UW students turning 2013 Malibu into fuel-saving dual-motor hybrid

At first glance, the new Chevy Malibu jacked up on the ground-floor lab of the University of Washington's mechanical-engineering annex doesn't look like anything special — except that it's missing its engine.

When they're done with it, though, several dozen of the school's engineering students will have transformed it into one of two electric-biodiesel hybrid Chevy Malibus in the world that run on two separate motors — one for the front wheels, one for the back.

UW computers adopt power-saving software

Centralized power-saving software hit UW-owned computers and laptops earlier this month. In the future, this software, Tivoli Endpoint Manager (TEM), may be available to all campus members for their personal computers.

The Seattle City Light (SCL) rebate program was used to help finance the TEM software. This software reports power usage to a server and manages power used on campus.

UW electronics-recycling pledge: Prevent harm to people, environment

November 8, 2012

The University of Washington has become the first university nationally to sign the e-Stewards Enterprise Commitment, a pledge to be globally responsible in recycling electronic equipment.

The UW, which collects and recycles more than 90 tons of used electronic equipment a year, already uses a recycler that is e-Stewards certified. Signing the agreement formalizes the university’s commitment to that practice, according to Emily Newcomer, UW recycling manager.

Recycling wood waste

November 25, 2012

A team of UW researchers recently developed a new method of recycling wood waste, utilizing the technology as the basis for a company. The startup, entitled Carbon Cultures, generates charcoal from recycling wood waste and sells it to farmers, gardeners, or any other customer looking to improve their soil.

“We needed to get some value from the forest and thought of wood waste,” said Jenny Knoth, CEO of Carbon Cultures and Ph.D. candidate in environmental and forest sciences. “So why not do the disposal on-site?”

UW, WSU compete in environmental pledge

November 15, 2012

As the Apple Cup approaches, the UW and Washington State University (WSU) rivalry strengthens. This rivalry isn’t just limited to sports. Most recently, it has extended to environmental issues. UW and WSU are currently competing in the One Thing Challenge, a competition to get students to pledge to change one thing in their daily routines to help the environment.

The One Thing Challenge began in 2008 when Clive Pursehouse, diversity initiatives administrator for UW Housing & Food Services (HFS), created the challenge and circulated it through the residence halls.

UW students win $100,000 for 3-D printer

October 29, 2012

After taking second place in the Seafair Milk Carton Derby using a printed boat made entirely of milk-jug plastic, the Washington Open Object Fabricators (WOOF) proved that 3-D printing was a budding technology. Now the group has proven its ability on the international level, winning first prize at the 3D4D Challenge in London last week.

The 50-member student group beat out six other finalists for the $100,000 top prize for their plan to use giant 3-D printers to turn create lightweight composting toilets and rainwater catchment equipment from waste plastic.

Smart Grid Launches At UW

October 25, 2012

The Pacific Northwest Smart Grid Demonstration Project inaugurated its first widespread demonstration project Oct. 24 at Alder hall. The event marked the official beginning of UW’s effort to install a campus-wide smart grid that tracks power output in every building.

Approximately 90 people attended the event, with U.S. Sens. Maria Cantwell, Patty Murray, and UW Provost Ana Mari Cauce among the speakers.

UW plugs in to 'smart grid' regional power use experiment

October 23, 2012

With the help of a device that monitors energy consumption in her dorm room, University of Washington student Simone Schaffer was surprised to discover that her computer monitor is constantly devouring electricity — even when the screen is dark.

But the device that measures power use also allows Schaffer to take command of her energy-slurping monitor. She can shut a suite of electronics down completely with the touch of a button, using either a control panel in her room, or remotely through a cellphone app.