RIT is confronting the global challenges of sustainability through interdisciplinary programs that integrate engineering and science with economics and public policy.
The incorporation of sustainability in society takes many forms, from reducing the environmental footprint of industry to enhancing access to clean technology throughout the world.
The incorporation of sustainability in society takes many forms, from reducing the environmental footprint of industry to enhancing access to clean technology throughout the world. RIT's Kate Gleason College of Engineering's multidisciplinary senior design program is working to address global access to sustainable technology through its sustainable design track. Through the program, students and faculty conduct a host of projects related to energy efficiency and alternative energy development, in support of the greening of the RIT campus and the implementation of sustainability in the developing world.
In a recent project, a team led by Rob Stevens, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, designed and built a solar-powered pasteurizer for reducing pathogens in drinking water. The device was targeted for use in rural villages in developing countries that often do not have access to clean drinking water or electricity.
The device includes an integrated collector to capture the solar energy, and heat exchanger, which collects waste heat and reuses it in the process. This type of design decreases the overall cost of the pasteurizer and reduces material use. The design is able to pasteurize on average more than 20 liters per day, which would provide adequate drinking water for a family.
The project team also includes Margaret Bailey, Andres Carrano, and Brian Thorn. Funding was provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and was selected for inclusion in the EPA's National Sustainable Design Expo, held in the spring of 2007 in Washington, D.C.