Tuesday, January 19, 2021 - 10:00am
Bruce Logan
Thomas Speck

Penn State, the Energy University: Energy Literacy and Emerging Energy Technologies - series begins 1/19/21

Series hosted by Bruce Logan

“Examining our Daily Energy Use and Carbon Emissions – What you can and Cannot Control” – Part I in the Energy University Series 

Bruce Logan  | Director of the Consortium for Integrated Energy Systems, and Associate Director of the Institutes for Energy & Environment | College of Engineering   

Do you know how many kWh your home uses every day or the energy content of a gallon of gasoline? How do those amounts of energy relate to 2000 Calories you eat every day, and the amount of CO2 you emit? The world needs to reduce CO2 emissions by ~ 1000 gigaton (Gt) of carbon over the next 30 years, but what can you do about that on your own? How does a Gt even make sense in your own life in terms of your energy sources and consumption? The first step understanding these numbers is to quantify the energy you use every day for your home, commute to work, entertainment, and travel.  The second step to make this relevant to climate change is to translate that energy use into CO2 emissions that have meaning to you. In this talk I show how we can easily frame all these numbers based on a bottom line: the energy in food we eat for one day, and how much CO2 we release from eating that food. When energy is expressed using these numbers, we can see how important using a gallon of gasoline is relative to energy use for our home, travel, and all the energy use and carbon emissions that go into just putting that food on the table.

Living Materials: from Plant Movements to More Efficient Building Infrastructure - series begins 1/19/21

Series hosted by Zoubeida Ounaies

“Plant Motion as Inspiration for Biomimetic Materials Systems and Structures for a Greener Technology in the Anthropocene” – Part I in the Living Materials Series 

Thomas Speck  |  Plant Biomechanics Group & Botanic Garden  |  Living, Adaptive, and Energy-autonomous Materials Systems  |  University of Freiburg, Germany

During the last decades, biomimetics has attracted increasing attention from basic and applied researchers from various disciplines and industries to include building construction. Novel methods for analysing and simulating the form-structure-function-relation on various hierarchical levels allow fascination insights in multi-scale mechanics of biological materials systems, and new production methods enable for the first time the transfer of many outstanding properties of the biological role models into innovative biomimetic products for reasonable costs. This is shown for three examples based on plant motion, including bio-inspired self-repairing materials and façade shading systems.

Joining Cafe

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