UW students to design alternative-fuels vehicle for EcoCAR 2 competition

March 1, 2012

The UW campus is seeing more alternative fuel vehicles like the Toyota Prius, the Nissan Leaf and the Chevy Volt. In the lower level of the mechanical engineering building annex, UW students are working on a car that aims to leave them in the dust, from an environmental standpoint.

A team of more than 40 students is competing in the EcoCAR 2 competition, an international contest sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy and General Motors Co.

UW students to design ultra-efficient hybrid powered by biodiesel

January 24, 2012

The engineering students of today will soon be designing the cars of tomorrow. In an effort to draw the best and brightest minds to the automotive field, the U.S. DOE has a long history of sponsoring advanced vehicle design competitions to foster innovation and skill development in the fields of vehicle design and engineering. In fact, the department has sponsored this type of competition for 23 years, during which time approximately 16,500 students have participated, with the vast majority of them finding work in the automotive sector.

USDOT awards $3.5 million for UW-based regional transportation center

January 25, 2012

The U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded a grant of $3.5 million to a multi-university, regional transportation center led by the University of Washington. The newly established Pacific Northwest Transportation Consortium, or PacTrans, will focus on safe and sustainable transportation in environments ranging from busy urban centers to remote mountainous terrain.

“PacTrans will focus on developing sustainable solutions for the diverse transportation needs of the Pacific Northwest,” said director Yinhai Wang, a UW professor of civil and environmental engineering.

UW staffer zeros out daily commute costs, carbon footprint

January 6, 2012


University of Washington staffer Bob Edmiston was unhappy with his commute.

It took him a half hour each way driving between his Madison Park home and the university, using $2 worth of gas and paying $7 for parking. He didn’t like using that much time and paying that much money, and he was concerned about his carbon footprint.

So Edmiston used his job skills to figure out what to do. He calls himself a user-experience researcher; he finds out what people need to do to get their jobs done and helps build the software tools they need to do that.

Biofuels: A Poplar Idea

December 13, 2011

Poplar trees grow big and fast. They make great privacy screens, and poplar wood is used to make chopsticks and even the backs of stringed instruments like the viola. Now imagine this: within the next few years, the jet you take from Seattle to New York may be running on poplar-based jet fuel.

Creative Solutions

December 7, 2011

For UW Creative Communications (C2), which handles mail, print, and copy services on campus, budget cuts have proven to be a blessing in disguise.

Creative Communications has recently introduced a fresh working method known as the “lean process” to find ways to make its units more efficient and reduce waste. The Lean process is based on the goal of producing with less of everything including inventory, labor, and equipment. Brought on by the economic recession and budget cuts to the UW, this process has forced C2 to be more critical and innovative than it has been in past years.

From Fries To Freighters

September 29, 2011

A few UW trucks may soon be leaving an aromatic trail of french fries and fried chicken in their wake if a few sustainably minded students get their way.

The Biodiesel Cooperative, led by a group of engineering students, is looking to convert a few thousand gallons of wasted cooking oil into biodiesel that could be used on campus in place of traditional fuel.