GIS 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 MS/Ph.D. graduates with sustainability training that includes practical experience in addition to cross-disciplinary coursework. RIT’s history, academic programs, and the new Sustainability Hall facility are described together with sustainability degree offerings from other universities in the U.S., Britain and Australia.


New additions at Sustainability Hall

Two major upgrades were made in early March to Sustainability Hall, the new headquarters building of the Golisano Institute for Sustainability (GIS). The UTC Model 400 Purecell fuel cell system, which will be the building’s 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 the website www.greenroofs.com, which added it to their international Greenroof & Greenwall Projects Database. (Photo credit: Laura Nelson)


GIS Professor Receives NSF Career Development Award

Assistant professor 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 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 the NSF's foremost means to support junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent teaching 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." (Pictured: Professor Callie Babbitt)


Master of Architecture Program

Exploring the Cube

Working in teams of two, the second year master of architecture students explored the opportunities and limitations of the cube form. After selecting two words ending in "–tion" to provide their projects’ themes, student teams designed conceptual cube-shaped buildings digitally and by hand, using plaster, wood, plastic and wire. The buildings portrayed the project themes in program, plan formation, fenestration and overall massing, lending a unique interpretation of the thematic words. (Pictured: Tessellation + Subtraction by students Priyanka Sondhi & Allison LaChance)

CONVERSATION(S): sustainable thoughts / designs / actions Join us on Mondays at noon in GIS 3160 or on Google Hangouts for our weekly virtual conversation series with architects, designers & building industry leaders; thinkers, scholars and tinkerers; community organizers and policy wonks; and folks doing interesting things.


FIRST Robotics Update

Brian Hilton, senior staff engineer at CIMS, has been coaching the FIRST LEGO League (FLL) "LEGO Lambs" team for 6 years. The Lambs are made up of 8 homeschooled students ranging in age from 8 to 14. They recently competed against over 140 teams in the Finger Lakes region to win the Finger Lakes Regional Championship. The team will be moving on to the FLL North American Open Championship Tournament in Carlsbad, Calif. Hilton’s son Caleb, age 14, was the robot build captain and ran the robot in the competition.

Hilton has also been mentoring the FIRST Robotics competition team, the "Finney Falcons", from Charles Finney High School in Penfield for the past year. The Finney team captained the winning alliance at the Finger Lakes Regional which was hosted here at RIT. Caleb is also on this team, and his older brother, Joshua, was one of the team captains and the robot driver during the competition. The Falcons are moving on to the FLL World Festival in St. Louis.

Hilton said "Though we are honored to have won these events, one of FIRST’s core values is that what we discover is more important than what we win." One of the values that Hilton has tried to instill in both teams is that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. "These teams are successful because they support, trust, and believe in each other." (Photo credits: Brian Hilton)