Environment

Engineered sand zaps storm water pollutants

Discarded cup carried to storm drain by runoff water

8/30/2018 - Berkeley engineers have created a new way to remove contaminants from storm water using mineral-coated sand, potentially addressing the needs of water-stressed communities that are searching for ways to tap the abundant and yet underused source of fresh drinking water.

Algorithm provides early warning system for groundwater contamination

Aerial view of cleanup project at Savannah River Site

8/30/2018 Berkeley Lab - National laboratory researchers led by Berkeley Lab's Haruko Wainwright, a new associate adjunct professor of nuclear engineering at UC Berkeley, have developed a low-cost method for real-time monitoring of groundwater pollutants using commonly available sensors.

NSF funds extreme events reconnaissance network

House and car destroyed by tornado in Texas. Photo by Volkan Yuksel / Wikimedia Commons

8/15/2018 PEER - The National Science Foundation has awarded a grant to the Structural Extreme Events Reconnaissance (StEER) Network, which aims to improve reporting and coordination by the natural hazards engineering community in the aftermath of earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes and other extreme events. UC Berkeley is one of StEER's three primary nodes.

Redesigning wind power

Diagram of the parts of the new efficient wind turbine: Tower, blades, concentrator and camouflage

6/1/2018 Berkeley Engineering students have designed a wind turbine that is quiet, efficient and protects birds.

Dam scanning

Scans comparing the Hume Lake Dam before and after drainage

6/1/2018 CEE professor Robert Kayen used lidar technology to evaluate the health of the Hume Lake Dam.

Berkeley water engineer lands 2018 'Slammy'

Joseph Charbonnet and his Grad Slam presentation

5/4/2018 Graduate Division - At the UC-wide Grad Slam competition on May 3, environmental engineering doctoral student Joseph Charbonnet brought home the first-place ‘Slammy’ — and $9,000 in prize money — for his three-minute talk on using manganese-coated sand to capture, clean and re-use stormwater.

Reducing air pollution with smart design

Clarity team working on computers

2/13/2018 CITRIS - Air pollution is a global epidemic that kills more than 3.2 million people prematurely each year. Clarity, an environmental tech startup out of the CITRIS Foundry, produces smart air-quality monitoring systems designed to reduce this number.

A 'stillsuit' for cities

Drawing of stillsuit components

11/6/2017 - Berkeley water expert David Sedlak, a professor of civil & environmental engineering, says cities may soon have to develop their own version of the science fiction novel Dune's "stillsuit" to recycle wastewater for drinking.

Berkeley-Denver team comes in third in Solar Decathlon

Berkeley student descending a staircase outside the RISE house

10/18/2017 Denver Post - A collaboration between UC Berkeley and the University of Denver took third place in the Solar Decathlon 2017, a challenge for student teams to build and operate highly energy-efficient and innovative solar houses. The team's RISE house was designed specifically for the city of Richmond, Calif.

Simple sanitation, a Q&A with Ashley Muspratt

Ashley Muspratt

9/12/2017 - Over 90 percent of wastewater generated on the planet every day is dumped into the environment without any treatment. CEE alum Ashley Muspratt is working on a solution.

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