SwitchCU~ 2016

Are you passionate about energy? Come see CU students give fast paced reviews of their research and passions during the Energy Frontiers conference.

  • The top people’s choice speaker from SwitchCU~ will be invited to present at the next Switch~ event hosted by RM-AESP and share their energy related topic with industry professionals.
  • The top two speakers will win cash prizes!

We have six presenters with great talks lined up. Check out their abstracts here:

Masoud Aghajani: Water and Energy are intertwined resources in the modern world. Many industrial and academic researchers are now considering and studying various aspects of this challenge/opportunity. Any energy production plant needs water and all water production facilities demand energy. Design and technology advancement is the most crucial factor to take advantage of this relationship and turn this potential threat into opportunity. Integration and optimization of processes plus novel technologies based on fundamental research are keys to open this lock obstructing sustainable development round the world; from California to East Africa.

Tim Ritter: There are many areas in the sustainable arena that are in need of improvement, including energy and water. The need to understand and manipulate nanosheet materials have become apparent since the discovery of graphene at the turn of the century. These nanosheets have special properties that allow them to have many applications such as in solar technology, energy storage, and water management. If we are able to understand both how to create and how to modify such structures it can usher in an entire new era of sustainability for the planet at a time when it is needed most.

Scott Rowe: Liquid biofuels have been with us for hundreds of years, yet their widespread adoption remains elusive. To understand why, we must explore the past, present and future of both biology and industrialization.  Only then can we demystify a path forward.

Tariq Jamil: Cement production is not only one of the most energy intensive sectors but also has one of the largest carbon footprints. Using the least amount of cement without compromising the end properties of concrete is essential for reducing its environmental burden. Understanding the action of organic additives on hydrated cement phases is crucial to develop novel admixtures and alternative cements. Appropriate admixtures can reduce agglomeration and give steric stabilization to cement particles and thus effect the hydration dynamics and concrete properties. Atomistic simulations with the thoroughly validated PCFF-INTERFACE force field allow the first quantitative insight into the interactions of polyacrylate oligomers containing polyethylene side chains with hydrated cement surfaces.

Joseph Lee: Immediately downwind of wind turbines, a “wake” region of slower air occurs, and this wake gradually entrains faster-moving air from the local environment via turbulent mixing so that the wake erodes further downwind. However, wakes persist downstream in the evening since the nighttime atmosphere is generally calm and the heating-driven daytime turbulence dissipates. In this talk, I will present the turbine wake evolution during the evening transition and how wakes introduce variability to wind farm power production, at a time of day that is typically characterized by high electricity demands.

Monica Rowand: Topic will use “Green sports” as a case study for the intersection of business and environment and the opportunities to make sustainable change.  Sports – professional and recreational – is an ideal platform to be used to reach people on the importance of sustainability.  CU Boulder has the #1 Collegiate Sports Sustainability Program in the nation working with national and local sponsors to green its operations and encourage fans to do the same.  

More about SwitchCU~

SwitchCU~ is an engaging and fun way to share topics related to energy and sustainability. SwitchCU~ is a spinoff event from Switch~, an event created by Rocky Mountain AESP. The presentation concept is inspired by TEDx, but uses the Ignite format where speakers have just five minutes and twenty auto-advancing slides to present and inspire the audience about their topic. This event will be hosted by Bill LeBlanc, an accomplished comedian and longtime Switch~ MC.

The Annual Energy Conference hosted by the CU Energy Club