Event

Engineering for Global Impact: Highlights from the Engineers Without Borders 2024 Northeast Regional Conference

The Engineers Without Borders (EWB) 2024 Northeast Regional Conference, hosted at UConn’s Innovation Partnership Building in March, brought together over 100 engineering students, professionals, and faculty advisors. Participants engaged in technical sessions, workshops, and professional development activities. EWB-USA, a nonprofit organization, supports community-driven engineering projects globally, with 155 chapters nationwide, including 42 in the northeast.

Attendees included special guests hydrogeologist Nadia Glucksberg and geologist-environmental scientist Helena Hollauer, along with Community Engineering Corps, an EWB partner organization that helps U.S. communities lacking engineering services. A full-day poster session showcased attendees’ recent projects, and EWB-UConn discussed their sanitation and sustainability initiatives in Peru and Kenya.

“The conference brought together students and professionals that want to use engineering to make the world a better place for more people,” says Jeffrey McCutcheon, Centennial Professor in the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department. “It’s a very important change in the way that engineering is perceived, and I believe better addresses the interest of our next generation of engineers.”

EWB-UConn President Brian Machado’25 (ENG) praised the turnout and camaraderie among chapters, reflecting a shared commitment to engineering for global betterment.

Read the full article here.

C2E2 Graduate Student Research Summit in Sustainability

grad studentsat IPB sustainability summit

 

grad students at IPB sustainability summitThe Center of Clean Energy Engineering (C2E2) hosted its first C2E2 Graduate Student Research Summit in Sustainability on February 16th and 17th at IPB. Organized by graduate students Alanna Gado and Leila Chebbo, the event featured 30 student presentations covering diverse research topics such as cultivated beef, air filter effectiveness, desalination, desulfurization, space exploration, electrolyzers, fuel cells, and membrane applications.

The summit offered a venue for doctoral candidates to share their ongoing research and engage in discussions about sustainability challenges. Participants had the opportunity to refine their presentation skills and receive feedback from both peers and faculty members. Networking sessions facilitated connections among students and others within the C2E2 community.

grad students at IPB sustainability summit

 

Presentations were evaluated by the audience, with awards given in three categories. Leila Chebbo took first place, followed by Christabel Adjah-Tetteh in second, and Alanna Gado, Hasnain Nisar, Yasmin Bimbatti, and Ben Cohen sharing third place. Additionally, honorable mentions were awarded to Elena Ford, Christopher Hawxhurst, and Hasan Nikkah.

The summit demonstrated the students’ commitment to advancing clean energy technologies and tackling sustainability challenges, and underscores C2E2’s commitment to fostering the development of future researchers and innovators in the field.

 

Student Advisors

    Christabel Adjah-Tetteh Professor Xiao-Dong Zhou, Director of C2E2
    Chemical Engineering
    Yasmin Bimbatti Professor Jeffrey McCutcheon
    Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
    Leila Chebbo Associate Professor Ali Bazzi
    Electrical Computing and Engineering
    Ben Cohen Professor George Bollas &
    Assistant Professor Burcu Beykal
    Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
    Elena Ford Assistant Research Professor Naba Karan
    C2E2
    Alanna Gado Radenka Maric
    President | University of Connecticut
    Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor
    Christopher Hawxhurst Professor Lesli Shor
    Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
    Hasan Nikkah Associate Professor Burcu Beykal
    Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
    Hasnain Nisar Assistant Professor Ali Bazzi
    Electrical Computing and Engineering

     

    Annual Eversource Energy Center Workshop 2024

    Lightning striking power lines.The Annual Eversource Energy Center (EEC) Workshop convened on February 9th at the Innovation Partnership Building and attracted over 80 participants from industry, government, and academia, including top New England utility companies Eversource, Avangrid, ConEdison, and National Grid, alongside others such as PECO (Exelon) and Hydro Quebec. Notable attendees also included ISO-NE, with responsibility for ensuring reliability and overseeing electricity markets across all of New England. Keynote speaker David Howard, Director of Grid Components at the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Electricity, addressed the gathering.

    The workshop centered on EEC’s five research pillars, encompassing grid resilience and reliability, renewable energy, cyber-physical system security, and workforce training and outreach. The morning kicked off with presentations from UConn faculty showcasing nineteen ongoing funded projects spanning these topics, sharing progress with industry stakeholders, advisory board members, and colleagues.
    Afternoon breakout groups provided the opportunity for in-depth discussion of the individual projects presented during the morning session. Researchers received valuable feedback on industry priorities and needs, discussed next steps, and shared insights on potential new research and funding opportunities.

    According to Assistant Professor Diego Cerrai, Associate Director for EEC, “This was a fantastic day where we were able to network, reconnect, and exchange ideas.” Assistant Professor Xinxuan Zhang, EEC Center Manager, adds, “The afternoon session I participated in was extremely valuable for informing new ideas for my research. It was very inspiring to see the enthusiasm and engagement of my colleagues and industry partners.”

    This robust framework is central to EEC’s continued success. EEC Center Director and UConn Tech Park Executive Director Emmanouil Anagnostou was delighted with the outcome. “The annual workshop is vital to the Eversource Energy Center’s power grid resilience and clean energy. It continues to build upon ongoing research and provides a critical foundation that enhances our prospects for future federal funding on climate resilience, smart grid, and sustainability as well as collaboration and co-sponsorships with industry.”

     

    Eversource Energy Center Mission Statement and Pillars

    Mission

    To be the foremost energy utility-academia partnership advancing leading-edge interdisciplinary research and technology assuring reliable power during extreme weather and security events.

    Pillars

    To fulfill our mission, our center will focus the new EVERSOURCE-UConn partnership research activities over the next five years under the following five pillars:

    1. Grid Resilience in a Warming Climate
    2. Grid Reliability in a Changing Demand Environment
    3. Renewable Energy Integration
    4. Cyber-Physical System Security
    5. Workforce training, outreach, and policy

     

    About Eversource Energy Center

    The Eversource Energy Center, a partnership between UConn and Eversource utility company, addresses resilience challenges in the energy sector, particularly regarding extreme weather, climate change, and clean power infrastructure. Housed at UConn’s Innovation Partnership Building, the Center leverages university resources to innovate and develop solutions for weather-related risks and security events. Supported by funding from various sources, including utilities, industry, and federal entities, the Center serves as a hub for interdisciplinary research, teaching, and workforce development. Emphasizing both technological advancement and people development, the Center supports student programs and diversity initiatives. EEC is committed to active collaborations driving innovation in storm preparedness, grid resilience, and modernization, inviting further participation in shaping the future grid.

    Registration Open for New England Security Day

    UConn will host the New England Security Day on March 15, 2024 at the Innovation Partnership Building | UConn Tech Park. This event showcases cutting-edge research in all areas of cybersecurity from academics and professionals. The audience is a mix of students (undergraduate and graduate) and working researchers. It represents an opportunity to learn about state-of-the-art and recruit phenomenal students from universities across New England. The program committee creating the schedule has participants from Boston University, Brown, UConn, Harvard, UMass, MIT, Northeastern, WPI, and Yale. We encourage attendance and participation from industry. Talks will be accessible to a general audience in cybersecurity so don’t worry if you’re behind on the latest fuzzer, ML methods for intrusion detection, or efficient post-quantum cryptography.

    Please register here. If you would like to be more involved please contact Jessica Guilbeault jessica.guilbeault@uconn.edu and Benjamin Fuller Benjamin.fuller@uconn.edu.