News & Events Archive

(Recent News & Events stories are can be viewed/downloaded here)

nyssealState boosts funding for Center of Excellence  As part of a recent budget agreement between the governor and legislature of New York State, the RIT/GIS Center of Excellence in Sustainable Manufacturing will receive $500,000 in operating funds, enabling expanded research and technology transfer activity between the Institute and statewide industry. The Center is housed in GIS' newly dedicated Sustainability Institute Hall, and is tasked with developing innovative technologies that will enable New York companies to compete more effectively in global markets as the environment for manufacturing competitiveness increases and the emphasis on sustainable manufacturing products and processes becomes more pervasive.For more information about the Center of Excellence in Sustainable Manufacturing, see the RIT news release available here.

bnydclogo Brooklyn Navy Yard's recycling program receives P2I award   The New York State Pollution Prevention Institute, a unit of RIT/GIS, recently awarded its Cleaner Production Award to The Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corp. (BNYDC), the not-for-profit corporation that manages the historic 300-acre industrial park. BNYDC was recognized for its solid waste and recycling program, which has resulted in reducing waste-handling costs for tenants by an average of 27 percent, eliminating 1,600 tons of waste going to area landfills, and reducing carting traffic by 90 percent resulting in a reduced carbon footprint. The award was presented to BNYDC during a ceremony at the Yard’s Building 3, the site of the pilot program, by P2I director Dr. Anahita Williamson. For more on this story, see the RIT news release available here.

annikaGIS' first Ph.D. is now Clemson teacher/researcher  Annick Anctil, the first doctoral graduate of Golisano Institute for Sustainability, is serving as assistant professor of environmental engineering and earth sciences at Clemson University’s College of Engineering and Science. Dr. Anctil has also been elected to the President’s Commission on Sustainability, a group of students, faculty, staff and community members who coordinate the university’s efforts to become a model of sustainability for institutions of higher education. She graduated with RIT's class of 2011, and then spent a a year as a research associate at the National Photo­voltaic Environmental Research Center at Brookhaven National Laboratory. Then, impressed with Clemson's sustainability efforts, she joined their faculty in 2012, where she continues her research interests in renewable energy, particularly photovoltaics. “My goal is to make solar energy as green and as affordable as it can be,” she says. “My passion is showing how to integrate sustainability into products.” To learn more about Dr. Anctil, see the RIT news release available here. (photo by Laura W. Nelson)

nabilnasrRemanufacturing: RIT awakens a giant  The industrial practice of remanufacturing and its impact on business were profiled in a recent article published in City newspaper that also spotlights the role played by RIT and the Golisano Institute for Sustainability in remanufacturing R&D. GIS founder and director Dr. Nabil Nasr explains that in remanufacturing, ""You're taking something that has been used for a while, and back at the factory, you're disassembling everything to the component level. Through a similar process that was used to create the original product, we assess the condition of each of the components. The components that are worn or non-functional are replaced, and the product is reassembled." He adds that "The remanufactured product will be identical to the new product." The article provides examples of how remanufacturing benefits the environment and the national and local economies. The full article is available from City online here.

university_magGIS story showcased in RIT's University magazine  The Spring 2013 issue of RIT, The University Magazine features a detailed article on the history of the Golisano Institute for Sustainability and its founder and current director Dr. Nabil Nasr. The development of GIS is traced from its inception as Dr. Nasr's vision: "Create a world-class research and education hub for sustainability. Establish the first doctoral program in sustainability. Position RIT as a global leader in the field of sustainable design and product development," through completion and dedication of the Institute's new Sustainability Institute Hall on April 12. The online version of the article is available here; a pdf file of the entire issue, which contains a dramatic two-page cutaway graphic of Sustainability Institute Hall, can be downloaded here.

tomtCooking-oil-to-fuel refining program expands  City newspaper recently spotlighted RIT's ongoing biofuel conversion program headed by Dr. Thomas Trabold, GIS Associate Professor and Director of the Center for Sustainable Mobility. The article explains how RIT has teamed with the Monroe County Department of Environmental Services to develop an efficient process to turn used waste cooking oil collected by the county into biodiesel for use by county vehicles (the program is funded by a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency). Now the R&D program will also begin refining the 4,000 gallons of waste cooking oil left over from RIT's own dining services into fuel to heat campus buildings and power RIT vehicles. The ultimate goal is to determine the sustainability benefits and long-term cost-effectiveness of waste cooking oil refining. The full article is available from City online here.

naturecoverGIS graduate programs cited in Nature  The Golisano Institute for Sustainability was one of several leading international graduate-degree-granting institutions profiled in an article in the weekly science journal Nature titled "Sustainability: Environmental puzzle solvers." The article explores the various emerging science career opportunities for M.S./Ph.D. graduates with sustainability training that includes practical experience in addition to cross-disciplinary coursework. GIS' history, academic programs, and new Sustainability Institute Hall facility are described together with sustainability degree offerings from other universities in the U.S., Britain and Australia. The article is available online here.

greenwallNew additions at Sustainability Institute Hall Two major upgrades were made in early March to Sustainability Institute Hall, the new headquarters building of the Golisano Institute for Sustainability. The UTC Model 400 Purecell System fuel cell system, which will be the buildings main source of electricity, was connected to the facility's microgrid power network and will eventually generate 400 kilowatts of continuous electric power as well as provide warm air for heating purposes. Also completed was installation of the building's spectacular 40-foot-tall green wall, a towering vertical interior garden containing 1,776 green plants chosen for both their beauty and natural ability to enhance air quality. The green wall was recognized by greenroofs.com, which added it to their International Greenroof & Greenwall Projects Database. For more information on the GIS fuel cell and green wall, see the RIT news release available here. (photo by A. Sue Weisler)

cbGIS' Babbitt receives NSF CAREER award   Assistant Professor Dr. Callie Babbitt has been named a recipient of the prestigious Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program Award from the National Science Foundation. She will receive $400,000 to to investigate potential environmental impacts of reusing, recycling and disposing of lithium-ion batteries after they have been used in electric vehicles. Her research, which gets under way this summer, will develop a range of waste management scenarios that comprehend how rapidly electric vehicle technology is adopted, how long the batteries are expected to last, and the materials from which the batteries are made. She anticipates that educational materials related to the project will be incorporated into courses at GIS, form the basis of case studies for New York State's growing battery industry, and help increase public awareness of electric vehicle and battery technology. The CAREER Program is NSF's foremost means to support junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations. According to the Foundation, "such activities should build a firm foundation for a lifetime of leadership in integrating education and research." To learn more about Dr. Babbitt's award and research goals, see the RIT news release available here. (photo by Sandra Turner)

newbuildingwinterNew GIS building featured in video  GIS Director Dr. Nabil Nasr recently accompanied Fox Rochester TV reporter Katrina Irwin on a tour of Sustainability Institute Hall, the Institute's newly opened headquarters, focusing on the 37 "green" features designed into the structure. Dr. Nasr explained how these innovate systems enable the building to use less than half the energy consumed by other buildings of its size. He further explained that "The building and its technology is like one big classroom, and it's not only for students and researchers at RIT, but for the entire community. Companies can use the space to test out their latest projects." The captioned video is available on YouTube here. (photo by Jim Sutherland)

ldi1NYSP2I and CIMS help food industry boost sustainability  Technology transfer projects conducted by two GIS units, the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute (NYSP2I) and the Center for Integrated Manufacturing Studies (CIMS), are helping food processors in Western New York State operate more efficiently and with less waste. As spotlighted in a a recent RIT news article (available here), NYSP2I is working closely with LiDestri Food & Beverage, a Rochester-based company that produces 2 million jars of sauces, dips and beverages daily, to develop new solutions to a significant and costly plastic waste container disposal issue. NYSP2I is also partnered with CIMS on the new Finger Lakes Food Processing Cluster Initiative (FLFPCI), an economic development project focused on businesses involved in any aspect of food production in: Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, Seneca, Wayne, Wyoming, and Yates counties. The Initiative is being funded by grants totaling more than $1.5 million, awarded as the result of a competitive process through the U.S. Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge. Other FLFPCI partners include Monroe Community College, Genesee County Career Center, Finger Lakes Works, RochesterWorks!, three Small Business Development Centers and the Cornell Agriculture and Food Technology Park in Geneva. More information on the FLFPCI is available on its website here. (photo by A. Sue Weisler)

GIS awarded $5M in state funding.   The Golisano Institute for Sustainability was notified on December 19 that it will receive $5 million in capital funding as part of a $96.2 million award given to the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council on December 19 by New York State agencies. According to GIS Director Dr. Nabil Nasr, the money will be used to equip laboratories and test beds located in Sustainability Institute Hall, the new GIS headquarters building, which opened in early January 2013. More information on the regional economic development funding is available here. A local TV news report featuring many interior views of the GIS building and an interview with Dr. Nasr can be seen here. (photo by Laura Nelson)

southkoreantvSouth Korean TV crew visits RIT/CIMS   On December 13, a television crew from SBS (Seoul Broadcasting System) visited the Center for Integrated Manufacturing Studies, an applied research unit of the Golisano Institute for Sustainability. The crew was here as part of the production of a documentary, "The Great Rebirth," scheduled to air Jan. 27 on South Korea's national TV and radio network. The documentary focuses on how the lack of raw materials and a struggling global economy are driving worldwide interest in the benefits of remanufacturing. In addition to filming in many labs inside CIMS, the TV crew interviewed CIMS Director, Dr. Nabil Nasr, an internationally known expert on remanufacturing. (photo by A. Sue Weisler)

monitorStudent design wins top honors in "Design for your Product Lifetime" competition   A national sustainable design contest has recognized three RIT students for their innovative design for user-repairable LCD monitors, a concept they developed in the Sustainable Product Design studio taught by GIS Assistant Professor Dr. Callie Babbitt and GIS Program Faculty Alex Lobos. The "Easy Access Computer Monitor" was designed by Gabriel Nicasio, Praneeth Pulusani and John Zakrzewski and took first place in the Design for (Your) Product Lifetime Student Challenge sponsored by Autodesk and ifixit. Lobos says that "the Easy To Access Monitor is an excellent example of a problem that is prevalent in today's electronic landscape and hasn't been addressed by the industry. The solution that John, Gabe and Praneeth came up with shows a good balance between technical feasibility and user experience, offering an effective model for electronic products that are easy to repair and upgrade. It's a great example of the type of innovative work that comes from inter-disciplinary courses such as Sustainable Product Design." Click here to watch a video of the students' project; the competition award announcement is available here.

eric_williamsGlobal flow of computer e-waste tracked by GIS researcher   Where do old computers go after we discard them? GIS associate professor Dr. Eric Williams is investigating that subject. Early on he found that official data is almost nonexistent on U.S. e-waste exports. So Williams and Ramzy Kahhat of the Department of Engineering, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, Lima, Peru, developed an approach based on material flow analysis that uses surveys of residential and business/public as primary data sources as well as data from recycling, landfill and computer adoption studies. They focused on desktop and laptop computers disposed of in the U.S. during 2010. “We determined that 40 million computers were disposed of in various ways,” Williams says. “Of that, 30% were reused in the U.S., 20% to 47% were recycled, and 7 to 9 million went into landfills here—about the same average that were shipped overseas.” Their research paper, titled “Materials flow analysis of e-waste: Domestic flows and exports of used computers from the United States,” was published in the October 2012 issue of Resources, Conservation and Recycling (accessible here). A related RIT news release is available here. (photo by A. Sue Weisler)

biodieselBiodiesel event a hit!  Nearly 60 representatives of the food-service industry, higher education and local government learned how waste cooking oil can be converted into biodiesel fuel at a special outreach workshop on October 5 sponsored by the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute and Monroe County. One of the highlights was a live demonstration of the cooking-oil-to-biodiesel conversion process conducted by NYSP2I Senior Staff Engineer David Fister (left) and Dr. Thomas A. Trabold, Associate Professor and Director, Center for Sustainable Mobility at GIS. A detailed article on the workshop was published in the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle and is available here. (photo by Jim Sutherland)

lundLund Remanufacturer Database Transitions to C3R A database of North American remanufacturing companies, compiled by reman industry research pioneer Robert T. Lund of Boston University, is now entrusted to the Center for Remanufacturing and Resource Recovery (C3R), a unit of GIS. Beginning in the early 1980s and over the course of 30 years, Robert Lund identified and certified thousands of U.S. and Canadian firms as “remanufacturers,” recording details of their industrial operations and outputs in a database that eventually totaled more than 7000 company entries. C3R founder Dr. Nabil Nasr said, “This database is a unique and remarkable body of investigative scholarship representing decades of hard work by Bob Lund. Everyone in the remanufacturing industry owes Bob a debt of gratitude for his vision and steadfast dedication in compiling this impressive work. We are honored and delighted that Bob has entrusted the Center for Remanufacturing and Resource Recovery to carry on his work and lead this project forward.” A C3R news release with more information is viewable here (photo of Robert T. Lund courtesy of Boston University)

MERARemanufacturing and the Sustainable Organization Conference   GIS and the Motor & Equipment Remanufacturers Association (MERA) will co-sponsor a remanufacturing and sustainability conference on October 2, 2012, at the MSU Management Education Center in Troy, MI, for senior executives from remanufacturing industries, as well as policymakers and sustainability and financial industry executives. Within the framework of the triple bottom line, speakers and panelists will discuss ways to build and market a sustainable organization. They will highlight how remanufacturing helps a company meet its sustainability goals and the goals of its customers – particularly when the use of green products can be critical or have valuable incentives. GIS Director Dr. Nabil Nasr will deliver welcoming remarks and present on "The Next Generation of Remanufacturing: Technology and Sustainability Trends." More information on this conference, the latest agenda, and registration details are are available here.

dorseyMichael Dorsey to speak on “Climate Justice” at GIS   Dr. Michael K. Dorsey, Visiting Professor of Environmental Studies in Wesleyan University’s College of Environment, will deliver a presentation on "Geographies and Ethnographies of Carbon Market-makers and Climate Justice Movements," on Friday, September 21, from 1:00-1:50 pm in Room 2130, Louise Slaughter Hall (SLA/078) on the RIT campus. His presentation will focus on “Climate Justice,” a new movement that combines a variety of progressive political-economic and political-ecological currents to address the issue of catastrophic climate change. Dr. Dorsey is a graduate of the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and Environment (B.S. & Ph.D.), Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies (M.F.S.) and The Johns Hopkins University (M.A.). The presentation is free and open to the public.

swsGrant will fund solid waste sorting research   Developing new computational imaging systems that can automatically and efficiently sort scrap materials is the focus of a study being funded by a recent $50,000 R&D grant program from the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute. GIS Assistant Professor Dr. Gabrielle Gaustad (left in photo) will be collaborating with Dr.Jinwei Gu, Assistant Professor at RIT's Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science (center in photo). According to Dr. Gu, the goal is to develop novel programmable imaging systems that can efficiently sort scrap materials based on material appearance. The research team, which includes CIS Ph.D.student Chao Liu (right in photo), plans to build an LED-based multi-spectral smart illumination system, which projects discriminative light for material classification. Dr.Gaustad adds: "The successful realization of this research will have broad sustainability implications. As more and more municipal solid waste moves to single stream collection, sorting technologies will play a very important role in enabling recycling and resource recovery." Three additional sustainability R&D grants were awarded by NYSP2I to Clarkson University and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. For more information, read the RIT news release here. (photo by Dengyu Liu)

cb-nsfGIS awarded $300K by NSF for industrial ecology research   Adapting ecological models for the study of complex industrial and consumer product systems is the focus of a $300,000 sustainability grant recently awarded to GIS by the National Science Foundation. GIS Assistant Professor Dr. Callie Babbitt will serve as principle investigator for the three-year study, which is intended to help industry come up with improved design solutions, whether through the creation of multifunctional products or a community of products that function better together. Understanding how the electronic product system changes over time will also lead to more efficient recycling systems, so that components can be used to “feed” the next generation of manufacturing. “This project will be the first to draw parallels between the communities of organisms in nature and the communities of products that we manufacture and consume,” says Dr. Babbitt. “In demonstrating these industrial ecology models through consumer electronics, we can prove the concept works and then apply it to other complex product systems—like renewable energy sources—anywhere you have interaction among materials or products that lead to sustainability challenges.” GIS Associate Professor Dr. Eric Williams and Dr. Christy Tyler, RIT research assistant professor of life sciences, will join Babbitt as co-investigators. For more information about the project, read the RIT news release here. (RIT photo)

staplesNYSP2I Community Grants Program open for applications  The New York State Pollution Prevention Institute (NYSP2I) is accepting applications for the 2012–2013 round of its Community Grants Program. The program helps support projects that raise awareness and understanding and lead to implementation of pollution prevention practices and/or behaviors at the local level with the goal of improving the health, environmental quality, and economic vitality of New York State communities. Last year, 25 applications were received and 8 were funded. Past projects include outreach and education encouraging healthy homes, education regarding deconstruction and green building renovations, and education projects for elementary and middle school children about pollution prevention. It is anticipated that 8-10 awards will be made, depending on available funds. The deadline for submitting applications is September 26, 2012. More information about the program and downloadable required application forms are available at the NYSP2I website here.

staplesNew Sustainable Innovation Lab coming to GIS   RIT and office products giant Staples, Inc., recently announced that they will collaborate to create a unique new facility for researching the design and manufacturing of green office products and services. The new Staples Sustainable Innovation Laboratory will be housed in the GIS headquarters building, now nearing completion. According to GIS Director Dr. Nabil Nasr, the innovation lab will "result in improved tools, technologies and expertise in the sustainable production of office products worldwide." The facility will also enable sustainability and environmental training sessions for Staples Advantage customers. More information about the laboratory is available here. Watch a WROC-TV (Channel 8) video segment on YouTube here.

apraGIS' Reman Center to conduct training at APRA BIG R Show   The Center for Remanufacturing and Resource Recovery, a research and development unit of GIS, will present three training seminars during the Automotive Parts Remanufacturers Association’s (APRA) International BIG R Show in Las Vegas on October 27-29, 2012. “Calculating the True Cost of Cleaning” will discuss the costs associated with cleaning and the methods used to calculate its actual benefits to companies. “Opportunities for Remanufacturers" will review emerging, but possibly unnoticed opportunities related to the automotive/truck parts remanufacturing industry. "Non-destructive Inspection Technologies" will examine technologies that can identify critical failures without destroying the components. Information about the seminars is available here.

AW_YNNAnahita Williamson's sustainability message on TV and radio   Dr. Anahita Williamson, director of the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute at RIT and member of the GIS Research Faculty, was recently interviewed by YNN program host Liz Benjamin for the statewide "Capital Tonight" TV telecast. Dr. Williamson also spoke with Alex Crichton on the "Morning Edition" broadcast on WXXI-AM 1370 about how NYSP2I is assisting businesses in the state become more sustainable. The "Capital Tonight" TV segment is viewable here; and her radio interview can be heard here.

NSF selects GIS' Gaustad to serve on G8 sustainability panel   GIS Assistant Professor Dr. Gabrielle Gaustad has been nominated by the National Science Foundation for a seat on the G8 Research Councils Initiative on Multilateral Research program called “Interdisciplinary Program on Material Efficiency – A First Step Toward Sustainable Manufacturing.” The program is intended by NSF to support collaborations between experts in research areas related to the global challenge of materials efficiency to address potential strategies for reducing material demand through material efficiency, and will include representatives from many of the G8 economic community nations. Dr. Gaustad is one of two U.S. representatives chosen by the National Science Foundation to serve on the panel. For more information, read the RIT news release here. (RIT photo)

frank-murrayNYSERDA chief Frank Murray tours GIS   Frank J. Murray, Jr., President and Chief Executive Officer of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority visited GIS on May 30 to tour our facilities, discuss ongoing research projects at the Institute, and explore potential collaboration opportunities. During his visit, Murray (left in photo) took a hard hat walk-through of the new GIS headquarters building together with GIS Director Dr. Nabil Nasr (center) and representatives of the facility's construction company. NYSERDA’s mission is to help New York State reduce energy consumption, promote the use of renewable energy sources, and protect the environment. (RIT photo)

issst2012GIS Ph.D. candidate honored at 2012 ISSST   First place in the Student Poster Competition at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ International Symposium for Sustainable Systems and Technology conference, held May 16-18 in Boston, was won by Erinn Ryen, a doctoral candidate RIT’s Golisano Institute for Sustainability, for her presentation on “A Community Ecology Framework to Assess Evolving Diversity of Household Electronic Products.” Ryen's project examined how typical consumer choices can have an unanticipated multiplier effect on a household's overall environmental impact. GIS Assistant Professor Dr. Gabrielle Gaustad served as chair of the student poster competition and was also on the conference organizing committee. Fellow GIS faculty member Assistant Professor Dr. Callie Babbitt is Ryen’s adviser and collaborator on this research project; Babbitt served as session chair for the education symposium. Ryen's session was one of five posters and four research papers delivered at the event by Institute faculty and students, who included (L-R in photo): Erinn Ryen, Chelsea Bailey, Callie Babbitt, Mouli Venkatesan (top), Kim Bawden (bottom), Jacqueline Ebner, Sidney Pendelberry, GIS alumnus Dr. Annick Anctil, Michele Goe, Gabrielle Gaustad. For more information on GIS at the ISSST event, read the RIT news release here. (RIT photo)

RC&RAluminum recycling study garners industry attention   A paper co-authored by GIS Assistant Professor Dr. Gabrielle Gaustad that describes research into the accumulation of impurities in re-recycled aluminum products has received positive feedback from the aluminum recycling industry, according to Recycling International, Metal Bulletin, Waste & Recycling, and Recycling Today trade journals. “Improving aluminum recycling: A survey of sorting and impurity removal technologies,” by Dr. Gaustad and Elsa Olivetti and Randolph Kirchain of MIT’s Materials Systems Lab, was published in the January issue of Resources, Conservation and Recycling technical journal. The joint GIS/MIT paper examines the various upgrading technologies available to improve aluminum scrap purity and facilitate recycling of the metal. Charles Johnson, vice president of environment, health and safety for the Aluminum Association was quoted as saying: "We think [it] is a great study.” The full paper can be accessed online here. Follow-up stories are also available: Waste & Recycling (here), Metal Bulletin (here) and Recycling International (here). Recycling Today published an excerpt from the study; it is available online here.

sethharrisLabor Department's Seth Harris visits RIT-CIMS   On May 21, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Labor Seth Harris toured the Center for Integrated Manufacturing Studies, a research unit of GIS. Harris visited RIT to learn more about the Finger Lakes Food Processing Cluster Initiative, a CIMS-led effort focused on the nine-county Finger Lakes region of Upstate New York. The FLFPCI project is a joint federal/state/local effort intended to enhance the region's food-processing supply chain, which includes businesses involved in growing crops or raising livestock, manufacturing or using food-processing equipment, and packaging and selling food products. The initiative is designed to help the Finger lakes area prosper by providing innovative assistance programs, training, and collaborative partnerships to the food processing cluster. The ultimate goal is regionally based economic development and job creation. A local media story on Harris' visit is available here. (photo by A Sue Weisler)

news-construction GIS gets "A nod to excellence"   The Golisano Institute for Sustainability was officially recognized as a Center of Excellence by the New York State Legislature in the the state's 2012-13 budget, a fact cited by Steve Sink, Business Editor of the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, in his column for May 11. Sink interviewed GIS Director Dr. Nabil Nasr and described the Institute's new headquarters building as "ultra-impressive" and noted it will be "one of the most energy-efficient buildings in the world" when it is completed this fall. The full article is available online here.

bonv EPA Award presented to Anahita Williamson   Dr. Anahita Williamson, director of the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute at RIT and member of the GIS Research Faculty, has received the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 2012 Environmental Quality Award. The EPA award recognizes her leadership and significant contributions to greening New York State. Dr. Nabil Nasr, assistant provost and director of Golisano Institute for Sustainability, congratulated Dr. Williamson, saying, “We are thrilled to see Anahita receive this important recognition for her efforts to help companies reduce their environmental footprint while at the same time helping them to lower their costs and improve their bottom line.” U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, who had nominated Dr. Williamson earlier this year for the award, added, "From improving the region’s quality of life to successfully reducing our carbon footprint, Dr. Williamson will help lead the way toward a green energy future for our state and our country.” For more information, read the RIT news release here. (RIT photo)

KG1Upstate NY manufacturing summit at RIT   On Friday, April 27, RIT and U.S. Senator for New York Kirsten Gillibrand co-hosted "Building from Strength: Upstate NY’s New Manufacturing Renaissance," a summit conference for manufacturers to discuss the opportunities and strategies required to return American manufacturing jobs to the U.S. by capitalizing on the assets, resources and knowledge base in the Upstate New York region. This conference was held at RIT's Center for Student Innovation. RIT post-event coverage is viewable here. A local media YNN News video summary of the meeting, including a sequence inside the GIS headquarters building, can be viewed on YouTube here.

cims-signBrookings Institution cites CIMS for manufacturing assistance   "Accelerating Advanced Manufacturing with New Research Centers," a recent report from the Brookings-Rockefeller Project on State and Metropolitan Innovation recognized RIT's Center for Integrated Manufacturing Studies as a model for other states to emulate in order to promote the resurgence of manufacturing in America. “We believe our model of partnering with industry to provide cutting-edge research to advance their technology and processes has been a successful model with strong and measurable results,” says CIMS Director Dr. Nabil Nasr. “Manufacturing is a very important sector and keeping it healthy should be a priority.” For more information, see the RIT news release here; the Brookings-Rockefeller report is available online here.

sh1Dr. Seth Hubbard granted Tenure, promoted to Associate Professor of Physics  Dr. Seth M. Hubbard has been granted Tenure and promoted to Associate Professor of Physics within Rochester Institute of Technology’s College of Science. He also serves as a Core Faculty Member in Microsystems Engineering and Extended Program Faculty in the Golisano Institute for Sustainability (GIS) and Carlson Center for Imaging Science. Dr. Hubbard leads the Photovoltaics & Nanomaterial Technologies Group within GIS’s NanoPower Research Labs, where his research is focused on the design, epitaxial growth, fabrication and characterization of third generation terrestrial and space solar power devices and the use of strainbalanced quantum dots for high concentration solar cells. For more information, read the GIS announcement here. (RIT photo)

NAAB grants candidacy status to GIS' Master of Architecture program  The new M.Arch program launched by RIT-GIS last year has been granted formal candidacy status from the National Architectural Accrediting Board, Inc. (NAAB). A NAAB team conducted a site visit in November 2011 to review student work, examine facilities, and meet with RIT leadership, students, faculty and members of the professional community. The team also conducted a comprehensive assessment of the program’s initial Architecture Program Report which outlines the program’s vision, mission, direction and scope within the context of education and the academic, professional, and public communities. Dennis A. Andrejko, FAIA, Chairman of the Master of Architecture Program, said, “We are extremely delighted to have met this major milestone, which builds upon the hard work, dedication, and commitment of both professional and academic leadership." For more information, read the RIT news release here. Details on the degree program are available at the M.Arch page.

bonv MIT's Bonvillian to speak on energy technology policy issues William B. Bonvillian, Director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Washington, D.C. Office, will address RIT students and faculty on "The Organizational Challenge for Energy Technology Innovation" on February 6 in RIT's Campus Center from 4-5 pm in room 2610/2650. His presentation will focus on the organizational challenges, particularly at the federal government level, of the policies involved in a technology strategy that addresses issues of energy sustainability and efficiency. Issues reviewed will include two major underlying structural innovation issues: the problem of scale for energy R&D, and the difficulty of innovating in a complex established energy sector. Also reviewed will be progress in organizing the “front end” of the energy innovation system at the Department of Energy, including the role of the new R&D agency, ARPA-E. This talk is also free and open to the public. (MIT photo)

er1Video spotlights Ph.D. candidate Erinn Ryen  A new local newscast video highlights Erinn Ryen, a GIS doctoral candidate who has been awarded a three-year Ph.D. research fellowship from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The video also features GIS Assistant Professor Callie Babbitt, Ryen's faculty advisor. Ryen’s EPA award will enable her to develop new models in industrial ecology, an area of sustainability studies that designs industrial systems patterned after sustainable, closed-loop natural systems. Her project will adapt metrics currently employed by ecologists to measure biodiversity and resilience in nature and apply them in order to assess economic and environmental impacts of the ever-increasing diversity of materials and products in use today. Ryen’s fellowship is funded by the EPA Science to Achieve Results (STAR) program. For more information on Erinn Ryen's award and her research work at GIS and goals, see the video here and read the RIT news release here. (RIT photo)

Initial NAAB evaluation of the GIS M.Arch program  Representatives from the National Architectural Accrediting Board, Inc., recently visited GIS to evaluate the faculty and facilities of the new Master of Architecture degree program as a first step toward establishing NAAB candidate status for the program. At the end of their three-day site visit, the representatives met with GIS teachers, administrators and students to review their findings. While a formal report detailing their observations and requirements to be met to ensure candidacy will not be issued by NAAB until early 2012, the representatives did express satisfaction with the progress of the M. Arch. program. GIS anticipates initial accreditation to be granted by the Board by 2015.

YTubeVideo: Innovating energy research at the new GIS building  GIS Director Dr. Nabil Nasr describes the many different alternative energy research and development projects and programs that will be conducted in the Institute's new headquarters facility now being built on the west side of the RIT campus. You can watch the video here. Photos documenting the construction of the building are posted here.

OECD launches Sustainable Manufacturing Toolkit  The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has released The OECD Sustainable Manufacturing Toolkit, a new publication designed to help businesses, particularly supply chain firms and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), develop a more viable, socially responsible business approach and make the most of green growth opportunities. The Toolkit provides a set of 18 internationally applicable, common and comparable key performance indicators to measure and improve the environmental performance of manufacturing facilities. GIS Director Dr. Nabil Nasr, who serves as Chair of the OECD Advisory Expert Group on Sustainable Production, actively contributed to the development of the Toolkit. The latest booklet version of the Toolkit may be downloaded here.

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g1GIS/RIT researchers receive $700K in grants for battery waste studies  Multiple grants totaling more than $700,000 from national and New York State agencies have been awarded to GIS Assistant Professor Gabrielle Gaustad (left in photo), GIS Assistant Professor Callie Babbitt (right), and RIT Assistant Professor of chemical engineering Brian Landi to study the impact of battery waste on the environment. The team will be assisted in their investigations by RIT graduate students, including GIS Ph.D. candidate Chelsea Bailey (center). Funding for the studies is being provided by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, the National Science Foundation, and the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute. For more information on the grants and the goals of the team's research efforts, read the RIT news release here. (photo by Laura W. Nelson)

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atandtcallieDr. Callie Babbitt Honored by AT&T   A sustainability research project led by GIS Assistant Professor Dr. Callie Babbitt (right in photo) in reducing the footprint of the information and communication technology industry has been honored by AT&T, which presented that company's Technology and Environment Award to the project team in a ceremony at RIT on August 16. Co-investigators on the research project were GIS Assistant Professor Dr. Gabrielle Gaustad (left) and Mr. Alex Lobos, assistant professor of Industrial Design, RIT College of Imaging Arts and Sciences. The award provides RIT with $25,000 to enable further research, and a symbolic check for that amount was presented to the Institute by Amy Himes Kramer (center), regional vice president of external affairs for AT&T in New York. Also present at the award presentation were New York State Senator Joseph Robach, NYS Assemblyman Joseph Morelle, RIT President Dr. William Destler, and GIS Director Dr. Nabil Nasr. For more information on the AT&T award, read the RIT news release here. (photo by Laura W. Nelson)

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march-openhouseMaster of Architecture program open house a success  More than 30 prospective graduate students and other visitors joined More than 30 prospective graduate students and other visitors joined GIS faculty and staff at an open house event at GIS on August 2 designed to showcase the new Architecture + Sustainability program, which commences September 2011. Attendees met with program faculty, took a tour of the new facilities, and talked about enrollment with RIT's graduate admissions staff. Dennis A. Andrejko, FAIA, Associate Professor and Program Chair of the Master of Architecture program, said "I was delighted by the strong turnout of potential students at the open house. Clearly there's a lot of serious interest in the M.Arch program and its intended focus around sustainable design inquiry." For more information, see the Master of Architecture website pages here. (photo by Gabrielle Gaustad)

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Monroe Litho receives NYSP2I green award  The New York State Pollution Prevention Institute, a research unit of GIS, recognized Rochester, NY, printing firm Monroe Litho for leadership in sustainability with the printing industry. In a ceremony held June 30 at the printer's downtown facility, company executives and employees gathered to receive a plaque commemorating Monroe Litho's environmental initiatives with High Tech Rochester, the local Regional Technology Development Center. The collaboration helped reduce process waste by 100 percent and water usage by 5.9 percent, decrease emissions by 29 percent, and reduce fuel used in the transportation of paper by 31 percent. For more information on the award, read the RIT news release here. (photo by Laura W. Nelson)

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First GIS Ph.D. grad is Brookhaven Lab researcher  Dr. Annick Anctil, recipient of the first Ph.D. in Sustainability degree from the RIT/GIS academic program has accepted a position of Research Assistant at the Photovoltaic Environmental Research Assistance Center at Brookhaven National Laboratory on Long Island, New York, starting in July. She said she had several job offers prior to graduation, but chose the Brookhaven position because it most closely matched her professional interests and career goals. “My doctoral work at GIS is a great fit for this job” she said. “I’ll be putting what I learned here to work right away.” At the Photovoltaics Center, Dr. Anctil will initially focus on recycling cadmium telluride (CdTe) solar panels, which use a thin-film semiconductor layer that absorbs and converts sunlight into electricity. Her new job spans both the academic and industrial sectors, and includes working with many U.S. companies to evaluate the environmental impact of CdTe technologies and organize solar panel installation/disposal procedures. She is also looking forward to joining a highly respected research team. The Photovoltaics Center is led by Vasilis M. Fthenakis, Ph.D., a well-known pioneer in the area of photovoltaics and the environment. For more information on Dr. Anctil’s studies at GIS, read the RIT news release here. (photo by Laura W. Nelson)

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stsEndeavour delivers GIS solar cells to ISS   Solar cells designed and fabricated by Stephen Polly (Ph.D. student in Microsystems Engineering) and his advisor, Dr. Seth Hubbard, of GIS' NanoPower Research Laboratory, were recently launched on STS-134, the final mission of Space Shuttle Endeavour. The cells were delivered to the International Space Station (ISS) as part of the Materials International Space Station Experiment 8 (MISSE8) program. The MISSE8 experiment is mounted externally on the space station and will investigate the effects of long-term exposure of materials to pollythe harsh space environment. MISSE8 evaluates the performance, stability, and long-term survivability of materials and components planned for use by NASA, commercial companies, and the Department of Defense. The MISSE8 experiment was installed by mission specialists Andrew Feustel and Gregory Chamitoff. During the two-year mission duration, data will be available in real-time and analyzed by Polly and Dr. Hubbard to determine the effects of the space environment on the solar cells. (photos: NASA; Zachary Bittner, RIT)

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ewaste2Students win 2nd place in e-waste design contest  Two RIT industrial design students co-advised by Dr. Callie Babbitt, assistant professor in the Golisano Institute for Sustainability, have taken second place honors at the 2011 International E-Waste Design Competition. Isaac Alves and Joseph Lapke were recognized for designing a laptop that can be disassembled in less than two minutes, making it far quicker and simpler to retrieve recyclable components and materials when the computer reaches end-of-life. Alves and Lapke’s project, called Dismantle, won gold honors in the prevention category of the competition and earned them $3,000 in prize money. The competition is part of the Sustainable Electronics Initiative at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Read the full RIT press release here. (photo by Sandra Turner)

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Sustainability First Graduates First Graduates of GIS Academic Program   Diplomas were formally awarded to Rochester Institute of Technology's first-ever degree recipients in sustainability and sustainable systems at the Institute's commencement ceremony May 20. Annick Anctil (right in photo) became the first-ever doctoral-degree recipient in sustainability from RIT. She was joined by Rosa Mitsumasu Heredia (left), who is RIT's first master's degree recipient in sustainable systems. Anctil, originally from Québec City, is planning to accept a job offer in the near future. Heredia, who hails from Lima, Peru, will go to work for the Nature Conservancy in Seattle assisting the Latin American policy group in making recommendations for sustainability practices in that region. The Ph.D. and M.S. graduate studies program in sustainability, launched in 2008 through the Golisano Institute for Sustainability, is designed for students who are driven to become sustainability change agents within organizations worldwide, including industry, government, non-governmental agencies, academic institutions, professional associations, financial and investment communities, the indemnification industry and the legal profession. Read the full RIT press release here. (photo by A Sue Weisler)

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ISSST GIS Faculty and Students at ISSST  The Golisano Institute for Sustainability had several participants at the 2011 IEEE International Symposium on Sustainable Systems & Technology conference in Chicago, IL May 16-18th. Xue Wang (second from left in photo), a first year GIS PhD student advised by Dr. Gabrielle Gaustad (second from right) presented the poster “Prioritizing material recovery for end-of-life PCBs”. Chelsea Bailey (left), co-advised by Dr. Callie Babbitt and Dr. Gaustad won second prize in the graduate student poster competition with her poster “Tracking the material, energy, and value flow for end-of-life lithium ion batteries in the US.” First year GIS PhD student Jiefeng Lin (right), advised by Dr. Thomas Trabold, presented his work “Assessment of Bio-Fuel Options for Solid Oxide Fuel Cell-Based Auxiliary Power Units” in the biofuels symposium. Dr. Gaustad organized and moderated a symposium on Materials and Waste Management. While not in attendance, Dr. Babbitt was a member of the technical committee as well as a programming lead for the conference. An estimated 175 representatives from industry, government, and many universities attended.

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Honored Students 3 GIS Students Honored  GIS Ph.D. program students Michele Goe (left in photo) and Erinn Ryen (right) have received Honorable Mention recognition from the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program. Also, GIS Ph.D. student Chelsea E. Bailey (center) was awarded a $1,500 scholarship for the 2011-2012 academic year by the Air & Waste Management Association in recognition of her academic excellence and professionalism. Bailey and Ryen are advised by GIS faculty Callie Babbitt and Michele Goe is advised by GIS faculty Gabrielle Gaustad.
Recently honored: GIS students Michele Goe (left), Chelsea E. Bailey (center), and Erinn Ryen.

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Nabil Nasr Dr. Nabil Nasr Inducted into RIT Innovation Hall of Fame  Nabil Z. Nasr, Ph.D., Director, Golisano Institute for Sustainability was inducted into the RIT Innovation Hall of Fame on May 6, 2011. Dr. Nasr was cited as "A leader who unites scientists, engineers, and industry leaders to combat threats to our planet through development of innovative educational programs and world-class research. With a background in sustainable production, remanufacturing, clean production, and sustainable product development, Dr. Nabil Nasr sets a visionary strategy for the Rochester Institute of Technology's Golisano Institute for Sustainability where scientists, engineers and industry leaders come together to support the GIS mission to deliver innovative educational programs in sustainability and to conduct related world-class research." The Innovation Hall of Fame recognizes RIT alumni, faculty or staff and other individuals related to the RIT community who have had a positive impact on a global society. Dr. Nasr also serves as Associate Provost for Academic Affairs and Director of the Center for Integrated Manufacturing Studies. He has a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from Helwan University, an M.S. in Industrial and Systems Engineering from Rutgers University, an M.Eng. in Manufacturing Engineering from Penn State University and a Ph.D. in Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering from Rutgers University.

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GE's Dr. William Flanagan on Life Cycle Assessment GE's Dr. William Flanagan on Life Cycle Assessment  Dr. William Flanagan, Ecoassessment Leader of General Electric Company's GE Global Research Ecoassessment Center of Excellence, spoke on Life Cycle Assessment at GE: Ecoassessment Center of Excellence" to students, faculty and staff of the Golisano Institute for Sustainability on April 27. Dr. Flanagan provided an overview of GE's ecoassessment activities and the company's evolving vision for life cycle assessment as a support tool for new product development, product improvement and commercial support. He also reviewed the business context for LCA, including LCA's role in comprehensive supply-chain carbon footprint assessments. Dr. Flanagan holds a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Connecticut and is a member of the Advisory Council for the American Center for Life Cycle Assessment.

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New GIS Building Groundbreaking New GIS Building Groundbreaking  Groundbreaking for the 75,000 sq. ft. Golisano Institute for Sustainability building was celebrated April 15 on the RIT campus. The new $38M facility will be LEED certified (targeting LEED Platinum certification) and designed to demonstrate sustainable building technologies and energy systems. The GIS building will incorporate a unique infrastructure, a smart microgrid and computing data center.

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BluePrint NYS Regents Approve M. Arch Program  The GIS Master of Architecture program, with an emphasis on Sustainable Architecture, took a big step forward when it recently received approval from the New York State Board of Regents. This 3-year graduate program is designed for students who have earned a baccalaureate degree in any field. It will be offered in partnership with GIS and RIT's College of Imaging Arts and Sciences. The next step will be to receive accreditation from the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB).

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Remanufacturing Strategic Dialogue on Remanufacturing  The Strategic Dialogue on Remanufacturing Policy, an historic meeting for the remanufacturing industry, was held January 24-25 in Washington, D.C. The Council on Competitiveness and GIS's Center for Remanufacturing and Resource Recovery were co-sponsors. The meeting addressed the current state of the industry and identified the challenges and issues facing the various remanufacturing sectors. Recommendations will now be developed and presented to federal and state policy makers. The meeting was co-chaired by GIS Director Nabil Nasr and Greg Folley, Vice President, Remanufacturing & Components Division, Caterpillar Inc., and attended by representatives from 25 remanufacturing companies including Cummins, Inc., Cardone Industries, ReCellular, General Electric, and John Deere. Several remanufacturing associations and many government attendees from the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, U.S. Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration, and NIST also attended. The meeting was reported in the Wall Street Journal: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704115404576095881429852432.html

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EcoEasy Staples Global EcoEasy Challenge  GIS is a sponsor of the 2011 Staples Global EcoEasy Challenge. The contest was open to universities in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, The Netherlands, United Kingdom and the U.S. Student teams from China, India, Ireland, the U.S., and Singapore had their concepts chosen to compete in the finals event. The grand prize winning team will win $25,000 and two runner-up teams will each win $5,000 for a total of $35,000 in cash prizes. Each team will have the opportunity to earn royalties if their concept of a more environmentally preferable home or business office product is brought to market. GIS Director Nabil Nasr will serve as a judge at the Finals event to be held at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., on April 13.

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