30 pm, and is available as EAS 501 for graduate students, and EAS as 401 for Junior and Senior undergraduates. There are no prerequisites for this course, which is open to all Penn graduate students and  to Juniors and Seniors.

The course was developed in cooperation with Wharton, The School of Design, IES, and the Lauder Institute, and it offers students a multidisciplinary approach to the extensive field of energy studies. The objective of the course is to introduce students to one of the most dominating and compelling areas of human existence and endeavor: energy, with its foundations in technology, association to economics, and impacts on ecology and society. This introduction is intended both for general education and awareness and for preparation for careers related to this field. The course spans from basic principles to applications. A review of energy consumption, use, and resources; ecological impacts, sustainability and design of sustainable energy systems; methods of energy analysis; forecasting; electricity generation systems (steam and gas turbine based power plants, fuel cells), energy for transportation (cars, aircraft, and ships); nuclear energy and wastes; renewable energy use: solar, wind, hydroelectric, geothermal, biomass; prospects for future energy systems: fusion power, power generation in space.

The course also allows students to specialize in one or two energy topics they find of most interest by choosing them as their course project assignments.

New Fall Course: Climate Change and Technology

New course for fall: “Climate Change and Technology” EAS 301/505 taught by Professor Andrew Huemmler (an IGEL faculty advisory board member).


Description: “The course will examine Pacala and Socolow’s hypothesis that “Humanity already possesses the fundamental scientific, technical and industrial know-how t solve the carbon and climate problem for the next half-century.” Fifteen “climate stabilization wedges” i.e., strategies that each have the potential to reduce carbon emissions by 1 billion ons per year by 2054, will be examined in detail. Technology and economics will be reviewed. Socio-political barriers to mass-scale implementation will be discussed. Pacala and Socolow note “Every element in this portfoloio has passed beyond the laboratory bench and demonstration project; many are already implemented somewhere at full industrial scale”.”

Leave a comment if you have taken other sustainability-related courses and have recommendations for fellow students.