Monday, July 20, 2015

The University of Michigan today opened Mcity, the world's first controlled environment specifically designed to test the potential of connected and automated vehicle technologies that will lead the way to mass-market driverless cars.

Monday, July 20, 2015

"Clean-energy advocates are roundly criticizing a new statewide energy proposal from Michigan Republicans, claiming it is a broad giveaway to protect investor-owned utilities’ profits.

Of particular concern are provisions that redesign the state’s net metering process for distributed generation systems. That’s on top of opposition to the plan’s call for phasing out renewable and efficiency standards in favor of a more detailed load-forecasting process for utilities, which experts have noted don't perform the same function.

Friday, July 17, 2015

UM set to open driverless-car test site Mcity on Monday

Crain’s Detroit

The University of Michigan will officially open its new testing site for connected and driverless cars on Monday. The 32-acre testing grounds, called Mcity, are designed to simulate urban and suburban roads with a network of controlled intersections, traffic signals, streetlights, sidewalks, construction obstacles and more, the university said in a release. The $6.5 million test track is operated by UM’s Mobility Transformation Center.

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

From the Detroit News: 

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.

Monday, June 29, 2015

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

Friday, June 26, 2015

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.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

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. 

Friday, June 19, 2015

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.

Friday, June 19, 2015

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. 

Friday, June 12, 2015

Titled "Increasing Michigan's renewable energy portfolio is a no-risk strategy customers would embrace," Barteau's piece is excerpted below. 

It's time for our Legislature to listen to the people about renewable energy.

That may sound like a Tea Party battle cry. Far from it. It's time for the legislature to ignore interest groups and listen to what consumers are saying about renewable energy.

Friday, June 12, 2015

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.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

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. 

The full results are available here