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  • richardmitnick 12:40 pm on December 19, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "liquid-membrane interface", "tender-APXPS": “tender” ambient pressure x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, "The Donnan Potential - Revealed at Last", "XPS": x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, , , , , Energy, Frederick Donnan-a British-Irish chemist-first probed the phenomenon in the early 20th century using a solution of Congo red-a dye that’s now known to be toxic and carcinogenic to many organisms., Improving previous thermodynamic models of the Donnan equilibrium., Knowing the Donnan potential is relevant to many applications from energy to biology to water treatment., , New insights in many areas focusing on membranes., , , The Donnan potential plays a role in any system that brings together a material with fixed ions and an electrolyte solution.   

    From The DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory: “The Donnan Potential – Revealed at Last” 

    From The DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

    12.19.22
    Stephen Ornes

    First-ever direct measurement of the electric potential at the liquid-membrane interface could push new research in energy, biology, and materials science

    1
    Staff scientist Ethan Crumlin at Berkeley Lab’s Advanced Light Source [below]. (Credit: Marilyn Sargent/Berkeley Lab)

    The Donnan electric potential arises from an imbalance of charges at the interface of a charged membrane and a liquid, and for more than a century it has stubbornly eluded direct measurement. Many researchers have even written off such a measurement as impossible.

    But that era, at last, has ended. With a tool that’s conventionally used to probe the chemical composition of materials, scientists at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory recently led the first direct measurement of the Donnan potential.

    Ethan Crumlin and his collaborators recently reported the measurement in Nature Communications [below].

    Such a measurement could yield new insights in many areas that focus on membranes. The Donnan potential plays a critical role in transporting ions through a cellular membrane, for example, which ties it to biological functions ranging from muscle contractions to neural signaling. Ion exchange membranes are also important in energy storage strategies and water purification technologies.

    “Knowing the Donnan potential is relevant to many applications, from energy to biology, to water treatment,” said Pinar Aydogan-Gokturk, an early career scientist and postdoctoral scholar at Berkeley Lab who performed the measurements.

    Aydogan-Gokturk said the new measurement will also improve previous thermodynamic models of the Donnan equilibrium. Those models have long relied on uncertain assumptions and indirect measurements. “Using our method, we are hoping to be able to answer questions about fluid dynamics in non-ideal conditions at the membrane interfaces,” she said.

    2
    Staff Scientist Ethan Crumlin (left) and staff scientist Jin QIan (right) with postdoc Pinar Aydogan Gokturk on Zoom at Berkeley Lab’s Advanced Light Source. (Credit: Marilyn Sargent/Berkeley Lab)

    Frederick Donnan-a British-Irish chemist-first probed the phenomenon in the early 20th century using a solution of Congo red, a dye that’s now known to be toxic and carcinogenic to many organisms. In a paper published in 1911 [Chemical Reviews (below)], Donnan described experiments in which a membrane separated two charged solutions and only allowed some ions to pass through. As the two solutions reach equilibrium, he found, they may also scatter charges unevenly across the membrane — and therefore produced an electric potential.

    The Donnan potential plays a role in any system that brings together a material with fixed ions — like a charged polymer or the membrane of a cell — and an electrolyte solution. The charges in the solution are free to move, and some can pass into the membrane.

    To make the measurement, Aydogan-Gokturk, Crumlin, and their collaborators at the University of Texas-Austin’s Center for Materials for Water and Energy Systems used a technique called “tender” ambient pressure x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, or tender-APXPS.

    It’s a sophisticated application of x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, or XPS, which can reveal the chemical composition, and lesser known (but just as important) local potentials of the surface of a material. When x-rays are focused on the materials’ surface, they trigger the release of electrons, and the energy levels of those electrons give away the constituent atoms. In 1981, Swedish physicist Kai Siegbahn won the Nobel Prize in Physics for work on using XPS.

    Surface spectroscopy tools like XPS typically require vacuum environments to work, but pioneering work at Berkeley Lab led to the use of XPS at ambient pressure. About 10 years ago, ALS scientists pushed the technology further, combining ambient pressure XPS with higher-energy x-rays. That advance allowed them to probe solid-liquid interfaces.

    3
    (Credit: Marilyn Sargent/Berkeley Lab)

    “Until recently, Berkeley Lab’s ALS was the only place in the world where you could do this with a solid-liquid interface,” said Crumlin.

    During the pandemic, Crumlin, Aydogan-Gokturk, and their team collected time intensive spectroscopic data sets to probe the Donnan potential. They immersed a charged membrane in a salt solution, fired x-rays at the interface, and studied the electrons that emerged. To help validate the experiments, Berkeley Lab Staff Scientist Jin Qian compared the measured Donnan potential values to simulated thermodynamic models. A tool that’s usually used to probe chemical composition may not seem like an obvious instrument for studying membranes, but Crumlin predicted that using tender-APXPS in membrane science will continue to reveal new insights about interfacial phenomena.

    “The membrane community is a totally new world to this space of science,” he said. “This work really combines two worlds together.”

    Science paper:
    Nature Communications
    See the science paper for instructive material with images.
    Chemical Reviews
    See the science paper for instructive material with mathematical expressions.
    See the full article here .

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct. Use “Reply”.

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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    LBNL campus

    Bringing Science Solutions to the World

    In the world of science, The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) is synonymous with “excellence.” Thirteen Nobel prizes are associated with Berkeley Lab. Seventy Lab scientists are members of the The National Academy of Sciences, one of the highest honors for a scientist in the United States. Thirteen of our scientists have won the National Medal of Science, our nation’s highest award for lifetime achievement in fields of scientific research. Eighteen of our engineers have been elected to the The National Academy of Engineering, and three of our scientists have been elected into The Institute of Medicine. In addition, Berkeley Lab has trained thousands of university science and engineering students who are advancing technological innovations across the nation and around the world.

    Berkeley Lab is a member of the national laboratory system supported by The DOE through its Office of Science. It is managed by the University of California and is charged with conducting unclassified research across a wide range of scientific disciplines. Located on a 202-acre site in the hills above The University of California-Berkeley campus that offers spectacular views of the San Francisco Bay, Berkeley Lab employs approximately 3,232 scientists, engineers and support staff. The Lab’s total costs for FY 2014 were $785 million. A recent study estimates the Laboratory’s overall economic impact through direct, indirect and induced spending on the nine counties that make up the San Francisco Bay Area to be nearly $700 million annually. The Lab was also responsible for creating 5,600 jobs locally and 12,000 nationally. The overall economic impact on the national economy is estimated at $1.6 billion a year. Technologies developed at Berkeley Lab have generated billions of dollars in revenues, and thousands of jobs. Savings as a result of Berkeley Lab developments in lighting and windows, and other energy-efficient technologies, have also been in the billions of dollars.

    Berkeley Lab was founded in 1931 by Ernest Orlando Lawrence, a University of California-Berkeley physicist who won the 1939 Nobel Prize in physics for his invention of the cyclotron, a circular particle accelerator that opened the door to high-energy physics. It was Lawrence’s belief that scientific research is best done through teams of individuals with different fields of expertise, working together. His teamwork concept is a Berkeley Lab legacy that continues today.

    History

    1931–1941

    The laboratory was founded on August 26, 1931, by Ernest Lawrence, as the Radiation Laboratory of the University of California-Berkeley, associated with the Physics Department. It centered physics research around his new instrument, the cyclotron, a type of particle accelerator for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1939.

    LBNL 88 inch cyclotron.

    LBNL 88 inch cyclotron.

    Throughout the 1930s, Lawrence pushed to create larger and larger machines for physics research, courting private philanthropists for funding. He was the first to develop a large team to build big projects to make discoveries in basic research. Eventually these machines grew too large to be held on the university grounds, and in 1940 the lab moved to its current site atop the hill above campus. Part of the team put together during this period includes two other young scientists who went on to establish large laboratories; J. Robert Oppenheimer founded The DOE’s Los Alamos Laboratory, and Robert Wilson founded The DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory.

    1942–1950

    Leslie Groves visited Lawrence’s Radiation Laboratory in late 1942 as he was organizing the Manhattan Project, meeting J. Robert Oppenheimer for the first time. Oppenheimer was tasked with organizing the nuclear bomb development effort and founded today’s Los Alamos National Laboratory to help keep the work secret. At the RadLab, Lawrence and his colleagues developed the technique of electromagnetic enrichment of uranium using their experience with cyclotrons. The “calutrons” (named after the University) became the basic unit of the massive Y-12 facility in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Lawrence’s lab helped contribute to what have been judged to be the three most valuable technology developments of the war (the atomic bomb, proximity fuse, and radar). The cyclotron, whose construction was stalled during the war, was finished in November 1946. The Manhattan Project shut down two months later.

    1951–2018

    After the war, the Radiation Laboratory became one of the first laboratories to be incorporated into the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) (now The Department of Energy . The most highly classified work remained at Los Alamos, but the RadLab remained involved. Edward Teller suggested setting up a second lab similar to Los Alamos to compete with their designs. This led to the creation of an offshoot of the RadLab (now The DOE’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory) in 1952. Some of the RadLab’s work was transferred to the new lab, but some classified research continued at Berkeley Lab until the 1970s, when it became a laboratory dedicated only to unclassified scientific research.

    Shortly after the death of Lawrence in August 1958, the UC Radiation Laboratory (both branches) was renamed the Lawrence Radiation Laboratory. The Berkeley location became the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory in 1971, although many continued to call it the RadLab. Gradually, another shortened form came into common usage, LBNL. Its formal name was amended to Ernest Orlando Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in 1995, when “National” was added to the names of all DOE labs. “Ernest Orlando” was later dropped to shorten the name. Today, the lab is commonly referred to as “Berkeley Lab”.

    The Alvarez Physics Memos are a set of informal working papers of the large group of physicists, engineers, computer programmers, and technicians led by Luis W. Alvarez from the early 1950s until his death in 1988. Over 1700 memos are available on-line, hosted by the Laboratory.

    The lab remains owned by the Department of Energy , with management from the University of California. Companies such as Intel were funding the lab’s research into computing chips.

    Science mission

    From the 1950s through the present, Berkeley Lab has maintained its status as a major international center for physics research, and has also diversified its research program into almost every realm of scientific investigation. Its mission is to solve the most pressing and profound scientific problems facing humanity, conduct basic research for a secure energy future, understand living systems to improve the environment, health, and energy supply, understand matter and energy in the universe, build and safely operate leading scientific facilities for the nation, and train the next generation of scientists and engineers.

    The Laboratory’s 20 scientific divisions are organized within six areas of research: Computing Sciences; Physical Sciences; Earth and Environmental Sciences; Biosciences; Energy Sciences; and Energy Technologies. Berkeley Lab has six main science thrusts: advancing integrated fundamental energy science; integrative biological and environmental system science; advanced computing for science impact; discovering the fundamental properties of matter and energy; accelerators for the future; and developing energy technology innovations for a sustainable future. It was Lawrence’s belief that scientific research is best done through teams of individuals with different fields of expertise, working together. His teamwork concept is a Berkeley Lab tradition that continues today.

    Berkeley Lab operates five major National User Facilities for the DOE Office of Science:

    The Advanced Light Source (ALS) is a synchrotron light source with 41 beam lines providing ultraviolet, soft x-ray, and hard x-ray light to scientific experiments.

    The DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Advanced Light Source.
    The ALS is one of the world’s brightest sources of soft x-rays, which are used to characterize the electronic structure of matter and to reveal microscopic structures with elemental and chemical specificity. About 2,500 scientist-users carry out research at ALS every year. Berkeley Lab is proposing an upgrade of ALS which would increase the coherent flux of soft x-rays by two-three orders of magnitude.

    Berkeley Lab Laser Accelerator (BELLA) Center

    The DOE Joint Genome Institute supports genomic research in support of the DOE missions in alternative energy, global carbon cycling, and environmental management. The JGI’s partner laboratories are Berkeley Lab, DOE’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), DOE’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), and the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology . The JGI’s central role is the development of a diversity of large-scale experimental and computational capabilities to link sequence to biological insights relevant to energy and environmental research. Approximately 1,200 scientist-users take advantage of JGI’s capabilities for their research every year.

    LBNL Molecular Foundry

    The LBNL Molecular Foundry is a multidisciplinary nanoscience research facility. Its seven research facilities focus on Imaging and Manipulation of Nanostructures; Nanofabrication; Theory of Nanostructured Materials; Inorganic Nanostructures; Biological Nanostructures; Organic and Macromolecular Synthesis; and Electron Microscopy. Approximately 700 scientist-users make use of these facilities in their research every year.

    The DOE’s NERSC National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center is the scientific computing facility that provides large-scale computing for the DOE’s unclassified research programs. Its current systems provide over 3 billion computational hours annually. NERSC supports 6,000 scientific users from universities, national laboratories, and industry.

    DOE’s NERSC National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

    Cray Cori II supercomputer at National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center at DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, named after Gerty Cori, the first American woman to win a Nobel Prize in science.

    NERSC Hopper Cray XE6 supercomputer.

    NERSC Cray XC30 Edison supercomputer.

    NERSC GPFS for Life Sciences.

    The Genepool system is a cluster dedicated to the DOE Joint Genome Institute’s computing needs. Denovo is a smaller test system for Genepool that is primarily used by NERSC staff to test new system configurations and software.

    NERSC PDSF computer cluster in 2003.

    PDSF is a networked distributed computing cluster designed primarily to meet the detector simulation and data analysis requirements of physics, astrophysics and nuclear science collaborations.

    Cray Shasta Perlmutter SC18 AMD Epyc Nvidia pre-exascale supercomputer.

    NERSC is a DOE Office of Science User Facility.

    The DOE’s Energy Science Network is a high-speed network infrastructure optimized for very large scientific data flows. ESNet provides connectivity for all major DOE sites and facilities, and the network transports roughly 35 petabytes of traffic each month.

    Berkeley Lab is the lead partner in the DOE’s Joint Bioenergy Institute (JBEI), located in Emeryville, California. Other partners are the DOE’s Sandia National Laboratory, the University of California (UC) campuses of Berkeley and Davis, the Carnegie Institution for Science , and DOE’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). JBEI’s primary scientific mission is to advance the development of the next generation of biofuels – liquid fuels derived from the solar energy stored in plant biomass. JBEI is one of three new U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Bioenergy Research Centers (BRCs).

    Berkeley Lab has a major role in two DOE Energy Innovation Hubs. The mission of the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (JCAP) is to find a cost-effective method to produce fuels using only sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide. The lead institution for JCAP is the California Institute of Technology and Berkeley Lab is the second institutional center. The mission of the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR) is to create next-generation battery technologies that will transform transportation and the electricity grid. DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory leads JCESR and Berkeley Lab is a major partner.

     
  • richardmitnick 8:50 am on December 17, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Energy Strategy 2050", "UrbanTwin - seeing double for sustainability", , , , Energy, Environmental sustainability, , , Urban areas are responsible for 75% of greenhouse gas emissions while rising temperatures significantly impact their liveability.   

    From The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne [EPFL-École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne] (CH): ” ‘UrbanTwin’ – seeing double for sustainability” 

    From The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne [EPFL-École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne] (CH)

    12.16.22
    John Maxwell
    Tanya Petersen

    1
    Credit: EPFL.

    A consortium of Swiss research institutes from the ETH Domain, led by EPFL, has begun working on “UrbanTwin” to make an artificial intelligence-driven and ecologically sensitive model of the energy, water, and waste systems of the town of Aigle. The aim: to help boost sustainability.

    Now, “UrbanTwin”, a collaboration of Swiss research institutions within the ETH Domain, led by EPFL through laboratories of four different schools (STI, ENAC, IC, and SB) and four centers [1], plans to make identical twins of another kind, using neural networks instead of DNA to create a double of a Swiss town. Aigle has been chosen due to its size and because it has an extensive range of water sources and includes very detailed energy monitoring infrastructure previously developed by the Energy Center of EPFL. Lausanne is also a potential partner.

    One of ten nationally funded Joint Initiatives of the ETH Board addressing the strategic areas of energy, climate, and environmental sustainability, “UrbanTwin” aims to develop and validate a holistic tool to support decision-makers in achieving environmental goals, such as the “Energy Strategy 2050” and the vision of climate-adaptive “sponge cities”. The tool will be based on a detailed model of critical urban infrastructure, such as energy, water, buildings, and mobility, accurately simulating the evolution of these interlinked infrastructures under various climate scenarios and assessing the effectiveness of climate-change-related actions.

    “Urban areas are responsible for 75% of greenhouse gas emissions while rising temperatures significantly impact their liveability. They represent a natural integrator of several systems, including energy, water, buildings, and transport. So, they represent the ideal setting for implementing a coordinated, multi-sectoral response to climate changes leveraging digitalization as a systemic approach.” explains David Atienza, Scientific Director of the EPFL’s EcoCloud Center for sustainable cloud computing and Head of EPFL’s Embedded Systems Laboratory (ESL). David Atienza and François Marechal are the coordinators of UrbanTwin.

    “In ‘UrbanTwin’, we want to collect information from multiple sources by using new edge artificial intelligence (AI) platforms and integrate them using cloud computing technologies on a detailed model of critical urban infrastructures, such as energy, water (both clean and waste), buildings, and mobility and their inter-dependencies”, continues Atienza.

    “As a cutting-edge example of what digitalization and AI can offer, this tool will be able to consider underlying socio-economic and environmental factors, while assessing the effectiveness of climate-change-related actions beforehand.”, adds Atienza. “The goal is to develop a technology that is open and can be applied to other urban areas in any region of Switzerland”.

    Also, it was key to have a flexible and realistic urban environment, such as Aigle, to use as case study. “By making reference to the Aigle demonstrator, we will develop an advanced modelling and control framework for the day-ahead and intraday control of urban/rural multi-energy systems. The framework will be capable of integrating the physical constraints of the electrical, mobility, heating/cooling, and water systems, along with the representation of the stochastic nature of the available resources. Based on this framework, a planning tool for integrated energy systems that considers their daily operation will be developed. The aim is to produce planning decisions inherently satisfying daily and intra-day operational needs.”, explains Mario Paolone, Head of EPFL’s Distributed Electrical Systems Laboratory (DESL).

    Technology transfer is a constantly recurring theme, another is inter-institutional collaboration. Five different institutions are taking part: EPFL, ETHZ (The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ETH Zürich [Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich)](CH)), WSL (Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research), EMPA (Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology), and EAWAG (Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology).

    Inter-institutional research cooperation is essential in “UrbanTwin” by having researchers co-directed between multiple laboratories at different institutions. As an example, the water monitoring system will include selecting the best source of freshwater supplies and measuring its quality, as well as modelling the disposal of wastewater. It will include AI technologies that will do detective work as well, with a system that will track sources of pollution as quickly as possible and send alarms with the origin located and reported. To this end, Giulio Masinelli, who is a doctoral student jointly co-supervised by EMPA and EPFL, will work on developing new smart multi-parametric sensing systems to create the digital twin. He has a good appreciation of this project as he is working on a similar approach for advanced manufacturing. “We can generate data by installing sensors on sinks,” explains Masinelli,” measuring water quality around the city, the pH level, the salt concentration and other metrics. We will use machine learning to collect observations, and then make predictions – with physical constraints. These constraints are what make a simulation powerful because it becomes a flexible model with lots of parameters.”

    “Masses of work goes into applying partial differential equations to the data so that the system can be generalized without a drop in quality coming from physical constraints and unfamiliar data. The result is a neural network that can generate results in a couple of milliseconds: the resolution of the partial differential equations. Then you can fine-tune the parameters so that they will work with all data. You must not stay too close to one dataset if you want good predictions,” he continued.

    “UrbanTwin” represents a welcome opportunity for these researchers to collaborate with a range of different teams at a difficult time for Swiss scientists. Participation in Horizon Europe (EU) was lost to Swiss researchers since the country broke off negotiations with the EU in 2021, making national funding the only current option. Atienza is hopeful that “UrbanTwin” can repay the investment of the Swiss government, “if we can improve the way city administrators deal with their resources and raise levels of efficiency it would be a really big step.”

    Currently, AI and cloud computing are used in an ever-increasing number of ways in research, as exemplified by the EcoCloud center of EPFL. Atienza and Marechal are convinced that “Sustainable digital twin technologies will be implemented through “UrbanTwin”, which will provide a great tool to complement decision-makers in their work, searching through vast stores of data to find anomalies, or recommendations, that would take a person too long to find. UrbanTwin will be an AI system, and a holistic one: we expect unexpected results.”

    Unexpected results should not come as a big surprise here – it’s a twin thing.

    [1] Professional science outreach, communication, and scientific project management are assured through four EPFL centers, namely, the Center for Sustainable Cloud Computing (EcoCloud), the Energy Center, the Center for Climate Impact and Action (CLIMACT), and the Center for Intelligent Systems (CIS).

    See the full article here .

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct. Use “Reply”.

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    EPFL bloc

    EPFL campus

    The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne [EPFL-École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne] (CH) is a research institute and university in Lausanne, Switzerland, that specializes in natural sciences and engineering. It is one of the two Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology, and it has three main missions: education, research and technology transfer.

    The QS World University Rankings ranks EPFL(CH) 14th in the world across all fields in their 2020/2021 ranking, whereas Times Higher Education World University Rankings ranks EPFL(CH) as the world’s 19th best school for Engineering and Technology in 2020.

    EPFL(CH) is located in the French-speaking part of Switzerland; the sister institution in the German-speaking part of Switzerland is The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ETH Zürich [Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich] (CH). Associated with several specialized research institutes, the two universities form The Domain of the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology (ETH Domain) [ETH-Bereich; Domaine des Écoles Polytechniques Fédérales] (CH) which is directly dependent on the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research. In connection with research and teaching activities, EPFL(CH) operates a nuclear reactor CROCUS; a Tokamak Fusion reactor; a Blue Gene/Q Supercomputer; and P3 bio-hazard facilities.

    ETH Zürich, EPFL (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne) [École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne](CH), and four associated research institutes form The Domain of the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology (ETH Domain) [ETH-Bereich; Domaine des Écoles polytechniques fédérales] (CH) with the aim of collaborating on scientific projects.

    The roots of modern-day EPFL(CH) can be traced back to the foundation of a private school under the name École Spéciale de Lausanne in 1853 at the initiative of Lois Rivier, a graduate of the École Centrale Paris (FR) and John Gay the then professor and rector of the Académie de Lausanne. At its inception it had only 11 students and the offices were located at Rue du Valentin in Lausanne. In 1869, it became the technical department of the public Académie de Lausanne. When the Académie was reorganized and acquired the status of a university in 1890, the technical faculty changed its name to École d’Ingénieurs de l’Université de Lausanne. In 1946, it was renamed the École polytechnique de l’Université de Lausanne (EPUL). In 1969, the EPUL was separated from the rest of the University of Lausanne and became a federal institute under its current name. EPFL(CH), like ETH Zürich (CH), is thus directly controlled by the Swiss federal government. In contrast, all other universities in Switzerland are controlled by their respective cantonal governments. Following the nomination of Patrick Aebischer as president in 2000, EPFL(CH) has started to develop into the field of life sciences. It absorbed the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research (ISREC) in 2008.

    In 1946, there were 360 students. In 1969, EPFL(CH) had 1,400 students and 55 professors. In the past two decades the university has grown rapidly and as of 2012 roughly 14,000 people study or work on campus, about 9,300 of these being Bachelor, Master or PhD students. The environment at modern day EPFL(CH) is highly international with the school attracting students and researchers from all over the world. More than 125 countries are represented on the campus and the university has two official languages, French and English.

    Organization

    EPFL is organized into eight schools, themselves formed of institutes that group research units (laboratories or chairs) around common themes:

    School of Basic Sciences
    Institute of Mathematics
    Institute of Chemical Sciences and Engineering
    Institute of Physics
    European Centre of Atomic and Molecular Computations
    Bernoulli Center
    Biomedical Imaging Research Center
    Interdisciplinary Center for Electron Microscopy
    MPG-EPFL Centre for Molecular Nanosciences and Technology
    Swiss Plasma Center
    Laboratory of Astrophysics

    School of Engineering

    Institute of Electrical Engineering
    Institute of Mechanical Engineering
    Institute of Materials
    Institute of Microengineering
    Institute of Bioengineering

    School of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering

    Institute of Architecture
    Civil Engineering Institute
    Institute of Urban and Regional Sciences
    Environmental Engineering Institute

    School of Computer and Communication Sciences

    Algorithms & Theoretical Computer Science
    Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning
    Computational Biology
    Computer Architecture & Integrated Systems
    Data Management & Information Retrieval
    Graphics & Vision
    Human-Computer Interaction
    Information & Communication Theory
    Networking
    Programming Languages & Formal Methods
    Security & Cryptography
    Signal & Image Processing
    Systems

    School of Life Sciences

    Bachelor-Master Teaching Section in Life Sciences and Technologies
    Brain Mind Institute
    Institute of Bioengineering
    Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research
    Global Health Institute
    Ten Technology Platforms & Core Facilities (PTECH)
    Center for Phenogenomics
    NCCR Synaptic Bases of Mental Diseases

    College of Management of Technology

    Swiss Finance Institute at EPFL
    Section of Management of Technology and Entrepreneurship
    Institute of Technology and Public Policy
    Institute of Management of Technology and Entrepreneurship
    Section of Financial Engineering

    College of Humanities

    Human and social sciences teaching program

    EPFL Middle East

    Section of Energy Management and Sustainability

    In addition to the eight schools there are seven closely related institutions

    Swiss Cancer Centre
    Center for Biomedical Imaging (CIBM)
    Centre for Advanced Modelling Science (CADMOS)
    École Cantonale d’art de Lausanne (ECAL)
    Campus Biotech
    Wyss Center for Bio- and Neuro-engineering
    Swiss National Supercomputing Centre

     
  • richardmitnick 9:23 pm on November 23, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "AMD": Acid mine drainage, "CMs": Critical minerals, "New process developed to extract high purity rare earth element oxides", "REEs": Rare earth elements, , , , , Energy, , Mineral Engineering, Significant consequences for the economic and national security of the United States,   

    From The Pennsylvania State University: “New process developed to extract high purity rare earth element oxides” 

    Penn State Bloc

    From The Pennsylvania State University

    11.21.22
    Patricia Craig
    plc103@psu.edu
    814-863-4663

    1
    Pennsylvania stream impacted by acid mine drainage. Credit: Penn State.

    Critical minerals, including rare earth elements, are used to power devices like smartphones and computers and are essential to our nation’s economy and national security. Penn State’s Center for Critical Minerals has developed a new purification process that extracts mixed rare earth oxides from acid mine drainage and associated sludges at purities of 88.5%.

    Critical minerals (CMs), including the 17 rare earth elements (REEs), are used in many common household products like smartphones and computers, and in many commercial products such as electric vehicles, batteries and solar panels. Demand for them has skyrocketed, and they are classified as critical because they have high economic importance, high supply risk, and their absence would have significant consequences on the economic and national security of the United States.

    Acid mine drainage (AMD) and associated solids and precipitates resulting from AMD treatment have been found to be viable sources of multiple CMs, including REEs, aluminum, cobalt and manganese.

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has funded efforts to demonstrate both the technical feasibility and economic viability of extracting, separating and recovering REEs and CMs from U.S. coal and coal by-product sources, with the goal of achieving mixed rare earth oxides from coal-based resources with minimum purities of 75%.

    “We have been working to develop strategies to recover CMs and REEs from these waste streams and have achieved a milestone of 88.5% grade REEs,” said Sarma Pisupati, professor of energy and mineral engineering and director of the Center for Critical Minerals at Penn State. “The current target set by the DOE for achieving mixed rare earth oxides is 75% and we have surpassed that target.”

    Acid mine drainage and associated sludge material representing the Lower Kittanning coal bed were obtained from three treatment sites operated by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and were characterized and evaluated for recovery of multiple critical minerals.

    2
    Acid mine drainage treatment site operated by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. Credit: Penn State.

    A novel purification process, based on a previously developed three-stage AMD treatment process, was designed to recover high-grade aluminum, REE, cobalt and manganese products from the sludge materials through aqueous processing with multiple cleaner steps and precise control of the process parameters, according to the researchers.

    “The extraction of REEs and CMs directly from AMD eliminates the need for the dissolution of sludge and associated costs of reagents and processing, resulting in more sustainable waste disposal practices with low cost,” said Mohammad Rezaee, assistant professor of mining engineering at Penn State and co-author on the study. “We have demonstrated that we are able to turn these waste streams, which have been of environmental concerns for decades, into valuable resources, so this is a win-win for the environment, the commonwealth and the nation.”

    AMD is typically treated by adding lime or other chemicals to raise the pH to 7.

    “Typically, AMD is neutralized through the addition of various alkaline chemicals,” said Rezaee, who also holds the Centennial Career Development Professorship in Mining Engineering. “As the pH of the AMD increases during the treatment process, metals precipitate as metal hydroxides or other complexes.”

    In the new system, the pH is still raised to a pH of 7, but in stages.

    “Instead of adding sodium hydroxide, calcium hydroxide or lime all at once to raise the pH, we are raising it in stages,” said Pisupati. “The advantage of this method is that it allows certain minerals to precipitate out at different pH levels. If we add in our base all at once and bring the pH to 7, all these things will precipitate at the same time. Then we would need to go back and separate them.”

    The researchers raised the pH to the level needed for iron to precipitate and then to the pH needed for aluminum to precipitate. After iron and aluminum are removed, REEs are recovered through carbonate precipitation, according to the researchers.

    “Our challenge was that we could not get 100% of the iron and aluminum removed; there was a little bit of residue in the REE concentration,” said Pisupati. “Even if you have only 1% of aluminum content in the mixture it dominates, and your quality of rare earths will not be as pure. This was addressed in the new purification process.”

    In the purification process, precipitates that were removed are put back though the cycle to remove iron, aluminum and other residues.

    “In the purification process, we go through the cycle all over again, going back to a pH of 3 or 3.5 and starting all over,” said Pisupati. “We are getting rid of the other residues slowly, maybe two times or three times through the cycle, to increase the REE purity. In our previous research we were at about 17% to 18% grade, so this is a significant accomplishment.”

    3
    Experimental laboratory setup in Penn State’s Center for Critical Minerals. Credit: Penn State.

    4
    Graphical abstract

    Behzad Vaziri Hassas and Younes Shekarian, both graduate students in energy and mineral engineering, also participated in this research.

    Recoveries of more than 99% for the target elements were achieved with the design of a recycling load. In the original three-stage precipitation process, the cobalt and manganese precipitates had a concentration of 0.85% and 23%, respectively. As a result of the purification process, their concentrations were increased to 1.3% and 43%, respectively. The scientists reported their findings in Minerals Engineering.

    See the full article here .

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct.

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Penn State Campus

    The The Pennsylvania State University is a public state-related land-grant research university with campuses and facilities throughout Pennsylvania. Founded in 1855 as the Farmers’ High School of Pennsylvania, Penn State became the state’s only land-grant university in 1863. Today, Penn State is a major research university which conducts teaching, research, and public service. Its instructional mission includes undergraduate, graduate, professional and continuing education offered through resident instruction and online delivery. In addition to its land-grant designation, it also participates in the sea-grant, space-grant, and sun-grant research consortia; it is one of only four such universities (along with Cornell University, Oregon State University, and University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa). Its University Park campus, which is the largest and serves as the administrative hub, lies within the Borough of State College and College Township. It has two law schools: Penn State Law, on the school’s University Park campus, and Dickinson Law, in Carlisle. The College of Medicine is in Hershey. Penn State is one university that is geographically distributed throughout Pennsylvania. There are 19 commonwealth campuses and 5 special mission campuses located across the state. The University Park campus has been labeled one of the “Public Ivies,” a publicly funded university considered as providing a quality of education comparable to those of the Ivy League.
    The Pennsylvania State University is a member of The Association of American Universities an organization of American research universities devoted to maintaining a strong system of academic research and education.

    Annual enrollment at the University Park campus totals more than 46,800 graduate and undergraduate students, making it one of the largest universities in the United States. It has the world’s largest dues-paying alumni association. The university offers more than 160 majors among all its campuses.

    Annually, the university hosts the Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon (THON), which is the world’s largest student-run philanthropy. This event is held at the Bryce Jordan Center on the University Park campus. The university’s athletics teams compete in Division I of the NCAA and are collectively known as the Penn State Nittany Lions, competing in the Big Ten Conference for most sports. Penn State students, alumni, faculty and coaches have received a total of 54 Olympic medals.

    Early years

    The school was sponsored by the Pennsylvania State Agricultural Society and founded as a degree-granting institution on February 22, 1855, by Pennsylvania’s state legislature as the Farmers’ High School of Pennsylvania. The use of “college” or “university” was avoided because of local prejudice against such institutions as being impractical in their courses of study. Centre County, Pennsylvania, became the home of the new school when James Irvin of Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, donated 200 acres (0.8 km2) of land – the first of 10,101 acres (41 km^2) the school would eventually acquire. In 1862, the school’s name was changed to the Agricultural College of Pennsylvania, and with the passage of the Morrill Land-Grant Acts, Pennsylvania selected the school in 1863 to be the state’s sole land-grant college. The school’s name changed to the Pennsylvania State College in 1874; enrollment fell to 64 undergraduates the following year as the school tried to balance purely agricultural studies with a more classic education.

    George W. Atherton became president of the school in 1882, and broadened the curriculum. Shortly after he introduced engineering studies, Penn State became one of the ten largest engineering schools in the nation. Atherton also expanded the liberal arts and agriculture programs, for which the school began receiving regular appropriations from the state in 1887. A major road in State College has been named in Atherton’s honor. Additionally, Penn State’s Atherton Hall, a well-furnished and centrally located residence hall, is named not after George Atherton himself, but after his wife, Frances Washburn Atherton. His grave is in front of Schwab Auditorium near Old Main, marked by an engraved marble block in front of his statue.

    Early 20th century

    In the years that followed, Penn State grew significantly, becoming the state’s largest grantor of baccalaureate degrees and reaching an enrollment of 5,000 in 1936. Around that time, a system of commonwealth campuses was started by President Ralph Dorn Hetzel to provide an alternative for Depression-era students who were economically unable to leave home to attend college.

    In 1953, President Milton S. Eisenhower, brother of then-U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower, sought and won permission to elevate the school to university status as The Pennsylvania State University. Under his successor Eric A. Walker (1956–1970), the university acquired hundreds of acres of surrounding land, and enrollment nearly tripled. In addition, in 1967, the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, a college of medicine and hospital, was established in Hershey with a $50 million gift from the Hershey Trust Company.

    Modern era

    In the 1970s, the university became a state-related institution. As such, it now belongs to the Commonwealth System of Higher Education. In 1975, the lyrics in Penn State’s alma mater song were revised to be gender-neutral in honor of International Women’s Year; the revised lyrics were taken from the posthumously-published autobiography of the writer of the original lyrics, Fred Lewis Pattee, and Professor Patricia Farrell acted as a spokesperson for those who wanted the change.

    In 1989, the Pennsylvania College of Technology in Williamsport joined ranks with the university, and in 2000, so did the Dickinson School of Law. The university is now the largest in Pennsylvania. To offset the lack of funding due to the limited growth in state appropriations to Penn State, the university has concentrated its efforts on philanthropy.

    Research

    Penn State is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”. Over 10,000 students are enrolled in the university’s graduate school (including the law and medical schools), and over 70,000 degrees have been awarded since the school was founded in 1922.

    Penn State’s research and development expenditure has been on the rise in recent years. For fiscal year 2013, according to institutional rankings of total research expenditures for science and engineering released by the National Science Foundation , Penn State stood second in the nation, behind only Johns Hopkins University and tied with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology , in the number of fields in which it is ranked in the top ten. Overall, Penn State ranked 17th nationally in total research expenditures across the board. In 12 individual fields, however, the university achieved rankings in the top ten nationally. The fields and sub-fields in which Penn State ranked in the top ten are materials (1st), psychology (2nd), mechanical engineering (3rd), sociology (3rd), electrical engineering (4th), total engineering (5th), aerospace engineering (8th), computer science (8th), agricultural sciences (8th), civil engineering (9th), atmospheric sciences (9th), and earth sciences (9th). Moreover, in eleven of these fields, the university has repeated top-ten status every year since at least 2008. For fiscal year 2011, the National Science Foundation reported that Penn State had spent $794.846 million on R&D and ranked 15th among U.S. universities and colleges in R&D spending.

    For the 2008–2009 fiscal year, Penn State was ranked ninth among U.S. universities by the National Science Foundation, with $753 million in research and development spending for science and engineering. During the 2015–2016 fiscal year, Penn State received $836 million in research expenditures.

    The Applied Research Lab (ARL), located near the University Park campus, has been a research partner with the Department of Defense since 1945 and conducts research primarily in support of the United States Navy. It is the largest component of Penn State’s research efforts statewide, with over 1,000 researchers and other staff members.

    The Materials Research Institute was created to coordinate the highly diverse and growing materials activities across Penn State’s University Park campus. With more than 200 faculty in 15 departments, 4 colleges, and 2 Department of Defense research laboratories, MRI was designed to break down the academic walls that traditionally divide disciplines and enable faculty to collaborate across departmental and even college boundaries. MRI has become a model for this interdisciplinary approach to research, both within and outside the university. Dr. Richard E. Tressler was an international leader in the development of high-temperature materials. He pioneered high-temperature fiber testing and use, advanced instrumentation and test methodologies for thermostructural materials, and design and performance verification of ceramics and composites in high-temperature aerospace, industrial, and energy applications. He was founding director of the Center for Advanced Materials (CAM), which supported many faculty and students from the College of Earth and Mineral Science, the Eberly College of Science, the College of Engineering, the Materials Research Laboratory and the Applied Research Laboratories at Penn State on high-temperature materials. His vision for Interdisciplinary research played a key role in creating the Materials Research Institute, and the establishment of Penn State as an acknowledged leader among major universities in materials education and research.

    The university was one of the founding members of the Worldwide Universities Network (WUN), a partnership that includes 17 research-led universities in the United States, Asia, and Europe. The network provides funding, facilitates collaboration between universities, and coordinates exchanges of faculty members and graduate students among institutions. Former Penn State president Graham Spanier is a former vice-chair of the WUN.

    The Pennsylvania State University Libraries were ranked 14th among research libraries in North America in the 2003–2004 survey released by The Chronicle of Higher Education. The university’s library system began with a 1,500-book library in Old Main. In 2009, its holdings had grown to 5.2 million volumes, in addition to 500,000 maps, five million microforms, and 180,000 films and videos.

    The university’s College of Information Sciences and Technology is the home of CiteSeerX, an open-access repository and search engine for scholarly publications. The university is also the host to the Radiation Science & Engineering Center, which houses the oldest operating university research reactor. Additionally, University Park houses the Graduate Program in Acoustics, the only freestanding acoustics program in the United States. The university also houses the Center for Medieval Studies, a program that was founded to research and study the European Middle Ages, and the Center for the Study of Higher Education (CSHE), one of the first centers established to research postsecondary education.

     
  • richardmitnick 5:27 pm on November 15, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Advanced Light Source Upgrade Approved to Start Construction", , , , Brighter beams mean better science., , , , Energy, , , , , , The ALS specializes in “soft” X-rays., The ALS upgrade will enable researchers to make scientific advances in many different areas for the next 30 to 40 years., The DOE approval-known as Critical Decision 3 (CD-3)-formally releases funds for purchasing and building and installing upgrades to the ALS., , The upgraded ALS will squeeze the X-ray beams from about 100 microns (thousandths of a millimeter) to only a few microns wide.,   

    From The DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory: “Advanced Light Source Upgrade Approved to Start Construction” 

    From The DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

    11.15.22
    Lauren Biron

    Berkeley Lab’s biggest project in three decades now moves from planning to execution. The ALS upgrade will make brighter beams for research into new materials, chemical reactions, and biological processes.

    The Advanced Light Source (ALS) [below], a scientific user facility at The DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, has received federal approval to start construction on an upgrade that will boost the brightness of its X-ray beams at least a hundredfold.

    “The ALS upgrade is an amazing engineering undertaking that is going to give us an even more powerful scientific tool,” said Berkeley Lab Director Michael Witherell. “I can’t wait to see the many ways researchers use it to improve the world and tackle some of the biggest challenges facing society today.”

    Scientists will use the upgraded ALS for research spanning biology; chemistry; physics; and materials, energy, and environmental sciences. The brighter, more laser-like light will help experts better understand what’s happening at extremely small scales as reactions and processes take place. These insights can have a huge array of applications, such as improving batteries and clean energy technologies, creating new materials for sensors and computing, and investigating biological matter to develop better medicines.

    “That’s the wonderful thing about the ALS: The applications are so broad and the impact is so profound,” said Dave Robin, the project director for the ALS upgrade. “What really excites me every day is knowing that, when it’s complete, the ALS upgrade will enable researchers to make scientific advances in many different areas for the next 30 to 40 years.”

    The DOE approval, known as Critical Decision 3 (CD-3), formally releases funds for purchasing, building, and installing upgrades to the ALS. This includes constructing an entirely new storage ring and accumulator ring, building four feature (two new and two upgraded) beamlines, and installing seismic and shielding upgrades for the concrete structure housing the equipment.

    4
    A cutaway view of the Advanced Light Source shows the new accumulator and storage ring that will be installed during the ALS Upgrade project. (Credit: Berkeley Lab)

    The $590 million project is the biggest investment at Berkeley Lab since the ALS was built in 1993.

    Brighter beams, better science

    The ALS generates X-rays by circulating electrons through a 600-foot-circumference storage ring. As the electrons travel through this series of magnets, they radiate light along beamlines to stations where researchers conduct experiments. The light comes in many wavelengths, but the ALS specializes in “soft” X-rays that reveal the electronic, magnetic, and chemical properties of materials.

    The upgraded ALS will use a new storage ring [see cutaway above] with more advanced magnets that can better steer and focus the electrons, in turn creating brighter, tighter beams of light. This will squeeze the X-ray beams from about 100 microns (thousandths of a millimeter) to only a few microns wide, meaning researchers can image their samples with even finer resolution and over shorter timescales. It’s like switching from a cell phone camera in dim light to a top-of-the-line high-speed camera in vivid daylight.

    2
    The beam profile of Berkeley Lab’s Advanced Light Source today (left), compared to the highly focused beam (right) that will be available after the upgrade. Credit: Berkeley Lab.

    “With the upgrade, we’ll be able to routinely study how samples change in 3D – something that is currently very difficult to do,” said Andreas Scholl, a physicist at Berkeley Lab and the interim division director for the ALS. “One of our goals is to find and develop the materials that will be essential for the next generation of technologies in areas like energy storage and computing.”

    With 40 beamlines and more than 1,600 users per year, the ALS supports a variety of research. For example, researchers can look at how microbes break down toxins, study how substances interact to produce better solar cells or biofuels, and test magnetic materials that could have applications in microelectronics. Teams will build two new beamlines optimized to take advantage of the improved light, and realign and upgrade several existing beamlines.

    One crucial element of the upgrade already underway is a second ring known as the accumulator, which will take electrons made by the accelerator complex and prepare them for the new storage ring. Construction began on the accumulator in 2020 with a special advance approval known as CD-3a. By installing and testing the accumulator first, teams can minimize how long ALS operations will be paused to complete the upgrade.

    See the full article here.

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    LBNL campus

    Bringing Science Solutions to the World

    In the world of science, The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) is synonymous with “excellence.” Thirteen Nobel prizes are associated with Berkeley Lab. Seventy Lab scientists are members of the The National Academy of Sciences, one of the highest honors for a scientist in the United States. Thirteen of our scientists have won the National Medal of Science, our nation’s highest award for lifetime achievement in fields of scientific research. Eighteen of our engineers have been elected to the The National Academy of Engineering, and three of our scientists have been elected into the Institute of Medicine. In addition, Berkeley Lab has trained thousands of university science and engineering students who are advancing technological innovations across the nation and around the world.

    Berkeley Lab is a member of the national laboratory system supported by The DOE through its Office of Science. It is managed by the University of California and is charged with conducting unclassified research across a wide range of scientific disciplines. Located on a 202-acre site in the hills above The University of California-Berkeley campus that offers spectacular views of the San Francisco Bay, Berkeley Lab employs approximately 3,232 scientists, engineers and support staff. The Lab’s total costs for FY 2014 were $785 million. A recent study estimates the Laboratory’s overall economic impact through direct, indirect and induced spending on the nine counties that make up the San Francisco Bay Area to be nearly $700 million annually. The Lab was also responsible for creating 5,600 jobs locally and 12,000 nationally. The overall economic impact on the national economy is estimated at $1.6 billion a year. Technologies developed at Berkeley Lab have generated billions of dollars in revenues, and thousands of jobs. Savings as a result of Berkeley Lab developments in lighting and windows, and other energy-efficient technologies, have also been in the billions of dollars.

    Berkeley Lab was founded in 1931 by Ernest Orlando Lawrence, a University of California-Berkeley physicist who won the 1939 Nobel Prize in physics for his invention of the cyclotron, a circular particle accelerator that opened the door to high-energy physics. It was Lawrence’s belief that scientific research is best done through teams of individuals with different fields of expertise, working together. His teamwork concept is a Berkeley Lab legacy that continues today.

    History

    1931–1941

    The laboratory was founded on August 26, 1931, by Ernest Lawrence, as the Radiation Laboratory of the University of California-Berkeley, associated with the Physics Department. It centered physics research around his new instrument, the cyclotron, a type of particle accelerator for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1939.

    LBNL 88 inch cyclotron.

    LBNL 88 inch cyclotron.

    Throughout the 1930s, Lawrence pushed to create larger and larger machines for physics research, courting private philanthropists for funding. He was the first to develop a large team to build big projects to make discoveries in basic research. Eventually these machines grew too large to be held on the university grounds, and in 1940 the lab moved to its current site atop the hill above campus. Part of the team put together during this period includes two other young scientists who went on to establish large laboratories; J. Robert Oppenheimer founded The DOE’s Los Alamos Laboratory, and Robert Wilson founded The DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory.

    1942–1950

    Leslie Groves visited Lawrence’s Radiation Laboratory in late 1942 as he was organizing the Manhattan Project, meeting J. Robert Oppenheimer for the first time. Oppenheimer was tasked with organizing the nuclear bomb development effort and founded today’s Los Alamos National Laboratory to help keep the work secret. At the RadLab, Lawrence and his colleagues developed the technique of electromagnetic enrichment of uranium using their experience with cyclotrons. The “calutrons” (named after the University) became the basic unit of the massive Y-12 facility in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Lawrence’s lab helped contribute to what have been judged to be the three most valuable technology developments of the war (the atomic bomb, proximity fuse, and radar). The cyclotron, whose construction was stalled during the war, was finished in November 1946. The Manhattan Project shut down two months later.

    1951–2018

    After the war, the Radiation Laboratory became one of the first laboratories to be incorporated into the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) (now The Department of Energy . The most highly classified work remained at Los Alamos, but the RadLab remained involved. Edward Teller suggested setting up a second lab similar to Los Alamos to compete with their designs. This led to the creation of an offshoot of the RadLab (now The DOE’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory) in 1952. Some of the RadLab’s work was transferred to the new lab, but some classified research continued at Berkeley Lab until the 1970s, when it became a laboratory dedicated only to unclassified scientific research.

    Shortly after the death of Lawrence in August 1958, the UC Radiation Laboratory (both branches) was renamed the Lawrence Radiation Laboratory. The Berkeley location became the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory in 1971, although many continued to call it the RadLab. Gradually, another shortened form came into common usage, LBNL. Its formal name was amended to Ernest Orlando Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in 1995, when “National” was added to the names of all DOE labs. “Ernest Orlando” was later dropped to shorten the name. Today, the lab is commonly referred to as “Berkeley Lab”.

    The Alvarez Physics Memos are a set of informal working papers of the large group of physicists, engineers, computer programmers, and technicians led by Luis W. Alvarez from the early 1950s until his death in 1988. Over 1700 memos are available on-line, hosted by the Laboratory.

    The lab remains owned by the Department of Energy , with management from the University of California. Companies such as Intel were funding the lab’s research into computing chips.

    Science mission

    From the 1950s through the present, Berkeley Lab has maintained its status as a major international center for physics research, and has also diversified its research program into almost every realm of scientific investigation. Its mission is to solve the most pressing and profound scientific problems facing humanity, conduct basic research for a secure energy future, understand living systems to improve the environment, health, and energy supply, understand matter and energy in the universe, build and safely operate leading scientific facilities for the nation, and train the next generation of scientists and engineers.

    The Laboratory’s 20 scientific divisions are organized within six areas of research: Computing Sciences; Physical Sciences; Earth and Environmental Sciences; Biosciences; Energy Sciences; and Energy Technologies. Berkeley Lab has six main science thrusts: advancing integrated fundamental energy science; integrative biological and environmental system science; advanced computing for science impact; discovering the fundamental properties of matter and energy; accelerators for the future; and developing energy technology innovations for a sustainable future. It was Lawrence’s belief that scientific research is best done through teams of individuals with different fields of expertise, working together. His teamwork concept is a Berkeley Lab tradition that continues today.

    Berkeley Lab operates five major National User Facilities for the DOE Office of Science:

    The Advanced Light Source (ALS) is a synchrotron light source with 41 beam lines providing ultraviolet, soft x-ray, and hard x-ray light to scientific experiments.

    The DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Advanced Light Source.
    The ALS is one of the world’s brightest sources of soft x-rays, which are used to characterize the electronic structure of matter and to reveal microscopic structures with elemental and chemical specificity. About 2,500 scientist-users carry out research at ALS every year. Berkeley Lab is proposing an upgrade of ALS which would increase the coherent flux of soft x-rays by two-three orders of magnitude.

    Berkeley Lab Laser Accelerator (BELLA) Center

    The DOE Joint Genome Institute supports genomic research in support of the DOE missions in alternative energy, global carbon cycling, and environmental management. The JGI’s partner laboratories are Berkeley Lab, DOE’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), DOE’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), and the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology . The JGI’s central role is the development of a diversity of large-scale experimental and computational capabilities to link sequence to biological insights relevant to energy and environmental research. Approximately 1,200 scientist-users take advantage of JGI’s capabilities for their research every year.

    LBNL Molecular Foundry

    The LBNL Molecular Foundry is a multidisciplinary nanoscience research facility. Its seven research facilities focus on Imaging and Manipulation of Nanostructures; Nanofabrication; Theory of Nanostructured Materials; Inorganic Nanostructures; Biological Nanostructures; Organic and Macromolecular Synthesis; and Electron Microscopy. Approximately 700 scientist-users make use of these facilities in their research every year.

    The DOE’s NERSC National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center is the scientific computing facility that provides large-scale computing for the DOE’s unclassified research programs. Its current systems provide over 3 billion computational hours annually. NERSC supports 6,000 scientific users from universities, national laboratories, and industry.

    DOE’s NERSC National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

    Cray Cori II supercomputer at National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center at DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, named after Gerty Cori, the first American woman to win a Nobel Prize in science.

    NERSC Hopper Cray XE6 supercomputer.

    NERSC Cray XC30 Edison supercomputer.

    NERSC GPFS for Life Sciences.

    The Genepool system is a cluster dedicated to the DOE Joint Genome Institute’s computing needs. Denovo is a smaller test system for Genepool that is primarily used by NERSC staff to test new system configurations and software.

    NERSC PDSF computer cluster in 2003.

    PDSF is a networked distributed computing cluster designed primarily to meet the detector simulation and data analysis requirements of physics, astrophysics and nuclear science collaborations.

    Cray Shasta Perlmutter SC18 AMD Epyc Nvidia pre-exascale supercomputer.

    NERSC is a DOE Office of Science User Facility.

    The DOE’s Energy Science Network is a high-speed network infrastructure optimized for very large scientific data flows. ESNet provides connectivity for all major DOE sites and facilities, and the network transports roughly 35 petabytes of traffic each month.

    Berkeley Lab is the lead partner in the DOE’s Joint Bioenergy Institute (JBEI), located in Emeryville, California. Other partners are the DOE’s Sandia National Laboratory, the University of California (UC) campuses of Berkeley and Davis, the Carnegie Institution for Science , and DOE’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). JBEI’s primary scientific mission is to advance the development of the next generation of biofuels – liquid fuels derived from the solar energy stored in plant biomass. JBEI is one of three new U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Bioenergy Research Centers (BRCs).

    Berkeley Lab has a major role in two DOE Energy Innovation Hubs. The mission of the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (JCAP) is to find a cost-effective method to produce fuels using only sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide. The lead institution for JCAP is the California Institute of Technology and Berkeley Lab is the second institutional center. The mission of the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR) is to create next-generation battery technologies that will transform transportation and the electricity grid. DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory leads JCESR and Berkeley Lab is a major partner.

     
  • richardmitnick 8:33 am on September 25, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: " CAISO": the California Independent System Operator, "Dodging Blackouts California Faces New Questions on Its Power Supply", About 2000 megawatts of natural gas units-enough to power almost 1.5 million homes-were offline or operating at less than their full potential., An increasing share of electricity is coming from solar and wind farms that produce power only when the sun shines or the wind blows., , As climate change makes extreme weather events more frequent the peril has only increased., As electricity demand kept increasing so did prices-some to almost $2000 per megawatt-hour-compared with normal prices of less than $100., As Sept. 6 arrived it did not take long for temperatures to surge back into the 100s with Sacramento setting a record high of 116 degrees., CAISO told utilities to prepare to cut off power to hundreds of thousands of customers., CAISO’s forecasters were projecting the highest demand the system had ever seen-51276 megawatts., California did help neighboring states affected by the extreme heat-Nevada in particular-just as other states provided support to California., California finds itself on edge more than ever with a lingering fear: the threat of rolling blackouts for years to come., California relies heavily on energy from other states., California’s grid is connected by transmission lines to other Western states and Canadian provinces allowing it to import and export power., , , During a heat wave this month the operator of California’s electric grid faced the highest demand the system had ever seen., , Energy, Even as California was facing record demand its power lines were sending power to other parts of the region-in some cases to fulfill contracts between producers and utilities., Even with the exports the state imported more power that day than it shared., Governor Newsom ordered emergency warnings to be sent to 27 million cellphones in areas of high demand like Los Angeles urged people to avoid nonessential power use., , The state’s electric system must depend on and compete with neighbors for what is sold in energy markets., The transition away from fossil fuels has complicated energy operations., The typical customer in California pays about $290 a month for electricity compared with $154 for the average U.S. resident., Utilities began firing up backup generators.   

    From “The New York Times” : “Dodging Blackouts California Faces New Questions on Its Power Supply” 

    From “The New York Times”

    9.25.22
    Ivan Penn

    1
    Power lines in Cathedral City, Calif. During a heat wave this month the operator of California’s electric grid faced the highest demand the system had ever seen. Credit: Alex Welsh for The New York Times.

    California finds itself on edge more than ever with a lingering fear: the threat of rolling blackouts for years to come.

    Despite adding new power plants, building huge battery storage systems and restarting some shuttered fossil fuel generators over the last couple of years, California relies heavily on energy from other states — the cavalry rushing over a distant hill.

    Sometimes the support does not show up when expected, or at all. That was the case this month, when millions of residents got cellphone alerts urging them to cut their energy use as the state teetered close to blackouts in blazing heat.

    As climate change makes extreme weather events more frequent the peril has only increased.

    “Weather volatility wreaks havoc on energy systems,” said Evan Caron, a 20-year veteran of the energy industry as a trader and investor who handles venture investments for Riverstone Holdings, a private equity firm in New York. “They’ve created complex systems to help try to figure out how to balance demand, but the system is an imperfect system.”

    Where local utilities once produced, transmitted and delivered electricity to their customers, a cast of players now orchestrates the service in most areas of the country. There are power plant owners, energy traders who buy and sell excess power not committed in contracts, utilities that deliver electricity to customers, electric grid managers who coordinate it all.

    California’s grid is connected by transmission lines to other Western states and Canadian provinces allowing it to import and export power. Like any big marketplace, the system has advantages of scale, allowing resources to be redirected to where they are needed. But California’s experience has revealed a number of vulnerabilities — in the system’s design and in the region’s generating capacity — that create the potential for failure.

    The transition away from fossil fuels has complicated energy operations, as an increasing share of electricity is coming from solar and wind farms that produce power only when the sun shines or the wind blows, making the available supply more variable over a 24-hour period.

    Part of President Biden’s strategy to reduce emissions and counter the effects of climate change is to increase the delivery of clean energy from one area, state or region to another — say, from Wyoming wind farms or Arizona solar farms to California homes and offices — an effort backed by hundreds of billions of dollars in this year’s Inflation Reduction Act and other measures.

    But until those plans yield a significant increase in energy generation and transmission, grid managers like the California Independent System Operator, or CAISO, which runs 80 percent of the state’s electric system must depend on and compete with neighbors for what is sold in energy markets. That means California risks falling short during periods of peak demand, like the one it experienced on Sept. 6.

    With temperatures soaring throughout the West, CAISO faced rising prices in the regional market that it operates to buy and sell energy. As electricity demand kept increasing so did prices-some to almost $2,000 per megawatt-hour-compared with normal prices of less than $100.

    “Where the risk comes is if we can’t get our prices high enough compared to the rest of the West to get any imports,” said Carrie Bentley, the co-founder and chief executive of Gridwell Consulting, which focuses on energy markets in the West. “Prices in the desert Southwest were a little higher, so we were competing with them. There just wasn’t enough supply.”

    Coping With a Crisis

    As Sept. 6 arrived, Elliot Mainzer, CAISO’s chief executive, knew he was facing one of his organization’s toughest days.

    Its meteorologists, along with those at the National Weather Service, were forecasting record heat. With overnight lows in the 80s in much of the state, it did not take long for temperatures to surge back into the 100s with Sacramento setting a record high of 116 degrees.

    Just before Mr. Mainzer and a hundred other people from utilities, smaller grid operators and emergency services got on a 9 a.m. call with Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office, CAISO’s forecasters were projecting the highest demand the system had ever seen-51276 megawatts. The peak, set 16 years earlier, was 50,270.

    “We were seeing that there were going to be some significant shortfalls,” Mr. Mainzer said. “It’s not just the demand and the heat, but wildfires, smoke and cloud cover were affecting the system.”

    About 2,000 megawatts of natural gas units — enough to power almost 1.5 million homes — were offline or operating at less than their full potential.

    One problem was that natural gas plants become overly strained in extreme heat. The Ormond Beach Generating Station, a 51-year-old gas plant an hour’s drive up the coast from Los Angeles, was repeatedly forced offline in the early days of the heat wave. Now, the plant’s output was nearly at capacity, although it had not reached 100 percent.

    Utilities began firing up backup generators.

    None of it was enough. At 4:57 p.m., demand for power in CAISO’s system hit 52,061 megawatts — nearly 4 percent higher than the record.

    “The sheer temperatures that were going on outside just kept pushing the load,” Mr. Mainzer said. “It was just going up and up and up. We’re also facing sunset.”

    2
    A worker distributed water in California during the heat wave on Sept. 6. The temperature in Sacramento that day reached 116 degrees. Credit: Alex Welsh for The New York Times.

    That meant the supply of solar power was about to drop off rapidly, and the grid operator was running out of backup tools.

    About 5:17 p.m., the highest of three emergency alert levels was declared, and CAISO told utilities to prepare to cut off power to hundreds of thousands of customers.

    At 5:40 p.m., CAISO informed Mr. Newsom that “we were deep into the emergency,” Mr. Mainzer said. “That was where we were, one step away from rotating outages.”

    Taking a drastic measure, Mr. Newsom ordered emergency warnings to be sent to 27 million cellphones in areas of high demand like Los Angeles. The messages urged people to avoid nonessential power use, keep thermostats no lower than 78 degrees and charge electric vehicles only at night, after demand recedes.

    In minutes, electricity use dropped more than 2,000 megawatts — or the production capacity of two large power plants.

    Even as California was facing record demand its power lines were sending power to other parts of the region, in some cases to fulfill contracts between producers and utilities. At moments during the day, more than 5,000 megawatts of electricity were exported through CAISO’s system for hours at a time, according to Tyson Siegele, an analyst at the Protect Our Communities Foundation, an advocacy group for energy issues.

    Even with the exports the state imported more power that day than it shared, with a net that never fell below 4,000 megawatts, according to Ms. Bentley of Gridwell Consulting.

    Still, Mr. Mainzer is aware of the optics of the exports at such a critical time.

    “I think we’re kind of terrified,” Mr. Mainzer said, “that we’re going to be criticized that we were doing exports.”

    The Search for Solutions

    In the summer of 2000, two years after California opened its wholesale energy market, the state’s retail electricity prices reached record highs, and power shortages forced rolling blackouts — problems driven by manipulation of the system by market participants.

    State and federal lawmakers and regulators acted to guard against future manipulation, price volatility and rolling outages, but those steps did not eliminate the uncertainty and risks inherent in financial markets, including wholesale energy markets.

    What Mr. Mainzer described as a system of neighbors helping one another in a crisis is also, in practice, a competition.

    In a review of this month’s emergency by Gridwell Consulting, Ms. Bentley determined that California was receiving all the electricity it could purchase from the Pacific Northwest as well as hydroelectric power from British Columbia. The additional electricity would have to come from the Southwest, but California’s wholesale price limits made it difficult to compete with Arizona and New Mexico, where wholesalers could get more money for their electricity.

    “There was nothing any of the other states could give us,” Ms. Bentley said.

    Jon Wellinghoff, a former chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, believes CAISO and California regulators need to spend more time getting their forecasts right. Markets are the most efficient way to manage energy supplies across states, he said, but without proper planning electricity becomes too expensive.

    “Yes, there weren’t any rolling blackouts in California, but at what cost?” he said of the recent emergency. “What was the total cost to consumers in California?” There is, as yet, no authoritative answer.

    Even absent an emergency, Californians have been acutely affected by higher electricity costs, reflecting regulatory requirements for utilities to do more to prevent their equipment from causing wildfires as well as the need for more power plants and energy storage to meet the growing demand. The typical customer in California pays about $290 a month for electricity compared with $154 for the average U.S. resident, according to the Energy Information Administration.

    Mr. Wellinghoff believes that part of California’s problem can be solved by changing the way electricity is managed in the West. CAISO runs an energy trading market across multiple Western states but controls only California’s electric grid.

    In addition to a regional trading market, Mr. Wellinghoff wants a regional electric grid operator rather than individual operators in separate states — an idea that has met stiff opposition in the past because CAISO’s board is appointed by California’s governor and other states do not want their outsize neighbor dictating policy. For California’s part, some officials have not wanted to surrender control of their grid manager to smaller states.

    But Mr. Wellinghoff said a regional grid manager could better distribute resources without depending on the energy market alone to deliver power from area to area.

    “Broader authority will produce benefits immediately,” Mr. Wellinghoff said. “The system needs to be made more efficient. We could have been in a better position, yes.”

    Mr. Mainzer said his staff would have to review the data from the Sept. 6 emergency for more details about power plant performance and imports and exports, but California did help neighboring states affected by the extreme heat, Nevada in particular, just as other states provided support to California. The bigger concern, he said, is the need to adjust for the evolving demands that climate change is placing on the electric grid, including by improving planning.

    “We’re having to update our resource forecasting,” Mr. Mainzer said. “The past is no longer the predictor of the future.”

    See the full article here .

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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

     
  • richardmitnick 7:51 pm on July 25, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "A material difference", , , Bioindicators, , , Energy, Energy-storage applications, Enthusiasm for innovation, , , , PhD candidate Eesha Khare   

    From Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) : “A material difference” 

    MIT News

    From Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US)

    July 25, 2021
    Bridget E. Begg

    A passion for biomaterials inspires PhD candidate Eesha Khare to tackle climate change.

    1
    A passion for biomaterials inspires Eesha Khare, an MIT PhD candidate in materials science and engineering, to tackle climate change. Credit: Gretchen Ertl.

    Eesha Khare has always seen a world of matter. The daughter of a hardware engineer and a biologist, she has an insatiable interest in what substances — both synthetic and biological — have in common. Not surprisingly, that perspective led her to the study of materials.

    “I recognized early on that everything around me is a material,” she says. “How our phones respond to touches, how trees in nature to give us both structural wood and foldable paper, or how we are able to make high skyscrapers with steel and glass, it all comes down to the fundamentals: This is materials science and engineering.”

    As a rising fourth-year PhD student in the MIT Department of Materials Science and Engineering (DMSE), Khare now studies the metal-coordination bonds that allow mussels to bind to rocks along turbulent coastlines. But Khare’s scientific enthusiasm has also led to expansive interests from science policy to climate advocacy and entrepreneurship.

    A material world

    A Silicon Valley native, Khare recalls vividly how excited she was about science as a young girl, both at school and at myriad science fairs and high school laboratory internships. One such internship at the University of California-Santa Cruz (US) introduced her to the study of nanomaterials, or materials that are smaller than a single human cell. The project piqued her interest in how research could lead to energy-storage applications, and she began to ponder the connections between materials, science policy, and the environment.

    As an undergraduate at Harvard University (US), Khare pursued a degree in engineering sciences and chemistry while also working at the Harvard Kennedy School Institute of Politics. There, she grew fascinated by environmental advocacy in the policy space, working for then-professor Gina McCarthy, who is currently serving in the Biden administration as the first-ever White House climate advisor.

    Following her academic explorations in college, Khare wanted to consider science in a new light before pursuing her doctorate in materials science and engineering. She deferred her program acceptance at MIT in order to attend University of Cambridge (UK), where she earned a master’s degree in the history and philosophy of science. “Especially in a PhD program, it can often feel like your head is deep in the science as you push new research frontiers, but I wanted take a step back and be inspired by how scientists in the past made their discoveries,” she says.

    Her experience at Cambridge was both challenging and informative, but Khare quickly found that her mechanistic curiosity remained persistent — a realization that came in the form of a biological material.

    “My very first master’s research project was about environmental pollution indicators in the U.K., and I was looking specifically at lichen to understand the social and political reasons why they were adopted by the public as pollution indicators,” Khare explains. “But I found myself wondering more about how lichen can act as pollution indicators. And I found that to be quite similar for most of my research projects: I was more interested in how the technology or discovery actually worked.”

    Enthusiasm for innovation

    Fittingly, these bioindicators confirmed for her that studying materials at MIT was the right course. Now Khare works on a different organism altogether, conducting research on the metal-coordination chemical interactions of a biopolymer secreted by mussels.

    “Mussels secrete this thread and can adhere to ocean walls. So, when ocean waves come, mussels don’t get dislodged that easily,” Khare says. “This is partly because of how metal ions in this material bind to different amino acids in the protein. There’s no input from the mussel itself to control anything there; all the magic is in this biological material that is not only very sticky, but also doesn’t break very readily, and if you cut it, it can re-heal that interface as well! If we could better understand and replicate this biological material in our own world, we could have materials self-heal and never break and thus eliminate so much waste.”

    To study this natural material, Khare combines computational and experimental techniques, experimentally synthesizing her own biopolymers and studying their properties with in silico molecular dynamics. Her co-advisors — Markus Buehler, the Jerry McAfee Professor of Engineering in Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Niels Holten-Andersen, professor of materials science and engineering — have embraced this dual-approach to her project, as well as her abundant enthusiasm for innovation.

    Khare likes to take one exploratory course per semester, and a recent offering in the MIT Sloan School of Management inspired her to pursue entrepreneurship. These days she is spending much of her free time on a startup called Taxie, formed with fellow MIT students after taking the course 15.390 (New Enterprises). Taxie attempts to electrify the rideshare business by making electric rental cars available to rideshare drivers. Khare hopes this project will initiate some small first steps in making the ridesharing industry environmentally cleaner — and in democratizing access to electric vehicles for rideshare drivers, who often hail from lower-income or immigrant backgrounds.

    “There are a lot of goals thrown around for reducing emissions or helping our environment. But we are slowly getting physical things on the road, physical things to real people, and I like to think that we are helping to accelerate the electric transition,” Khare says. “These small steps are helpful for learning, at the very least, how we can make a transition to electric or to a cleaner industry.”

    Alongside her startup work, Khare has pursued a number of other extracurricular activities at MIT, including co-organizing her department’s Student Application Assistance Program and serving on DMSE’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council. Her varied interests also have led to a diverse group of friends, which suits her well, because she is a self-described “people-person.”

    In a year where maintaining connections has been more challenging than usual, Khare has focused on the positive, spending her spring semester with family in California and practicing Bharatanatyam, a form of Indian classical dance, over Zoom. As she looks to the future, Khare hopes to bring even more of her interests together, like materials science and climate.

    “I want to understand the energy and environmental sector at large to identify the most pressing technology gaps and how can I use my knowledge to contribute. My goal is to figure out where can I personally make a difference and where it can have a bigger impact to help our climate,” she says. “I like being outside of my comfort zone.”

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings
    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

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    MIT Seal

    USPS “Forever” postage stamps celebrating Innovation at MIT.

    MIT Campus

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) is a private land-grant research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The institute has an urban campus that extends more than a mile (1.6 km) alongside the Charles River. The institute also encompasses a number of major off-campus facilities such as the MIT Lincoln Laboratory (US), the MIT Bates Research and Engineering Center (US), and the Haystack Observatory (US), as well as affiliated laboratories such as the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard(US) and Whitehead Institute (US).

    Founded in 1861 in response to the increasing industrialization of the United States, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) adopted a European polytechnic university model and stressed laboratory instruction in applied science and engineering. It has since played a key role in the development of many aspects of modern science, engineering, mathematics, and technology, and is widely known for its innovation and academic strength. It is frequently regarded as one of the most prestigious universities in the world.

    As of December 2020, 97 Nobel laureates, 26 Turing Award winners, and 8 Fields Medalists have been affiliated with MIT as alumni, faculty members, or researchers. In addition, 58 National Medal of Science recipients, 29 National Medals of Technology and Innovation recipients, 50 MacArthur Fellows, 80 Marshall Scholars, 3 Mitchell Scholars, 22 Schwarzman Scholars, 41 astronauts, and 16 Chief Scientists of the U.S. Air Force have been affiliated with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) . The university also has a strong entrepreneurial culture and MIT alumni have founded or co-founded many notable companies. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) is a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU).

    Foundation and vision

    In 1859, a proposal was submitted to the Massachusetts General Court to use newly filled lands in Back Bay, Boston for a “Conservatory of Art and Science”, but the proposal failed. A charter for the incorporation of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, proposed by William Barton Rogers, was signed by John Albion Andrew, the governor of Massachusetts, on April 10, 1861.

    Rogers, a professor from the University of Virginia (US), wanted to establish an institution to address rapid scientific and technological advances. He did not wish to found a professional school, but a combination with elements of both professional and liberal education, proposing that:

    “The true and only practicable object of a polytechnic school is, as I conceive, the teaching, not of the minute details and manipulations of the arts, which can be done only in the workshop, but the inculcation of those scientific principles which form the basis and explanation of them, and along with this, a full and methodical review of all their leading processes and operations in connection with physical laws.”

    The Rogers Plan reflected the German research university model, emphasizing an independent faculty engaged in research, as well as instruction oriented around seminars and laboratories.

    Early developments

    Two days after Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) was chartered, the first battle of the Civil War broke out. After a long delay through the war years, MIT’s first classes were held in the Mercantile Building in Boston in 1865. The new institute was founded as part of the Morrill Land-Grant Colleges Act to fund institutions “to promote the liberal and practical education of the industrial classes” and was a land-grant school. In 1863 under the same act, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts founded the Massachusetts Agricultural College, which developed as the University of Massachusetts Amherst (US)). In 1866, the proceeds from land sales went toward new buildings in the Back Bay.

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) was informally called “Boston Tech”. The institute adopted the European polytechnic university model and emphasized laboratory instruction from an early date. Despite chronic financial problems, the institute saw growth in the last two decades of the 19th century under President Francis Amasa Walker. Programs in electrical, chemical, marine, and sanitary engineering were introduced, new buildings were built, and the size of the student body increased to more than one thousand.

    The curriculum drifted to a vocational emphasis, with less focus on theoretical science. The fledgling school still suffered from chronic financial shortages which diverted the attention of the MIT leadership. During these “Boston Tech” years, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) faculty and alumni rebuffed Harvard University (US) president (and former MIT faculty) Charles W. Eliot’s repeated attempts to merge MIT with Harvard College’s Lawrence Scientific School. There would be at least six attempts to absorb MIT into Harvard. In its cramped Back Bay location, MIT could not afford to expand its overcrowded facilities, driving a desperate search for a new campus and funding. Eventually, the MIT Corporation approved a formal agreement to merge with Harvard, over the vehement objections of MIT faculty, students, and alumni. However, a 1917 decision by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court effectively put an end to the merger scheme.

    In 1916, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) administration and the MIT charter crossed the Charles River on the ceremonial barge Bucentaur built for the occasion, to signify MIT’s move to a spacious new campus largely consisting of filled land on a one-mile-long (1.6 km) tract along the Cambridge side of the Charles River. The neoclassical “New Technology” campus was designed by William W. Bosworth and had been funded largely by anonymous donations from a mysterious “Mr. Smith”, starting in 1912. In January 1920, the donor was revealed to be the industrialist George Eastman of Rochester, New York, who had invented methods of film production and processing, and founded Eastman Kodak. Between 1912 and 1920, Eastman donated $20 million ($236.6 million in 2015 dollars) in cash and Kodak stock to MIT.

    Curricular reforms

    In the 1930s, President Karl Taylor Compton and Vice-President (effectively Provost) Vannevar Bush emphasized the importance of pure sciences like physics and chemistry and reduced the vocational practice required in shops and drafting studios. The Compton reforms “renewed confidence in the ability of the Institute to develop leadership in science as well as in engineering”. Unlike Ivy League schools, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) catered more to middle-class families, and depended more on tuition than on endowments or grants for its funding. The school was elected to the Association of American Universities (US)in 1934.

    Still, as late as 1949, the Lewis Committee lamented in its report on the state of education at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) that “the Institute is widely conceived as basically a vocational school”, a “partly unjustified” perception the committee sought to change. The report comprehensively reviewed the undergraduate curriculum, recommended offering a broader education, and warned against letting engineering and government-sponsored research detract from the sciences and humanities. The School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences and the MIT Sloan School of Management were formed in 1950 to compete with the powerful Schools of Science and Engineering. Previously marginalized faculties in the areas of economics, management, political science, and linguistics emerged into cohesive and assertive departments by attracting respected professors and launching competitive graduate programs. The School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences continued to develop under the successive terms of the more humanistically oriented presidents Howard W. Johnson and Jerome Wiesner between 1966 and 1980.

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US)‘s involvement in military science surged during World War II. In 1941, Vannevar Bush was appointed head of the federal Office of Scientific Research and Development and directed funding to only a select group of universities, including MIT. Engineers and scientists from across the country gathered at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US)’s Radiation Laboratory, established in 1940 to assist the British military in developing microwave radar. The work done there significantly affected both the war and subsequent research in the area. Other defense projects included gyroscope-based and other complex control systems for gunsight, bombsight, and inertial navigation under Charles Stark Draper’s Instrumentation Laboratory; the development of a digital computer for flight simulations under Project Whirlwind; and high-speed and high-altitude photography under Harold Edgerton. By the end of the war, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) became the nation’s largest wartime R&D contractor (attracting some criticism of Bush), employing nearly 4000 in the Radiation Laboratory alone and receiving in excess of $100 million ($1.2 billion in 2015 dollars) before 1946. Work on defense projects continued even after then. Post-war government-sponsored research at MIT included SAGE and guidance systems for ballistic missiles and Project Apollo.

    These activities affected Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) profoundly. A 1949 report noted the lack of “any great slackening in the pace of life at the Institute” to match the return to peacetime, remembering the “academic tranquility of the prewar years”, though acknowledging the significant contributions of military research to the increased emphasis on graduate education and rapid growth of personnel and facilities. The faculty doubled and the graduate student body quintupled during the terms of Karl Taylor Compton, president of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) between 1930 and 1948; James Rhyne Killian, president from 1948 to 1957; and Julius Adams Stratton, chancellor from 1952 to 1957, whose institution-building strategies shaped the expanding university. By the 1950s, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) no longer simply benefited the industries with which it had worked for three decades, and it had developed closer working relationships with new patrons, philanthropic foundations and the federal government.

    In late 1960s and early 1970s, student and faculty activists protested against the Vietnam War and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US)’s defense research. In this period Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US)’s various departments were researching helicopters, smart bombs and counterinsurgency techniques for the war in Vietnam as well as guidance systems for nuclear missiles. The Union of Concerned Scientists was founded on March 4, 1969 during a meeting of faculty members and students seeking to shift the emphasis on military research toward environmental and social problems. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) ultimately divested itself from the Instrumentation Laboratory and moved all classified research off-campus to the MIT (US) Lincoln Laboratory facility in 1973 in response to the protests. The student body, faculty, and administration remained comparatively unpolarized during what was a tumultuous time for many other universities. Johnson was seen to be highly successful in leading his institution to “greater strength and unity” after these times of turmoil. However six Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) students were sentenced to prison terms at this time and some former student leaders, such as Michael Albert and George Katsiaficas, are still indignant about MIT’s role in military research and its suppression of these protests. (Richard Leacock’s film, November Actions, records some of these tumultuous events.)

    In the 1980s, there was more controversy at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) over its involvement in SDI (space weaponry) and CBW (chemical and biological warfare) research. More recently, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US)’s research for the military has included work on robots, drones and ‘battle suits’.

    Recent history

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) has kept pace with and helped to advance the digital age. In addition to developing the predecessors to modern computing and networking technologies, students, staff, and faculty members at Project MAC, the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, and the Tech Model Railroad Club wrote some of the earliest interactive computer video games like Spacewar! and created much of modern hacker slang and culture. Several major computer-related organizations have originated at MIT since the 1980s: Richard Stallman’s GNU Project and the subsequent Free Software Foundation were founded in the mid-1980s at the AI Lab; the MIT Media Lab was founded in 1985 by Nicholas Negroponte and Jerome Wiesner to promote research into novel uses of computer technology; the World Wide Web Consortium standards organization was founded at the Laboratory for Computer Science in 1994 by Tim Berners-Lee; the MIT OpenCourseWare project has made course materials for over 2,000 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) classes available online free of charge since 2002; and the One Laptop per Child initiative to expand computer education and connectivity to children worldwide was launched in 2005.

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) was named a sea-grant college in 1976 to support its programs in oceanography and marine sciences and was named a space-grant college in 1989 to support its aeronautics and astronautics programs. Despite diminishing government financial support over the past quarter century, MIT launched several successful development campaigns to significantly expand the campus: new dormitories and athletics buildings on west campus; the Tang Center for Management Education; several buildings in the northeast corner of campus supporting research into biology, brain and cognitive sciences, genomics, biotechnology, and cancer research; and a number of new “backlot” buildings on Vassar Street including the Stata Center. Construction on campus in the 2000s included expansions of the Media Lab, the Sloan School’s eastern campus, and graduate residences in the northwest. In 2006, President Hockfield launched the MIT Energy Research Council to investigate the interdisciplinary challenges posed by increasing global energy consumption.

    In 2001, inspired by the open source and open access movements, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) launched OpenCourseWare to make the lecture notes, problem sets, syllabi, exams, and lectures from the great majority of its courses available online for no charge, though without any formal accreditation for coursework completed. While the cost of supporting and hosting the project is high, OCW expanded in 2005 to include other universities as a part of the OpenCourseWare Consortium, which currently includes more than 250 academic institutions with content available in at least six languages. In 2011, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) announced it would offer formal certification (but not credits or degrees) to online participants completing coursework in its “MITx” program, for a modest fee. The “edX” online platform supporting MITx was initially developed in partnership with Harvard and its analogous “Harvardx” initiative. The courseware platform is open source, and other universities have already joined and added their own course content. In March 2009 the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) faculty adopted an open-access policy to make its scholarship publicly accessible online.

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) has its own police force. Three days after the Boston Marathon bombing of April 2013, MIT Police patrol officer Sean Collier was fatally shot by the suspects Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, setting off a violent manhunt that shut down the campus and much of the Boston metropolitan area for a day. One week later, Collier’s memorial service was attended by more than 10,000 people, in a ceremony hosted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) community with thousands of police officers from the New England region and Canada. On November 25, 2013, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) announced the creation of the Collier Medal, to be awarded annually to “an individual or group that embodies the character and qualities that Officer Collier exhibited as a member of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) community and in all aspects of his life”. The announcement further stated that “Future recipients of the award will include those whose contributions exceed the boundaries of their profession, those who have contributed to building bridges across the community, and those who consistently and selflessly perform acts of kindness”.

    In September 2017, the school announced the creation of an artificial intelligence research lab called the MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab. IBM will spend $240 million over the next decade, and the lab will be staffed by MIT and IBM scientists. In October 2018 MIT announced that it would open a new Schwarzman College of Computing dedicated to the study of artificial intelligence, named after lead donor and The Blackstone Group CEO Stephen Schwarzman. The focus of the new college is to study not just AI, but interdisciplinary AI education, and how AI can be used in fields as diverse as history and biology. The cost of buildings and new faculty for the new college is expected to be $1 billion upon completion.

    The Caltech/MIT Advanced aLIGO (US) was designed and constructed by a team of scientists from California Institute of Technology (US), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US), and industrial contractors, and funded by the National Science Foundation (US) .

    MIT/Caltech Advanced aLigo .

    It was designed to open the field of gravitational-wave astronomy through the detection of gravitational waves predicted by general relativity. Gravitational waves were detected for the first time by the LIGO detector in 2015. For contributions to the LIGO detector and the observation of gravitational waves, two Caltech physicists, Kip Thorne and Barry Barish, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) physicist Rainer Weiss won the Nobel Prize in physics in 2017. Weiss, who is also an Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) graduate, designed the laser interferometric technique, which served as the essential blueprint for the LIGO.

    The mission of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) is to advance knowledge and educate students in science, technology, and other areas of scholarship that will best serve the nation and the world in the twenty-first century. We seek to develop in each member of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) community the ability and passion to work wisely, creatively, and effectively for the betterment of humankind.

     
  • richardmitnick 10:51 am on May 25, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "UT Austin Studies Mysterious Substance that Could Transform the Future of Energy", , , , Energy, Methane hydrate is relatively unstable., Methane hydrates could be a bridge-fuel to a carbon-free society., Scientists estimate that the Gulf of Mexico alone holds enough methane hydrate deposits to power the U.S. for hundreds of years into the future., The substance is made up of water molecules that form a crystal lattice which contains the densely trapped methane inside.,   

    From University of Texas at Austin (US) : “UT Austin Studies Mysterious Substance that Could Transform the Future of Energy” 

    From University of Texas at Austin (US)

    May 10, 2021
    Tracy Zhang

    In 2017, UT Austin geoscientists led the first U.S. university-based expedition to the Gulf of Mexico in search of methane hydrates. Today, they are at the forefront of research to understand this possible new energy source.

    1

    “We’re jamming a tiny straw through over a mile of water through over a half a mile of rock in order to pull up 10 feet of ice,” said Peter Polito, an expedition research scientist representing The University of Texas at Austin Jackson School of Geosciences (JSG).

    Surrounded by scientific gear, he is standing on the bridge of the Helix Q4000, a semi-submersible deep-water drilling vessel. All around him are massive cranes and robust machinery, and just a bit further out, nothing but rolling waves are in sight.

    2
    The Gulf of Mexico, photographed during the 2017 coring mission. Image Courtesy of Jackson School of Geosciences.
    3
    Aerial view of the Helix Q4000 vessel. Image Courtesy of Jackson School of Geosciences.

    It all seems like quite an enterprise — except the “ice” they are attempting to extract could revolutionize the future of energy.

    This 2017 University of Texas Institute for Geophysics (UTIG) expedition was looking for methane hydrates, or methane gas trapped in ice. The substance is made up of water molecules that form a crystal lattice which contains the densely trapped methane inside. Methane hydrates are abundant in nature, usually found beneath or inside permafrost and buried in sediments under the sea floor.

    What’s most significant is that they hold more than 100 times the energy per unit of volume as methane found in the atmospheric pressure at sea level. Essentially, one liter of methane hydrate from the sea floor is 160 liters of methane on the surface.

    UT Austin is actively conducting research on these mysterious cores and will be venturing to the Gulf of Mexico again in 2022 to retrieve more samples.

    3
    Methane hydrate ice sample on fire. Image Courtesy of United States Geological Survey.

    “Methane hydrates could be a bridge fuel to a carbon-free society,” said Peter Flemings, a Jackson School professor and chief scientist of the coring mission.

    With its high energy density and large abundance in nature, scientists estimate that the Gulf of Mexico alone holds enough methane hydrate deposits to power the U.S. for hundreds of years into the future.

    As resources become more limited, governments are rushing to research alternative forms of energy, and UT is at the forefront of that research, being the first university in the U.S. to have led operations to gather samples of methane hydrates from sand deposits for study.

    Although they hold great potential as a viable energy source, extracting them is not an easy process. Methane hydrate is relatively unstable. If you drop the pressure or raise the temperature of the environment even slightly, the material can suddenly become undone and dissociate into its basic components of methane and water.

    This all means drilling for cores is an extremely difficult venture, and highly specialized equipment is needed to isolate and contain the substance within pressurized cores in order to properly extract and study them.

    4
    Researchers investigate the properties of methane hydrates.

    In addition to being the first U.S. university to lead expeditions to methane hydrate deposits in sand reservoirs, UT also has the only university-based facility that can safely store and study extracted pressurized cores. At the UT Pressure Core Center, an integrated team of scientists and engineers will continue their research on cores retrieved from this mission.

    The stakes are high, but if better studied and understood, methane hydrates could be an enormous untapped reservoir of energy for future generations — especially as coastal countries with limited resources are striving for energy security.

    The research also has the potential to shed light on the role methane hydrate plays in the Earth’s carbon cycle. Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas, and scientists studying the cores theorize that natural release of methane from large deposits could have had a hand in periods of past climate change.

    Interdisciplinary teams at UT have developed new technologies to better extract cores which were successfully put through their paces during land tests of the equipment last month. With UT at the hub of it all, it’s become a massive collaborative project involving various academic and governmental institutions.

    5
    From March 2020 land tests of new coring technologies in Cameron, Texas.
    6
    Close-up of hardware used for the 2021 land test in Oklahoma.

    Extracted cores, still in their pressurized state, have been sent to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the United States Geological Survey (USGS), and the Japan National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology. A number of schools are working on studying the depressurized cores, such as the University of New Hampshire, The Ohio State University, Oregon State University, the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, Georgia Institute for Technology, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and the University of Washington, while scientists from the USGS, representatives from the DOE and researchers from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) act as advisers to the project.

    “It’s a colossal undertaking that has involved extraordinary efforts and participation at the highest levels of UT,” said Flemings. The land test alone is a $1 million project and is the last stage before UT’s next expedition in the spring of 2022.

    As one of many geoscientists, researchers and engineers who have put their hearts and souls into this project, Polito is looking forward to seeing results. “It’s an exciting time,” he said. “Soon, we’re going to know things that no one knew today.”

    See the full article here .

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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

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    U Texas at Austin

    U Texas Austin campus

    The University of Texas at Austin is a public research university in Austin, Texas and the flagship institution of the University of Texas System. Founded in 1883, the University of Texas was inducted into the Association of American Universities (US) in 1929, becoming only the third university in the American South to be elected. The institution has the nation’s seventh-largest single-campus enrollment, with over 50,000 undergraduate and graduate students and over 24,000 faculty and staff.

    A Public Ivy, it is a major center for academic research. The university houses seven museums and seventeen libraries, including the LBJ Presidential Library and the Blanton Museum of Art, and operates various auxiliary research facilities, such as the J. J. Pickle Research Campus and the McDonald Observatory. As of November 2020, 13 Nobel Prize winners, four Pulitzer Prize winners, two Turing Award winners, two Fields medalists, two Wolf Prize winners, and two Abel prize winners have been affiliated with the school as alumni, faculty members or researchers. The university has also been affiliated with three Primetime Emmy Award winners, and has produced a total of 143 Olympic medalists.

    Student-athletes compete as the Texas Longhorns and are members of the Big 12 Conference. Its Longhorn Network is the only sports network featuring the college sports of a single university. The Longhorns have won four NCAA Division I National Football Championships, six NCAA Division I National Baseball Championships, thirteen NCAA Division I National Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships, and has claimed more titles in men’s and women’s sports than any other school in the Big 12 since the league was founded in 1996.

    Establishment

    The first mention of a public university in Texas can be traced to the 1827 constitution for the Mexican state of Coahuila y Tejas. Although Title 6, Article 217 of the Constitution promised to establish public education in the arts and sciences, no action was taken by the Mexican government. After Texas obtained its independence from Mexico in 1836, the Texas Congress adopted the Constitution of the Republic, which, under Section 5 of its General Provisions, stated “It shall be the duty of Congress, as soon as circumstances will permit, to provide, by law, a general system of education.”

    On April 18, 1838, “An Act to Establish the University of Texas” was referred to a special committee of the Texas Congress, but was not reported back for further action. On January 26, 1839, the Texas Congress agreed to set aside fifty leagues of land—approximately 288,000 acres (117,000 ha)—towards the establishment of a publicly funded university. In addition, 40 acres (16 ha) in the new capital of Austin were reserved and designated “College Hill”. (The term “Forty Acres” is colloquially used to refer to the University as a whole. The original 40 acres is the area from Guadalupe to Speedway and 21st Street to 24th Street.)

    In 1845, Texas was annexed into the United States. The state’s Constitution of 1845 failed to mention higher education. On February 11, 1858, the Seventh Texas Legislature approved O.B. 102, an act to establish the University of Texas, which set aside $100,000 in United States bonds toward construction of the state’s first publicly funded university (the $100,000 was an allocation from the $10 million the state received pursuant to the Compromise of 1850 and Texas’s relinquishing claims to lands outside its present boundaries). The legislature also designated land reserved for the encouragement of railroad construction toward the university’s endowment. On January 31, 1860, the state legislature, wanting to avoid raising taxes, passed an act authorizing the money set aside for the University of Texas to be used for frontier defense in west Texas to protect settlers from Indian attacks.

    Texas’s secession from the Union and the American Civil War delayed repayment of the borrowed monies. At the end of the Civil War in 1865, The University of Texas’s endowment was just over $16,000 in warrants and nothing substantive had been done to organize the university’s operations. This effort to establish a University was again mandated by Article 7, Section 10 of the Texas Constitution of 1876 which directed the legislature to “establish, organize and provide for the maintenance, support and direction of a university of the first class, to be located by a vote of the people of this State, and styled “The University of Texas”.

    Additionally, Article 7, Section 11 of the 1876 Constitution established the Permanent University Fund, a sovereign wealth fund managed by the Board of Regents of the University of Texas and dedicated to the maintenance of the university. Because some state legislators perceived an extravagance in the construction of academic buildings of other universities, Article 7, Section 14 of the Constitution expressly prohibited the legislature from using the state’s general revenue to fund construction of university buildings. Funds for constructing university buildings had to come from the university’s endowment or from private gifts to the university, but the university’s operating expenses could come from the state’s general revenues.

    The 1876 Constitution also revoked the endowment of the railroad lands of the Act of 1858, but dedicated 1,000,000 acres (400,000 ha) of land, along with other property appropriated for the university, to the Permanent University Fund. This was greatly to the detriment of the university as the lands the Constitution of 1876 granted the university represented less than 5% of the value of the lands granted to the university under the Act of 1858 (the lands close to the railroads were quite valuable, while the lands granted the university were in far west Texas, distant from sources of transportation and water). The more valuable lands reverted to the fund to support general education in the state (the Special School Fund).

    On April 10, 1883, the legislature supplemented the Permanent University Fund with another 1,000,000 acres (400,000 ha) of land in west Texas granted to the Texas and Pacific Railroad but returned to the state as seemingly too worthless to even survey. The legislature additionally appropriated $256,272.57 to repay the funds taken from the university in 1860 to pay for frontier defense and for transfers to the state’s General Fund in 1861 and 1862. The 1883 grant of land increased the land in the Permanent University Fund to almost 2.2 million acres. Under the Act of 1858, the university was entitled to just over 1,000 acres (400 ha) of land for every mile of railroad built in the state. Had the 1876 Constitution not revoked the original 1858 grant of land, by 1883, the university lands would have totaled 3.2 million acres, so the 1883 grant was to restore lands taken from the university by the 1876 Constitution, not an act of munificence.

    On March 30, 1881, the legislature set forth the university’s structure and organization and called for an election to establish its location. By popular election on September 6, 1881, Austin (with 30,913 votes) was chosen as the site. Galveston, having come in second in the election (with 20,741 votes), was designated the location of the medical department (Houston was third with 12,586 votes). On November 17, 1882, on the original “College Hill,” an official ceremony commemorated the laying of the cornerstone of the Old Main building. University President Ashbel Smith, presiding over the ceremony, prophetically proclaimed “Texas holds embedded in its earth rocks and minerals which now lie idle because unknown, resources of incalculable industrial utility, of wealth and power. Smite the earth, smite the rocks with the rod of knowledge and fountains of unstinted wealth will gush forth.” The University of Texas officially opened its doors on September 15, 1883.

    Expansion and growth

    In 1890, George Washington Brackenridge donated $18,000 for the construction of a three-story brick mess hall known as Brackenridge Hall (affectionately known as “B.Hall”), one of the university’s most storied buildings and one that played an important place in university life until its demolition in 1952.

    The old Victorian-Gothic Main Building served as the central point of the campus’s 40-acre (16 ha) site, and was used for nearly all purposes. But by the 1930s, discussions arose about the need for new library space, and the Main Building was razed in 1934 over the objections of many students and faculty. The modern-day tower and Main Building were constructed in its place.

    In 1910, George Washington Brackenridge again displayed his philanthropy, this time donating 500 acres (200 ha) on the Colorado River to the university. A vote by the regents to move the campus to the donated land was met with outrage, and the land has only been used for auxiliary purposes such as graduate student housing. Part of the tract was sold in the late-1990s for luxury housing, and there are controversial proposals to sell the remainder of the tract. The Brackenridge Field Laboratory was established on 82 acres (33 ha) of the land in 1967.

    In 1916, Gov. James E. Ferguson became involved in a serious quarrel with the University of Texas. The controversy grew out of the board of regents’ refusal to remove certain faculty members whom the governor found objectionable. When Ferguson found he could not have his way, he vetoed practically the entire appropriation for the university. Without sufficient funding, the university would have been forced to close its doors. In the middle of the controversy, Ferguson’s critics brought to light a number of irregularities on the part of the governor. Eventually, the Texas House of Representatives prepared 21 charges against Ferguson, and the Senate convicted him on 10 of them, including misapplication of public funds and receiving $156,000 from an unnamed source. The Texas Senate removed Ferguson as governor and declared him ineligible to hold office.

    In 1921, the legislature appropriated $1.35 million for the purchase of land next to the main campus. However, expansion was hampered by the restriction against using state revenues to fund construction of university buildings as set forth in Article 7, Section 14 of the Constitution. With the completion of Santa Rita No. 1 well and the discovery of oil on university-owned lands in 1923, the university added significantly to its Permanent University Fund. The additional income from Permanent University Fund investments allowed for bond issues in 1931 and 1947, which allowed the legislature to address funding for the university along with the Agricultural and Mechanical College (now known as Texas A&M University). With sufficient funds to finance construction on both campuses, on April 8, 1931, the Forty Second Legislature passed H.B. 368. which dedicated the Agricultural and Mechanical College a 1/3 interest in the Available University Fund, the annual income from Permanent University Fund investments.

    The University of Texas was inducted into the Association of American Universities in 1929. During World War II, the University of Texas was one of 131 colleges and universities nationally that took part in the V-12 Navy College Training Program which offered students a path to a Navy commission.

    In 1950, following Sweatt v. Painter, the University of Texas was the first major university in the South to accept an African-American student. John S. Chase went on to become the first licensed African-American architect in Texas.

    In the fall of 1956, the first black students entered the university’s undergraduate class. Black students were permitted to live in campus dorms, but were barred from campus cafeterias. The University of Texas integrated its facilities and desegregated its dorms in 1965. UT, which had had an open admissions policy, adopted standardized testing for admissions in the mid-1950s at least in part as a conscious strategy to minimize the number of Black undergraduates, given that they were no longer able to simply bar their entry after the Brown decision.

    Following growth in enrollment after World War II, the university unveiled an ambitious master plan in 1960 designed for “10 years of growth” that was intended to “boost the University of Texas into the ranks of the top state universities in the nation.” In 1965, the Texas Legislature granted the university Board of Regents to use eminent domain to purchase additional properties surrounding the original 40 acres (160,000 m^2). The university began buying parcels of land to the north, south, and east of the existing campus, particularly in the Blackland neighborhood to the east and the Brackenridge tract to the southeast, in hopes of using the land to relocate the university’s intramural fields, baseball field, tennis courts, and parking lots.

    On March 6, 1967, the Sixtieth Texas Legislature changed the university’s official name from “The University of Texas” to “The University of Texas at Austin” to reflect the growth of the University of Texas System.

    Recent history

    The first presidential library on a university campus was dedicated on May 22, 1971, with former President Johnson, Lady Bird Johnson and then-President Richard Nixon in attendance. Constructed on the eastern side of the main campus, the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum is one of 13 presidential libraries administered by the National Archives and Records Administration.

    A statue of Martin Luther King Jr. was unveiled on campus in 1999 and subsequently vandalized. By 2004, John Butler, a professor at the McCombs School of Business suggested moving it to Morehouse College, a historically black college, “a place where he is loved”.

    The University of Texas at Austin has experienced a wave of new construction recently with several significant buildings. On April 30, 2006, the school opened the Blanton Museum of Art. In August 2008, the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center opened, with the hotel and conference center forming part of a new gateway to the university. Also in 2008, Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium was expanded to a seating capacity of 100,119, making it the largest stadium (by capacity) in the state of Texas at the time.

    On January 19, 2011, the university announced the creation of a 24-hour television network in partnership with ESPN, dubbed the Longhorn Network. ESPN agreed to pay a $300 million guaranteed rights fee over 20 years to the university and to IMG College, the school’s multimedia rights partner. The network covers the university’s intercollegiate athletics, music, cultural arts, and academics programs. The channel first aired in September 2011.

     
  • richardmitnick 6:23 pm on February 6, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "$1 million funding for hydrogen vehicle refueller", A major barrier of hydrogen refuelling becoming a fuel source for cars and trucks is how to refuel and the lack of refuelling infrastructure., , As Australia considers energy alternatives we know hydrogen is clean and will be cost-competitive., , CSIRO is engaging with vehicle companies such as Toyota Australia to support the future adoption and supply of FCEVs in Australia., CSIRO will receive more than $1 million towards the development of a refuelling station to fuel and test hydrogen vehicles., CSIRO's national Hydrogen Industry Mission is estimated to create more than 8000 jobs, , Energy, Hydrogen refuelling will generate $11 billion a year in GDP and support a low emissions future., Swinburne's strong partnership with CSIRO means that we will be able to build on our focus of digitalisation and Industry 4.0., The refueller project will demonstrate a fleet trial for CSIRO hydrogen vehicles with the potential for expansion., The refuelling station at CSIRO's Clayton campus in Victoria is a key milestone in the development of CSIRO's national Hydrogen Industry Mission which aims to support Australia's clean hydrogen indust, VH2 is designed to bring researchers; industry partners; and businesses together to test; trial and demonstrate new and emerging hydrogen technologies.   

    From CSIRO-Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (AU): “$1 million funding for hydrogen vehicle refueller” 

    CSIRO bloc

    From CSIRO-Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (AU)

    07 Feb 2021

    Nick Kachel
    Communication Advisor
    +61249606206

    CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency, has welcomed Victorian government funding that will enable it to partner with Swinburne University of Technology to establish the Victorian Hydrogen Hub (VH2).

    1
    The proposed refuelling station at Clayton.

    2
    Some of the features of the refuelling station.

    VH2 is designed to bring researchers, industry partners and businesses together to test, trial and demonstrate new and emerging hydrogen technologies.

    Under the partnership, CSIRO will receive more than $1 million towards the development of a refuelling station to fuel and test hydrogen vehicles.

    The refuelling station, to be located at CSIRO’s Clayton campus in Victoria, is a key milestone in the development of CSIRO’s national Hydrogen Industry Mission, which aims to support Australia’s clean hydrogen industry – estimated to create more than 8000 jobs, generate $11 billion a year in GDP and support a low emissions future.

    “As Australia considers energy alternatives, we know hydrogen is clean and will be cost-competitive – but a major barrier to it becoming a fuel source for cars and trucks is how to refuel, and the lack of refuelling infrastructure,” CSIRO Executive Director, Growth, Nigel Warren said.

    “The refueller is a significant step towards removing that barrier.”

    Construction will take place as part of the development of VH2 – a new hydrogen production and storage demonstration facility, where CSIRO, Swinburne and their partners will test ‘real world’ uses for hydrogen technology.

    “We thank the Victorian government for supporting VH2 which, combined with the refueller, will allow us to test emerging hydrogen technologies,” Mr Warren added.

    Swinburne University of Technology’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Pascale Quester said the University was excited by the development.

    “We are grateful for the Victorian Government for their support,” Professor Quester said.

    “The Victorian Hydrogen Hub will be another demonstration of how we can bring people and technology together to create a better world.

    “Swinburne’s strong partnership with CSIRO means that we will be able to build on our focus of digitalisation and Industry 4.0, and support industry to enhance its understanding of what hydrogen can deliver.”

    The refueller project will demonstrate a fleet trial for CSIRO hydrogen vehicles with the potential for expansion, providing refuelling opportunities to other zero emission Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs) in the local area.

    “We are proud to be investing in this forward-looking initiative, the kind that will help build a smarter Victoria and help respond to climate change,” Victorian Minister for Higher Education, Gayle Tierney said.

    CSIRO is engaging with vehicle companies such as Toyota Australia to support the future adoption and supply of FCEVs in Australia.

    “Toyota Australia is delighted to support the development of this new hydrogen refuelling station in Victoria with next-generation Mirai FCEVs,” Toyota Australia’s Manager of Future Technologies, Matt MacLeod said.

    “This is a significant step towards having the necessary refuelling infrastructure to help grow hydrogen opportunities in Australia.

    “We look forward working closely with CSIRO and their partners on this exciting project.”

    About the emerging Hydrogen Industry Mission

    CSIRO announced a program of national missions in August 2020, aimed at solving some of Australia’s greatest challenges.

    Missions are currently being developed.

    The Hydrogen Industry Mission aims to help Australia work out how to scale up domestic hydrogen supply and demand for a low emissions future, and support our hydrogen energy export industry.

    The mission builds on CSIRO’s National Hydrogen Roadmap which shared the opportunities for Australia’s clean hydrogen industry.

    CSIRO is currently engaging with and inviting advisory, funding, R&D and translation partners to work collaboratively on initiatives.

    See the full article here .


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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    CSIRO campus

    CSIRO, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (AU), is Australia’s national science agency and one of the largest and most diverse research agencies in the world.

     
  • richardmitnick 11:36 am on February 2, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "New tool at Sandia brings some West Texas wind to the Duke City — virtually", A new custom-built wind turbine emulator has been installed at Sandia’s Distributed Energy Technologies Laboratory., , , , Energy, Faster research through innovation., New wind turbine motor, Sandia’s Distributed Energy Technologies Laboratory, Sandia’s Renewable Energy and Distributed Systems Integration program., The emulator consists of a scaled-down wind turbine motor and uses much of the same hardware and software that control actual turbines.   

    From DOE’s Sandia National Laboratories: “New tool at Sandia brings some West Texas wind to the Duke City — virtually” 

    From DOE’s Sandia National Laboratories

    February 2, 2021
    Dan Ware and Mollie Rappe
    mrappe@sandia.gov
    505-844-4902

    1
    Rachid Darbali-Zamora examines Sandia National Laboratories’ new wind turbine motor, which will allow the distributed energy team to study how wind farms will behave under a variety of conditions and in different locations. Credit: Bret Latter.

    Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories have a new tool that allows them to study wind power and see whether it can be efficiently used to provide power to people living in remote and rural places or even off the grid, through distributed energy.

    A new, custom-built wind turbine emulator has been installed at Sandia’s Distributed Energy Technologies Laboratory. The emulator, which mimics actual wind turbines at Sandia’s Scaled Wind Farm Technology Site near Lubbock Texas, will be used to study how wind farms behave under multiple weather conditions and load demands, and if they can be efficiently used as a source of distributed energy for consumers who live near the farms, according to Brian Naughton, a researcher with Sandia’s Wind Energy Technologies program.

    2
    Scaled Wind Farm Technology (SWiFT) facility, located at Texas Tech University’s National Wind Institute Research Center in Lubbock, Texas.

    Unlike traditional wind farms that feed energy to grid-connected transmission lines, wind turbines used for distributed energy are close to or even directly connected to the end user or customer, said Naughton. This is especially important for users who are in remote areas or who are off the main electrical grid.

    “Right now, most wind generated power is just sent out on transmission lines to customers hundreds of miles away and can be affected by a wide variety of disruptions,” said Naughton. “Being able to test how wind turbines react to different and varying wind and weather conditions, we can help determine the viability of having generation take place closer to homes, schools and businesses.”

    Determining the viability of using wind turbines as a source of distributed energy is important due to the potential impact it could have on providing electricity to remote, island communities that exist largely off the main electric grid, said Rachid Darbali-Zamora, a researcher with Sandia’s Renewable Energy and Distributed Systems Integration program.

    “We’re looking at finding solutions to challenges faced by parts of the country that cannot be consistently powered by a traditional electric grid, such as remote communities in Alaska or islands that have experienced crippling devastation due to hurricanes,” said Darbali-Zamora. “Adding wind as a distributed energy source, we are potentially solving some big challenges that are faced regarding the utilization of microgrid technology.”

    Faster research through innovation

    By using the resources available at the Distributed Energy Technologies Laboratory, researchers will be able to exactly replicate wind, weather and load demand conditions at the Texas site, according to Naughton.

    3
    The scaled down turbine motor is connected to software that will allow the Sandia National Laboratories team to emulate a variety of conditions and tackle the challenges of using wind power as part of a microgrid for remote communities. Credit: Bret Latter.

    “Because the Distributed Energy Technologies Lab is so configurable, we’re able to conduct tests and simulations that are not feasible or safe to do on the actual electric grid or that we might have to wait days or weeks for conditions to be right at the wind farm site,” said Naughton. “Just like the lab can simulate weather and load conditions for solar photovoltaics and battery testing, we can now do the same thing for wind generation.”

    The emulator consists of a scaled-down wind turbine motor and uses much of the same hardware and software that control actual turbines. The motor is connected to the lab’s emulator system, allowing researchers to operate the “virtual” turbine under different conditions, Naughton said.

    “Because we’ve created an emulator that is as close to the real thing as possible, we can rapidly and cost-effectively go from concept to a solution to the challenges communities and utilities face regarding distributed energy generation,” said Naughton. “We also believe that the research we’re going to be conducting will have an overall benefit to grid resilience and stability, which affects everyone.”

    Replicating West Texas wind in real-time simulations

    In the laboratory setting, a model mimicking the Texas wind farm site’s electrical distribution system is run in real-time, generating approximately 15 kilowatts of electricity. Power from the wind turbine emulator is introduced to the simulated wind farm, influencing its behavior. In turn, responses, such as voltage variations, affect the wind turbine emulator behavior. This also allows the emulator to interact with other physical devices inside the Distributed Energy Technologies Lab such as solar photovoltaic inverters and protection systems, said Sandia’s Jon Berg, with the Wind Energy Technology’s program.

    “Wind as strong as 25 meters per second interacting with the rotor blades is represented by a motor drive that we can program to duplicate how the rotor speed would respond,” said Berg. “The torque being created then causes the emulator to produce electricity, just like the actual turbine does, as the turbine control system commands the power converter and generator to resist the input torque.”

    Naughton, Darbali-Zamora and Berg all believe that the ability to apply different control schemes to the emulator and simulated environments in real time, will help identify obstacles that can arise during deployment in the field such as system communications latencies or other configuration challenges. Being able to address these in a real-time test environment will save time and money and increase efficiency of field deployment.

    See the full article here .


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    Stem Education Coalition

    Sandia Campus.


    Sandia National Laboratory

    Sandia National Laboratories is a multiprogram laboratory operated by Sandia Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corporation, for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration. With main facilities in Albuquerque, N.M., and Livermore, Calif., Sandia has major R&D responsibilities in national security, energy and environmental technologies, and economic competitiveness.



     
  • richardmitnick 10:01 am on January 26, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Capturing and converting carbon dioxide from power plant emissions., Carbon dioxide sequestration, , Electrochemical reactions, Energy, In a series of lab experiments the rate of the carbon conversion reaction nearly doubled., , , The new system produced two new potentially useful carbon compounds: acetone and acetate   

    From MIT: “Boosting the efficiency of carbon capture and conversion systems” 

    MIT News

    From MIT News

    January 25, 2021
    David L. Chandler

    1
    Dyes are used to reveal the concentration levels of carbon dioxide in the water. On the left side is a gas-attracting material, and the dye shows the carbon dioxide stays concentrated next to the catalyst. Credit: Varanasi Research Group.

    Systems for capturing and converting carbon dioxide from power plant emissions could be important tools for curbing climate change, but most are relatively inefficient and expensive. Now, researchers at MIT have developed a method that could significantly boost the performance of systems that use catalytic surfaces to enhance the rates of carbon-sequestering electrochemical reactions.

    Such catalytic systems are an attractive option for carbon capture because they can produce useful, valuable products, such as transportation fuels or chemical feedstocks. This output can help to subsidize the process, offsetting the costs of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

    In these systems, typically a stream of gas containing carbon dioxide passes through water to deliver carbon dioxide for the electrochemical reaction. The movement through water is sluggish, which slows the rate of conversion of the carbon dioxide. The new design ensures that the carbon dioxide stream stays concentrated in the water right next to the catalyst surface. This concentration, the researchers have shown, can nearly double the performance of the system.

    The results are described today in the journal Cell Reports Physical Science in a paper by MIT postdoc Sami Khan PhD ’19, who is now an assistant professor at Simon Fraser University, along with MIT professors of mechanical engineering Kripa Varanasi and Yang Shao-Horn, and recent graduate Jonathan Hwang PhD ’19.

    “Carbon dioxide sequestration is the challenge of our times,” Varanasi says. There are a number of approaches, including geological sequestration, ocean storage, mineralization, and chemical conversion. When it comes to making useful, saleable products out of this greenhouse gas, electrochemical conversion is particularly promising, but it still needs improvements to become economically viable. “The goal of our work was to understand what’s the big bottleneck in this process, and to improve or mitigate that bottleneck,” he says.

    The bottleneck turned out to involve the delivery of the carbon dioxide to the catalytic surface that promotes the desired chemical transformations, the researchers found. In these electrochemical systems, the stream of carbon dioxide-containing gases is mixed with water, either under pressure or by bubbling it through a container outfitted with electrodes of a catalyst material such as copper. A voltage is then applied to promote chemical reactions producing carbon compounds that can be transformed into fuels or other products.

    There are two challenges in such systems: The reaction can proceed so fast that it uses up the supply of carbon dioxide reaching the catalyst more quickly than it can be replenished; and if that happens, a competing reaction — the splitting of water into hydrogen and oxygen — can take over and sap much of the energy being put into the reaction.

    Previous efforts to optimize these reactions by texturing the catalyst surfaces to increase the surface area for reactions had failed to deliver on their expectations, because the carbon dioxide supply to the surface couldn’t keep up with the increased reaction rate, thereby switching to hydrogen production over time.

    The researchers addressed these problems through the use of a gas-attracting surface placed in close proximity to the catalyst material. This material is a specially textured “gasphilic,” superhydrophobic material that repels water but allows a smooth layer of gas called a plastron to stay close along its surface. It keeps the incoming flow of carbon dioxide right up against the catalyst so that the desired carbon dioxide conversion reactions can be maximized.

    2
    On the left, a bubble strikes a specially textured gas-attracting surface, and spreads out across the surface, while on the right a bubble strikes an untreated surface and just bounces away. The treated surface is used in the new work to keep the carbon dioxide close to a catalyst. Credit: Varanasi Research Group.

    By using dye-based pH indicators, the researchers were able to visualize carbon dioxide concentration gradients in the test cell and show that the enhanced concentration of carbon dioxide emanates from the plastron.

    3
    Here, dyes are used to reveal the concentration levels of carbon dioxide in the water. Green shows areas where the carbon dioxide is more concentrated, and blue shows areas where it is depleted. The green region at left shows the carbon dioxide staying concentrated next to the catalyst, thanks to the gas-attracting material. Credit: Varanasi Research Group.

    In a series of lab experiments using this setup, the rate of the carbon conversion reaction nearly doubled. It was also sustained over time, whereas in previous experiments the reaction quickly faded out. The system produced high rates of ethylene, propanol, and ethanol — a potential automotive fuel. Meanwhile, the competing hydrogen evolution was sharply curtailed. Although the new work makes it possible to fine-tune the system to produce the desired mix of product, in some applications, optimizing for hydrogen production as a fuel might be the desired result, which can also be done.

    “The important metric is selectivity,” Khan says, referring to the ability to generate valuable compounds that will be produced by a given mix of materials, textures, and voltages, and to adjust the configuration according to the desired output.

    By concentrating the carbon dioxide next to the catalyst surface, the new system also produced two new potentially useful carbon compounds, acetone, and acetate, that had not previously been detected in any such electrochemical systems at appreciable rates.

    In this initial laboratory work, a single strip of the hydrophobic, gas-attracting material was placed next to a single copper electrode, but in future work a practical device might be made using a dense set of interleaved pairs of plates, Varanasi suggests.

    Compared to previous work on electrochemical carbon reduction with nanostructure catalysts, Varanasi says, “we significantly outperform them all, because even though it’s the same catalyst, it’s how we are delivering the carbon dioxide that changes the game.”

    “This is a completely innovative way of feeding carbon dioxide into an electrolyzer,” says Ifan Stephens, a professor of materials engineering at Imperial College London, who was not connected to this research. “The authors translate fluid mechanics concepts used in the oil and gas industry to electrolytic fuel production. I think this kind of cross-fertilization from different fields is very exciting.”

    Stephens adds, “Carbon dioxide reduction has a great potential as a way of making platform chemicals, such as ethylene, from waste electricity, water, and carbon dioxide. Ethylene is currently formed by cracking long chain hydrocarbons from fossil fuels; its production emits copious amounts of carbon dioxide​ to the atmosphere. This method could potentially lead to more efficient carbon dioxide​ reduction, which could eventually move our society away from our current reliance on fossil fuels.”

    See the full article here .


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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.


    Stem Education Coalition

    MIT Seal

    The mission of MIT is to advance knowledge and educate students in science, technology, and other areas of scholarship that will best serve the nation and the world in the twenty-first century. We seek to develop in each member of the MIT community the ability and passion to work wisely, creatively, and effectively for the betterment of humankind.

    USPS “Forever” postage stamps celebrating Innovation at MIT.

    MIT Campus

     
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