More than 200 people filled the UAB Alumni House on Thursday, October 1 to learn from experts from around the world on matters concerning urban sustainability and development at the 2015 Sustainable Smart Cities Symposium.
The symposium, organized by the UAB Sustainable Smart Cities Research Center, is an annual event that focuses on the innovations—such as big data, renewable energy and smart mobility—being used to help make Birmingham and other cities around the world smarter, safer and more livable.
In opening remarks, center director Fouad H. Fouad, Ph.D., who is also chair of the Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering, celebrated UAB’s collaborations with the city and called Birmingham’s new bike-share program “a big step forward for sustainability.”
Landscape architect Thomas Woltz, who was named Design Innovator of the Year for 2013 by the Wall Street Journal, was the event’s keynote speaker. Woltz designed a block-long park and plaza to adjoin Alabama Power Company’s Powell Avenue Steam Plant redevelopment near Railroad Park in downtown Birmingham. He said on Thursday that the new plaza should evoke the Magic City’s geology, rich history and industrial heritage. “I hope this is a place where you can come with your children and tell stories about what you are as a city,” he said.
Students, parents, cheerleaders, hundreds of mall shoppers, and of course, robots.
Blazer BEST Mall Day at the Riverchase Galleria on Sunday, exposed the best of Blazer BEST to tremendous crowds, as students from 32 local teams met over a three-hour period to test their robots on the 2015 BEST game floor for the first time.
The teams now have two weeks to correct any issues they found before Blazer BEST Game Day on October 10.
The 32 teams are the most ever for Blazer BEST, which will utitlize two playing fields simultaneously for the first time in the event's eight-year history.
Blazer BEST is free to participating schools.
In order to continue to provide the event at no charge, the School of Engineering has launched a crowdfunding effort in hopes that alumni and former BEST participants will help support this important outreach event.
Georgia Power announced this week that three-time School of Engineering graduate Mark Berry, Ph.D., has been named vice president of Environmental Affairs.
Berry earned a bachelor’s in mathematics from Alabama A&M University before shifting his focus to engineering. He earned a bachelor’s (1997) and a master’s (2000) degree in mechanical engineering before going on to get his Ph.D. in interdisciplinary engineering in 2013.
"Mark is especially well-suited to his new role, because he thoroughly understands the technical, regulatory, and business aspects of environmental issues," says Peter Walsh, Ph.D., a research professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering who mentored Berry. "He is able to identify approaches that provide optimum benefit to all of the stakeholders."
For his Ph.D. dissertation, Berry studied the effectiveness of calcium bromide injection for mercury emission control on a 700 megawatt power boiler. He demonstrated that this was a cost-effective technology for compliance with proposed mercury emission standards having potential annual savings of millions of dollars on a unit of that size. “The most impressive part is that he was able to demonstrate the technology in the field,” Walsh said. "It is much easier to evaluate a process in the laboratory than to prove its effectiveness at full scale."
ME Senior Receives Unique Scholarship from USS Little Rock Association
When Alfred King joined the crew of the USS Little Rock in 1945, he couldn’t have anticipated how his service might impact his family 70 years later.
Earlier this month, a representative from the USS Little Rock Association presented King’s granddaughter, Lauren Symmes, with a $1,000 Descendant Scholarship during a reception at the School of Engineering.
The USS Little Rock Association provides two scholarships to third- and fourth-year students who are descendants of association veteran members. Symmes’ grandfather, now deceased, was an Association life member after serving as a crewmember on the Little Rock from 1945-47.