Voters are long familiar with Michigan’s big issues each election — jobs, education, infrastructure and taxes are perennial defining platforms for Michigan candidates. Energy is poised to join that short list, with issues surrounding energy choice, oil and gas development, renewables, and environmental stewardship top-of-mind for a growing percentage of legislators, corporate interests and voters. And with energy issues come “front groups” paid for by energy companies.
In June, an interdisciplinary group of U-M faculty, students and staff working in sustainability welcomed EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy to the Graham Institute. Administrator McCarthy learned more about U-M climate research and education, and shared goals of EPA's forthcoming Clean Power Plan. She also provided important perspectives on EPA’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions from the transportation sector, including the Agency’s engagement
Three new kinds of battery that just might change the world (feat. Battery Lab Manager Greg Less)
So, it’s time to ask again: Why aren’t we all driving around in oxygen-powered cars? Well, the chemical reaction that produces energy in these batteries also happens to come with a considerable drawback. As it interacts with the oxygen, the aluminum degrades over time. It’s a type of battery called a “primary” cell, which means current only flows one way, from the anode to the cathode. That means they can’t be recharged. Instead, the batteries have to be swapped out and recycled after running down.
This week, technicians at the University of Michigan Battery Lab installed the facility's prismatic cell winder. The machine places punched anode and cathode coupons between layers of separator film in a precision process to create a battery similar to what you might find in your cellphone, tablet, or laptop computer. Also, it looks awesome.
As a child growing up in Lebanon, Carol Menassa was given a gift that sparked a lifelong interest in structural design.
“When I was five, I received a Lego set. That was it. That’s when I knew I wanted to build things.”
During her childhood, Menassa - University of Michigan Assistant Professor and John L. Tishman CM Faculty Scholar - became passionate about structures: how they are built, and later, how they are designed to withstand use over time. As an undergraduate, she decided to make construction her life’s work and majored in Civil and Environmental Engineering at the American University of Beirut.
Beware Casting Pope Francis as a Caped Climate Crusader
New York Times
All eyes are on the Vatican after an Italian news magazine leaked what is very likely the final text (the Italian translation) of Pope Francis’s forthcoming encyclical letter on humanity’s obligations to protect the environment, avoid dangerous climate change and overcome poverty and inequity.
Is there a renaissance in US manufacturing? Numbers don't add up
Sridhar Kota is a professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Michigan and a board member of the coincidentally named Manufacturing Renaissance, a Chicago-based nonprofit champion of advanced manufacturing. He also served from 2009–12 in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, where he helped establish the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership and its signature Manufacturing Innovation Institutes.
The University of Michigan Energy Survey has released its latest results, condensing six quarters of data into a succinct analysis of American consumers' personal views about energy. This short summary explores attitudes about gasoline and home energy affordability in the context of the past year's dynamic gasoline prices.
Transportation lab revs up for role in climate crackdown
U.S. EPA’s National Fuel and Vehicle Emissions Laboratory – a big player in early Clean Air Act crackdowns on tailpipe pollution– is getting a makeover for the battle against global warming.
A five-year, $50 million overhaul is adding a hangar where big rigs and buses can be taken on treadmill rides at speeds of up to 90 mph, providing emissions data in a day instead of the month or more it takes now.
When a U-M research team visited Kazakhstan this Spring, they brought with them decades of engineering experience, an interest in the status of the country’s aquaculture, and Ainash Childebayeva, a Kazakh U-M grad student who added her language skills and graduate research projects to the team.
Projects that promise to power deep space missions, add new capabilities to neutron research, and improve cancer diagnostics and treatment are each the recipients of $25,000 Michigan Memorial Phoenix Project (MMPP) seed grants. Seed grants allow researchers exploring peaceful applications of nuclear energy to better define research that appears promising for funding by an outside source.