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Northwestern Sustainability Lecture Series to Explore Energy, Climate, and Urban Transformations

October 2022   The day-long summit on October 31 will feature talks from six international leaders in sustainability

from Engineering News

It's raining harder in the US

October 2022   New study finds rainfall is becoming more intense across most of the United States

from Northwestern Now

CESR Newsletter 10.21.22

October 2022   Daniel Horton investigates increasingly severe rainfall across US; Sustainability Lecture Series approaching; events, job postings, and new research

CESR Newsletter 10.7.22

October 2022   CESR Office Hours and Seed Funding announcements; funding, job, and event postings

The Environmental Impact of Medical Equipment

September 2022   Led by Jennifer Dunn, McCormick students investigated the sustainability of healthcare

from Engineering News

Akono Receives 2022 Johnson & Johnson Scholars Award

September 2022   The award recognizes Akono’s work in creating novel scaffolds for bone tissue regenerative engineering

from Engineering News

Investing in New Water Filtration Membranes is Worth It

September 2022   An analysis of antifouling membranes shows they reduce costs and energy over their lifetimes.

from Engineering News

CESR Newsletter 9.23.22

September 2022   Engagement opportunities with CESR director and programs; highlighted work from Jennifer Dunn, award for Ange-Therese Akono; seminar, job, and funding opportunities at and beyond Northwestern

Northwestern Partners with Indigenous Scientists to Conserve Great Lakes Wetlands

September 2022   Project is first NSF-funded Coastlines and People Hub for the Great Lakes region

from Engineering News

Solving the Puzzle of Sustainable Energy

September 2022   Keith Tyo is applying methods derived from computational synthetic biology to optimize clostridium

from Engineering News

Northwestern Joins Collaboration to Study Climate and Urban Science in Chicago

September 2022   Researchers will use models to identify equitable climate and energy solutions

from Engineering News

CESR Extends Gratitude to Its Founding Director, Bill Miller

September 2022   Professor Miller has retired after decades of exemplary service at Northwestern

CESR Newsletter 9.9.22

September 2022   Best wishes to departing CESR Co-Director Bill Miller on his retirement; drop-in office hours announced to discuss new CESR initiatives; Seed Funding announcement approaching; several new initiatives from CESR affiliated faculty

Climate-resilient breadfruit might be the food of the future

August 2022   Study finds shifting climate will have little effect on breadfruit cultivation

from Engineering News

Inflation Reduction Act: Sourcing materials and making batteries are challenging

August 2022   In an op-ed, Jennifer Dunn lays out the obstacles to meeting the IRA’s new EV battery targets, requiring leadership from engineers at all levels

from The Hill

CESR Newsletter 8.26.22

August 2022   EV Battery Op-Ed by CESR Director; Climate-resilient breadfruit might be the food of the future; events and funding opportunities in sustainability

Debris Flow Model Highlights Lingering Dangers After Wildfires

August 2022   Water flow assessment could one day act as early-warning system for mudslides

from Northwestern Now

CESR Hosts Life Cycle Assessment Workshop

August 2022   The three-day event provided participants with the tools to use LCA in their own work

CESR Newsletter 8.12.22

August 2022   CESR LCA Workshop Held August 9-11; Horton Develops Debris Flow Model for Post-Wildfire Landscapes; Funding Announcements and Opportunities

Richards Team Identifies Drivers of Charge Transport in Suspensions

July 2022   The breakthrough could open up new avenues for designing sustainable energy storage systems

from Engineering News

Opera Bioscience Wins 2022 Equalize Pitch Competition

July 2022   The startup streamlines production of high-purity proteins, with significant implications for synthetic meat production

from Engineering News

CESR Newsletter 7.29.22

July 2022   Opera Bioscience Wins 2022 Equalize Pitch Competition; Richards Team Identifies Drivers of Charge Transport in Suspensions; Funding and Publication Announcements for CESR Faculty

Dunand Project Pursues Up-Cycling Pipeline for Lanthanum

July 2022   The project was one of 30 recently funded by DOE's Advanced Manufacturing Office

from Materials Science & Engineering Dept

Targeting Bacterial Shells May Hold Key to Preserving Good Bacteria During Treatment

July 2022   Focusing on a structure most common in dangerous pathogens shows promise in improving treatment outcomes

from Engineering News

CESR Newsletter 7.8.22

July 2022   LCA Workshop registration deadline is next week; Saving good bacteria while fighting infection; Funding and publishing opportunities

CESR Newsletter 6.24.22

June 2022   Application deadline for CESR Life Cycle Assessment Course extended through July 13th; Northwestern University adopts new investment guidelines taking greater account of associated energy usage

CESR to Hold Life Cycle Assessment Workshop August 9-11th

June 2022   Graduate students encouraged to apply

Strengthening the Power Grid for a More Sustainable Future

June 2022   With r-Box, Michael Jewett and collaborators widen the possibilities for fuel biosynthesisAndreas Waechter and Ermin Wei are designing new ways for power systems to cope with complex inputs

from Engineering News

Building a Sustainable Energy Development Pipeline

June 2022   With r-Box, Michael Jewett and collaborators widen the possibilities for fuel biosynthesis

from Engineering News

CESR Newsletter 6.10.22

June 2022   CESR Announces Life Cycle Assessment Workshop August 9-11th; Building a Sustainable Development Pipeline; Strengthening the Power Grid for a More Sustainable Future

Advances in Carbon Fixation May Hold Key to Better Crop Yields

May 2022   Modeling of efficient concentration mechanisms in algae could translate to development of faster-growing food crops

from Engineering News

Sustainability Poster Session Highlights Achievements of CESR Seed Grant Projects

May 2022   The May 17th session provided a forum for 16 research groups to discuss their existing research and build future collaboration opportunities

CESR Newsletter 5.27.22

May 2022   Sustainability Poster Session brings together 16 presenting groups; faster crop growth through carbon fixation; seminars and funding opportunities

CESR Newsletter 5.13.22

May 2022   CESR Sustainability Poster Session on Tuesday, May 17th, Northwestern Receives Top Sustainability Designation

Building Towards a Circular Bioeconomy

April 2022   Panel discussion highlights takeaways and next steps from fall UIDP conference

from UIDP

Untangling the Knot of Thermoset Recycling

April 2022   Dynamic bonding holds the key to reusing the common plastic

from Physics

CESR Newsletter 4.29.22

April 2022   Sustainability Lecture Series Scheduled for May 26th; Advances in Thermoset Recycling; Steps Towards a Circular Bioeconomy

Muzhou Wang's Paper Named Cozzarelli Award Finalist

April 2022   The paper advances new techniques for non-invasive polymer imaging

from Engineering News

Lucks Lab Unlocks the Secrets of RNA Switches

April 2022   Simulation allows new insights into gene expression

from Engineering News

Nacre Defect Mapping a Step Towards a Greener Future

April 2022   Identifying and eliminating material defects could be key for carbon sequestration

from Engineering News

CESR Newsletter 4.15.22

April 2022   Nacre mapping for more durable carbon capture, RNA switches key to activation and deactivation of gene expression, Cozzarelli Award finalist announced from Northwestern

New Upcycling Process Promises Dramatic Shift in Polyester Recovery

April 2022   Polymer coating allows polyester-eating enzyme to survive the heat of the recycling process, allowing for more sustainable reuse of common plastics

from Northwestern Now

CESR Newsletter 4.1.22

April 2022   CESR Sustainability Poster Session on May 17th, New Methods for Recycling Polyester

Josiah Hester Receives NSF CAREER Award

March 2022   The award supports Hester’s ongoing innovations in battery-free computing development

from Engineering News

Linsey Seitz Receives NSF CAREER Award

March 2022   The award supports Seitz’s development of catalysts for hydrogen extraction from water, allowing for more sustainable processing of fuels and chemicals

from Engineering News

Gas Fermentation Shows Promise for Harnessing Waste CO2

March 2022   The newly published recycling process transforms waste carbon into valuable industrial chemicals

from Engineering News

CESR Newsletter 3.11.22

March 2022   CESR Undergraduate Research page is now accessible, Energy and Sustainability research highlighted in exchange with National Taiwan University, Michael Jewett harnesses waste CO2 for chemical production, Linsey Seitz and Jonah Hester win CAREER awards

Assessing Water Quality with a Molecular Brain

February 2022   Adding a circuit-like genetic network allows for more complex assessment of contaminants

from Northwestern Now

Josiah Hester, Muzhou Wang Named Sloan Research Fellows

February 2022   Sloan Fellowships support exceptional early-career researchers in a range of scientific and technical fields

from Engineering News

Julius Lucks Elected to AIMBE College of Fellows

February 2022   Fellows make up the top 2 percent of medical and biological engineers in the United States

from Engineering News

Jian Cao Elected to National Academy of Engineering

February 2022   Among numerous accomplishments, the award honors Cao’s work in flexible, energy-efficient manufacturing

from Engineering News

CESR Newsletter 2.28.22

February 2022   Jian Cao and Julius Lucks recognized as top researchers in their fields, Josiah Hester and Muzhou Wang named Sloan Research Fellows

Find Undergraduate Research Assistants Using the New CESR Project Database

February 2022   Our new posting site provides students and faculty with a centralized internal job board for sustainability-related research projects

Alessandro Rotta Loria Receives Curriculum Innovation Award

February 2022   Using wireless temperature sensors buried in the Loop, Rotta Loria brings actionable real-world data to class

from Northwestern Now

Josiah Hester Receives Daniel I. Linzer Award

February 2022   The award recognizes Hester’s “tireless work to build a more diverse, inclusive and equitable climate…especially in a field in which women and people of color are underrepresented.”

from Engineering News

CESR Newsletter 2.11.22

February 2022   Hester, Rotta Loria receive university awards; CESR offers job board for undergraduate research positions in sustainability

"Fitbit for the Face" Can Turn Any Face Mask into Smart Monitoring Device

January 2022   FaceBit can monitor wearer's health, sense heartbeat through face

from Engineering News

CESR Newsletter 1.28.22

January 2022   "Fitbit for the Face" monitors healthcare worker safety using ambient energy sources; several conference and award opportunities announced

DOE Establishes New Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations Under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law

January 2022   The announcement comes alongside several other significant funding commitments in the coming year

Microplastic pollution lingers in rivers for years before entering oceans

January 2022   Water dynamics can trap lightweight microplastics that otherwise might float

from Northwestern Now

Enabling commercial success of industrial biotechnology

January 2022   Keith Tyo and his collaborators identify major obstacles to continued success in the biotechnology sector, and how to begin addressing them

Understanding Cobalt's Human Cost

January 2022   While the benefits of green battery technology for emissions reduction are clear, a recent paper argues that the enormous associated human cost to mining communities must be addressed before these technologies can be considered clean

from Engineering News

CESR Newsletter Issue #43

January 2022   Accounting for the human costs of green technology production; systemic obstacles and paths forward for biotechnology development; microplastic pollution a greater threat to rivers than previously believed

Infrastructure Bill Promises Sustainability Project Funding Opportunities in 2022

December 2021   Significant sections of the $1 trillion bill are dedicated to clean energy technology research and demonstration

Six CESR Affiliated Faculty Members Designated "Highly Cited Researchers" for 2021

December 2021   The list honors researchers who have had papers cited most frequently in the last decade

CESR Newsletter Issue #42

December 2021   Six CESR-affiliated faculty named Highly Cited Researchers for 2021; 2021 Seed Grant executive summaries now available

Shaping a Sustainable Future for a Common Plastic

December 2021   Team identifies new opportunities to reduce the environmental impact of polyurethane

from Northwestern Engineering

CESR Newsletter Issue #41

December 2021   A team including CESR's Co-Director identifies new possibilities for increasing polyurethane recycling; need for resilient global supply chain highlighted in Patterson Transportation Lecture

Is mass timber the building material of the future?

November 2021   The material may be carbon-friendly alternative to concrete in some construction projects

from PBS

Why we must make the Great Lakes ‘smarter’ to prepare for climate change

November 2021   Aaron Packman highlights the potential of big data in the fight against climate disasters

from The Chicago Tribune

2021 Seed Funding Awards Announced

November 2021   The four winning teams bring together collaborators from across the McCormick School of Engineering and beyond to foster innovative research

CESR Newsletter Issue #40

November 2021   Seed grants awarded to four teams to carry out innovative, high risk research through novel collaborations

Northwestern One Book Selection for 2021-2022 Discusses Climate Change and Sustainability

November 2021   'The Story of More' is an essential primer on climate change and mechanisms that drive it

from Northwestern Now

CESR Symposium Highlights Connection Between Climate Research and Business, Policy

November 2021   Professors Jennifer Dunn, Bill Miller, and Jeff Richards moderated sessions during the conference

from Northwestern Engineering

CESR Newsletter Issue #39

November 2021   November 8, 2021 Newsletter: Symposium panelists provided updates on the latest in technology development for addressing climate change

Our DNA is Becoming the World’s Tiniest Hard Drive

October 2021   Researchers propose promising faster method for recording data to DNA

from Engineering News

Northwestern Team Among First to Visualize Polymers in Actual Material

October 2021   Researchers used super-resolution optical microscopy

from Engineering News

CESR Newsletter Issue #38

October 2021   October 15, 2021 Newsletter

CESR Newsletter Issue #37

October 2021   October 1, 2021 Newsletter

CESR Newsletter #36

September 2021   September 17, 2021 Newsletter

Hester Named 2021 Most Promising Engineer or Scientist by AISES

September 2021   Hester is working toward a sustainable future for computing influenced by his Native Hawaiian heritage

from Engineering News

CESR Newsletter #35

September 2021   September 3, 2021 Newsletter

CESR Newsletter #34

August 2021   August 20, 2021 Newsletter

CESR Newsletter Issue #33

August 2021   August 6, 2021 Newsletter

Hani Mahmassani, Transportation Center Driving Supply Chain Innovation

July 2021   During the pandemic – one of the greatest supply-chain challenges in recent history – Hani Mahmassani, the William A. Patterson Distinguished Chair in Transportation and professor of civil and environmental engineering at Northwestern Engineering, has been making important contributions by working with industry on new ideas to efficiently move products, including COVID-19 vaccines, while explaining it all in plain terms to the general public.

Novel Method Enables Enormous Datasets of Mechanical Properties in the Era of AI and Machine Learning

July 2021   New work from an interdisciplinary group of Northwestern Engineering researchers could make adhesive materials development quicker and more efficient. Led by primary investigator Muzhou Wang, assistant professor of chemical and biological engineering at the McCormick School of Engineering, the team created a simple, inexpensive, and colorimetric characterization method for adhesive strength in soft materials that can run thousands of samples at the same time. The method can characterize a wide range of materials, including both synthetic and biomaterials, with the testing environment easily tuned.

from Engineering News

Ehmann Receives SME’s Taylor Medal


July 2021   Northwestern Engineering's Kornel Ehmann, professor of mechanical engineering, has received the 2021 Frederick W. Taylor Research Medal from the SME, previously known as the Society of Manufacturing Engineers. The Taylor Medal is the highest honor given by SME to a researcher in the broad manufacturing field.

from Engineering News

CESR Newsletter Issue #32

July 2021   July 23, 2021 Newsletter

COVID-19 PCR Tests Can Be Freeze Dried

July 2021   Northwestern Engineering researchers have discovered that commercially available PCR tests can withstand the freeze-drying process, making them shelf-stable for up to 30 days and 50 degrees Celsius (122 degrees Fahrenheit) without sacrificing sensitivity and accuracy. The researchers found that the testing reagents could be pre-mixed with a standard preservative, freeze-dried and then distributed and stored at room temperatures. When the test is needed, health care workers then add water to rehydrate the test for immediate use. “At different points in time, the COVID-19 pandemic nearly broke our health care system,” said the McCormick School of Engineering’s Michael Jewett, who led the study. “With our strategy, we can eliminate the need for cold-chain shipping and reduce labor costs needed for on-site mixing of diagnostic reagents. It would be extremely gratifying if this could allow testing to be developed and deployed much more broadly around the globe.”

from Engineering News

New Material Captures Air-borne Droplets

July 2021   Although plexiglass barriers are seemingly everywhere these days — between grocery store lanes, around restaurant tables, and towering above office cubicles — they are an imperfect solution to blocking virus transmission. Instead of capturing virus-laden respiratory droplets and aerosols, plexiglass dividers merely deflect droplets, causing them to bounce away but remain in the air. To enhance the function of these protective barriers, Northwestern Engineering researchers have developed a new transparent material that can capture droplets and aerosols, effectively removing them from air. “Droplets collide with indoor surfaces all the time,” said Northwestern’s Jiaxing Huang, the study’s senior author. “Right now, plexiglass dividers are deviating devices; they deflect droplets. If a surface could actually trap droplets, then every single droplet effectively removed from indoor air would be a successful elimination of a potential source of transmission.”

from Engineering News

New ‘Swiss Army Knife’ Cleans Up Water Pollution

July 2021   Ecologists and engineers traditionally have developed tactics to address the mounting environmental and public health concerns around phosphate by eliminating phosphate from water sources. Only recently has the emphasis shifted away from removing to recovering phosphate. "One can always do certain things in a laboratory setting,” said Vinayak Dravid, the study’s corresponding author. “But there’s a Venn Diagram when it comes to scaling up, where you need to be able to scale the technology, you want it to be effective and you want it to be affordable. There was nothing in that intersection of the three before, but our sponge seems to be a platform that meets all these criteria.” Dravid is the Abraham Harris Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at Northwestern’s McCormick School of Engineering, the founding director of the Northwestern University Atomic and Nanoscale Characterization Experimental Center (NUANCE), and director of the Soft and Hybrid Nanotechnology Experimental Resource (SHyNE). Dravid also serves as the director of global initiatives for Northwestern’s International Institute of Nanotechnology. Ribet is a PhD student in Dravid’s lab and the paper’s first author.

from Engineering News

Novel Smart Cement Can Be Used to Build More Durable Roads and Cities

July 2021   With cement being the most widely consumed material globally and the cement industry accounting for eight percent of human-caused greenhouse gas emissions, Ange-Therese Akono, the lead author on the study and an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering in the McCormick School of Engineering, turned to nanoreinforced cement to look for a solution. Akono said nanomaterials reduce the carbon footprint of cement composites, but until now, little was known about its impact on fracture behavior. “The role of nanoparticles in this application has not been understood before now, so this is a major breakthrough,” Akono said. “As a fracture mechanics expert by training, I wanted to understand how to change cement production to enhance the fracture response.”

from Engineering News

CESR Newsletter Issue #31

July 2021   July 9, 2021 Newsletter

CESR Newsletter Issue #30

June 2021   June 25, 2021 Newsletter

CESR Newsletter Issue #29

June 2021   June 11, 2021 Newsletter

Kyoo-Chul Kenneth Park has been selected as a winner of the sixth Hanwha Non-Tenure Faculty Award by the Hanwha Group

June 2021   Hanwha’s Non-Tenured Faculty Awards program is designed to expand a range of research and development. The company’s award targets assistant professors with fewer than seven years of teaching experience in a field that’s relevant to advanced materials in subjects such as chemical engineering, chemistry, materials, and polymers.

from Engineering News

CESR Newsletter Issue #27

May 2021   May 14, 2021 Newsletter

CESR Newsletter Issue #26

April 2021   April 30, 2021 Newsletter

Jennifer Dunn Appointed to a National Academies Provisional Committee

April 2021   CESR Co-Director Jennifer Dunn has been appointed to a National Academies provisional committee for a new consensus study, Current Methods for Life Cycle Analyses of Low Carbon Transportation Fuels in the United States. This study aims to develop a reliable and coherent approach for applying LCA to low carbon fuel standards.

Assessment on Impacts of Climate Change to Illinois Foretells Serious Effects

April 2021   William Miller is Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering and Director, Center for Engineering Sustainability and Resilience and Aaron Packman is Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and (by courtesy) Mechanical Engineering and Chemical and Biological Engineering and Director of Northwestern Center for Water Research. They are contributors to a first-of-its-kind local assessment led by The Nature Conservancy.

from Northwestern Now

CESR Newsletter Issue #25

April 2021   April 16, 2021 Newsletter

CESR Newsletter Issue #24

April 2021   April 2, 2021 Newsletter

CESR Newsletter Issue #23

March 2021   March 15, 2021 Newsletter

CESR Newsletter Issue #22

February 2021   February 26, 2021 Newsletter

CESR Newsletter Issue #21

February 2021   February 12, 2021 Newsletter

CESR Newsletter Issue #20

January 2021   January 29, 2021 Newsletter

CESR Newsletter Issue #19

January 2021   January 15, 2021 Newsletter

CESR Newsletter Issue #18

December 2020   December 18, 2020 Newsletter

CESR Newsletter Issue #17

December 2020   December 4, 2020 Newsletter

CESR Newsletter #16

November 2020   November 20, 2020 Newsletter

CESR Newsletter Issue #15

November 2020   November 6, 2020 Newsletter

Daniel Horton Joins Artist Andrew S. Yang for a Discussion on Effects of Vehicle Exhaust

October 2020   Vehicle exhaust is the single biggest source of carbon dioxide emissions in Illinois. New research by Third Coast Disrupted scientist Daniel Horton and his team looks at how broader electric vehicle adoption would cut emissions, and save thousands of lives and billions of dollars.

CESR Newsletter Issue #14

October 2020   CESR Newsletter Issue #14

CESR Newsletter Issue #13

October 2020   October 1, 2020 Newsletter

CESR Newsletter Issue #12

September 2020   September 15, 2020 Newsletter

‘Third Coast Disrupted’ exhibition brings CESR affiliated faculty and artists together to prompt climate change action

September 2020   Christine Esposito, Daniel Horton, Aaron Packman collaborate on an art exhibition focused on climate. September 8 - October 30 at Glass Curtain Gallery.

CESR Newsletter Issue #11

September 2020   September 1, 2020 Newsletter

CESR Newsletter Issue #10

August 2020   August 17, 2020 Newsletter

CESR Newsletter Issue #9

July 2020   July 31, 2020 Newsletter

CESR Newsletter Issue #8

July 2020   July 10, 2020 Newsletter

CESR Newsletter Issue #7

June 2020   June 26, 2020 Newsletter

CESR Newsletter Issue #6

June 2020   June 9, 2020 Newsletter

Julius Lucks featured in Chicago Tribune

June 2020   Research from the Lucks lab is cited in Chicago Tribune article regarding SARS-CoV-2 tracking via wastewater.

from Chicago Tribune

CESR Affiliated Faculty Named to Crain's 2020 Notable Women in STEM

June 2020   Linda Broadbelt, Associate Dean for Research, McCormick School of Engineering & Applied Science, and Karen Smilowitz, James N. and Margie M. Krebs professor in Industrial Engineering and Management Sciences, were both named in this year's Crain's Notable Women in STEM. A list of 32 accomplished women represent different corners of the STEM world—science, technology, engineering and math.

from Crain's Chicago Business

Smart sponge provides inexpensive and efficient solution to clean oil spills without disrupting marine life

May 2020   Led by Vinayak Dravid, Northwestern team develops smart sponge with an ability to absorb more than 30 times its weight in oil.

from Northwestern Now

Wastewater could provide up to a week of warning for a COVID-19 spike

May 2020   Aaron Packman quoted in new COVID-19 story in Science News, related to wastewater and data collection.

from Science News

CESR Newsletter Issue #5

May 2020   May 21, 2020 Newsletter

CESR Newsletter Issue #4

April 2020   April 29, 2020 Newsletter

CESR Newsletter Issue #3

April 2020   April 7, 2020 Newsletter

CESR Newsletter Issue #2

March 2020   March 13, 2020 Newsletter

CESR Newsletter Issue #1

February 2020   The CESR inaugural newsletter

Buffett Institute for Global Affairs awards $150,000 in support to ‘Idea Incubation Workshop’ project

November 2019   The Northwestern Buffett Institute for Global Affairs awarded an estimated $150,000 in support to an innovative global research project — “Disproportionate Impacts of Environmental Challenges”— after hosting the institute’s inaugural “Idea Incubation Workshop” this month. from Northwestern Now

from Northwestern Now

Center for Engineering Sustainability and Resilience Hosts Workshop on Sustainable Urban Systems

November 2019   This workshop was organized by Northwestern University, Argonne National Laboratory, the University of Chicago, and many other partners with support from NSF to address natural and climate, technological, and societal disruptions that will transform urban systems.

from Northwestern Engineering

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