Thursday September 11, 2014

Sustainability Initiatives, Research, Faculty and Recognitions

The Princeton Review's Guide to 322 Green Colleges includes the University of Dayton.

At the beginning of the 2013-14 school year, the University of Dayton gave 100 bicycles to incoming first-year students who signed a pledge not to bring a car to campus for their first two years. The program is intended to promote a healthier, greener campus.

University of Dayton President Daniel J. Curran signed the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment in 2013, committing the University to be carbon neutral by 2050.

The University is part of Dayton Regional Green 3, a regional initiative to build a culture of sustainability and reduce the region's carbon footprint.

All new construction on the University of Dayton campus will be Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)(R)-certified. The GE Aviation Electrical Power Integrated Systems Center is the first LEED-certified building on campus, having received LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

In 2010, the University became a charter participant in the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education's program to publicly report sustainability efforts in education and research, operations, and planning, administration and engagement. Earlier this year, the University of Dayton earned a silver rating in the association's Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS) for its sustainability achievements.

During the 2010-11 school year, the University of Dayton gave monthly energy report cards to students living in the campus' neighborhoods to demonstrate how they use energy in University-owned housing. Eighty-five percent of the 469 monitored student residences received an average or better score, and by the end of the year, the University estimated a savings of $20,000 on gas and electric.

In 2010, the University unveiled a minor in sustainability, energy and the environment (SEE) as part of the University's overall initiative to be a responsible steward of the environment and educate students to think about their impact on the planet.

A series of green initiatives during the 2009-10 school year helped the University save $612,329. The University reduced its natural gas use on main campus that year 5.7 percent and electric energy use 4.8 percent.

In 2009, the University instituted one of the largest university food composting efforts in the nation. The University has diverted more than 1,000 tons of waste from landfills.

In 2008, the University created the state's first master's program in clean and renewable energy.

Kelly Kissock, chair of the mechanical and aerospace engineering department, was named to the Midwestern Governors Association Energy Efficiency Advisory Group.

Since 2006, Bob Brecha, director of the University's Sustainability, Energy and Environment (SEE) initiative, has been working periodically as a visiting scientist at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany.

In 2011, junior A.J. Ferguson earned one of just 80 Udall Scholarships for U.S. students committed to careers in the environment, health care or tribal public policy. Only 15 percent of applicants received a scholarship.

Retired professor Brother Don Geiger, S.M., received the 2011 Partner of the Year Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Greater Dayton Conservation Fund of the Dayton Foundation and the Greater Dayton Partners for the Environment.

A pair of graduate engineering students won the "Popular Choice" second prize in the U.S. Department of Energy's first "Apps for Energy" competition in 2012. Their software aims to help homeowners with solar systems conserve energy and save on their electricity bills.

The von Ohain Fuels & Combustion Center is an Ohio Center of Excellence for its work in the areas of fuels, combustion, and emissions research and development for aerospace propulsion.

The von Ohain center has a six-year, $49.5 million grant with the U.S. Air Force to help develop clean, alternative fuels from various feed stocks such as coal, biomass and algae; enhance engine fuel efficiency; reduce combustion-generated emissions; and investigate the environmental impact of fossil fuels use.

University researchers also developed an outdoor algae production system capable of capturing carbon emissions and producing oil for alternative fuels with a five-year, $3.4 million award from the Air Force.

For more information, contact Shawn Robinson, associate director of media relations, at 937-229-3391 or srobinson@udayton.edu.