Discovery News profiled a recent grant from the National Science Foundation in support of “work on harnessing ocean currents and tidal flows using underwater kites.” The project is being led by Worcester Polytechnic Institute associate professor David J. Olinger, Ph.D. (PA E ’83). “Just as wind turbines can convert moving air into electricity, there is the potential to transform these virtually untapped liquid ‘breezes’ into vast amounts of power,” said Dr. Olinger.
The plan involves computer modeling of the kites and eventually building full-scale models to test in large water tanks. Read the article for more information
Nevada Beta Chapter President, at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, recently posted a Convention report from his trip to Ames, IA. Derek A. Williams, KY B 2003, is a graduate student at UNLV and former chapter president at Kentucky Beta (University of Louisville). You can read his report here for information on his successful efforts to appeal curricula, his work with the Constitution & Bylaws committee, and his social interactions with other Tau Bates.
The University of Texas at San Antonio highlighted a recent National Science Foundation grant awarded to an assistant professor of mechanical engineering to find a solution to the problem of turbulence related to wind turbines. According to the press release, “turbulence occurs from multiple physical processes arising from the wind, atmosphere, complex terrain, and the rotor blades.” The research goal will be to help lower the cost of generating wind energy by discovering more effective designs and placement of turbines to reduce turbulence.