Energy and the environment are much on the minds of social business entrepreneurs among UNC system students. The system’s North Carolina Social Business Conference on Thursday included a business-plan competition for student teams with entries from all 17 campuses. Several initiatives focused on energy and the enironment, including food distribution. Poverty and microfinance were also addressed by multiple groups.
A total of 31 teams entered.
The winning teams were from N.C. State University, first place; Fayetteville State University, second; and UNC-Chapel Hill, third. Among the nine finalists was one of the N.C. A&T teams.
The winners’ social business ideas are:
Two top Aggie researchers are featured in a video produced by North Carolina Farm Bureau Magazine. Dr. Ipek Goktepe of the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences talks about her research to extend the shelf life of fresh produce, particularly lettuce and spinach, and Dr. Abolghasem Shahbazi of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Design discusses his work using agricultural waste to produce biofuel.
North Carolina A&T will be involved with two significant events for researchers in August. If you’re interested in either one, now is the time to register.
- Ethical Dimensions of Coupled Natural and Human Systems Research: Monday August 13-Tuesday August 14, all day each day, Fort IRC, Room 410. N.C. A&T and Penn State faculty will conduct a this workshop for A&T faculty, post-docs, and doctoral students in the sciences and engineering who are interested in integrating the ethical dimensions of coupled natural and human systems into their classes. Registration continues through July 15.
- Nanomanufacturing conference: Wednesday, August 15, all day, at the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering. Nanotechnology and nanomanufacturing are creating jobs in clean energy, aerospace, medicine and biotech, materials and other areas. The Nanomanufacturing Conference is one of the nation’s premier Advanced Manufacturing conferences, featuring national and international nanotech innovators, leading researchers, government leaders and visionaries.
Energy researchers from around the world will gather at the Proximity Hotel in Greensboro on Monday and Tuesday for the Second International Conference on Green and Sustainable Technology. (Here’s the program.)
The event is organized by A&T’s Center for Energy Research and Technology.
Plenary speakers will include James C. Dalton, Chief of the Engineering and Construction Community of Practice, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; Markus Buehler of the Center for Materials Science and Engineering and Center for Computational Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Anthony Roper, Deputy Secretary, North Carolina Department of Transportation; Volker Hartkopf, director of the Center for Building Performance and Diagnostics at Carnegie Mellon University; and Joshua Kneifel, economist with the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
Researchers from a number of U.S. institutions and from Australia, Germany, India, Iran, Nigeria, Poland, and Turkey will present research papers.
The conference is sponsored by N.C. A&T, Advanced Energy, Lockheed Martin, the North Carolina Community Development Initiative, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute, Progress Energy, and the Proximity Hotel.
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One more media note: A News & Record editorial on Sunday singled out green energy research as a key investment for Greensboro’s economy. The editorial noted the volume of research conducted by the School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, work of A&T researchers to help the Proximity Hotel gain its Platinum LEED certification, A&T spinoff company Advaero Technologies and Dr. Abolghasem Shahbazi’s work in alternative energy, among other projects. Some nice recognition for one of the particularly strong areas of research at N.C. A&T.
Two news items worth noting from the School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences:
– Sunday’s News and Record reported on the involvement of A&T researchers at the Catawba County Regional EcoComplex and Resource Recovery Facility, which is developing a system to recover all useable products and by-products from the local landfill (near Hickory). Professor Abolghasem Shahbazi and grad student Quentin Brown were quoted in the article, available here. More about the EcoComplex is available at its website.
– High school students in the School of Ag’s Research Apprenticeship Program did some serious research this summer. Summaries of their projects are available on the program’s Facebook page. If you want a reason to feel good about the next generation of researchers, give it a look.
The National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy will jointly provide up to $39 million for research to improve photovoltaic cell performance and reduce module cost for grid-scale commercial applications. The agencies released a joint Funding Opportunity Announcement for the “Foundational Program to Advance Cell Efficiency” last week to identify and fund solar device physics and PV technology research and development. Details are available here.