Energy & Sustainability

Harnessing the Power of Waves

2019-11-13T11:45:48-08:00 October 28th, 2019|Energy & Sustainability, Issue V, Volume XIX|

As fossil fuels become less viable as a long-term energy solution and the effects of global warming continue to worsen, new renewable energy solutions are in high demand. Solar, wind, hydro, and geothermal energies are now extremely popular and produce significant amounts of the world’s energy resources. Another budding form of renewable energy is ocean [...]

Rising Above Agricultural Challenges with Vertical Farming

2019-11-13T11:44:14-08:00 August 27th, 2019|Civil Engineering, Energy & Sustainability, Environmental Engineering, Food & Drink, Issue IV, Volume XIX|

Written by: Tina (Hyunsu) Ryu About the Author: Tina is a senior majoring in computer science games. Before moving to California, she lived in Ohio and South Korea. After graduation, she hopes to go abroad to become a digital nomad!  Abstract The conventional agricultural system fails to keep up with the expanding population as it [...]

Bottling the Problem: Drinking Water

2019-11-13T11:39:30-08:00 July 1st, 2019|Energy & Sustainability, Food & Drink, Industrial Engineering, Issue III, Material Science, Mechanical Engineering, Volume XIX|

Written by: Augustine Au Augustine is a junior studying Business Administration at the University of Southern California. He is passionate about entrepreneurship and aspires to use his knowledge to positively impact his community. Abstract The development of bottled drinking water has revolutionized the way in which the world has acquired and consumed water. This article [...]

Thermal Imaging: The next game changer for medical devices?

2019-03-07T17:38:07-08:00 March 7th, 2019|Biomedical Engineering, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Energy & Sustainability, Health & Medicine, Issue I, Material Science, Volume XIX|

Abstract Thermal imaging has incredible medical device applications. Infrared light is the driving force behind this technology because it allows us to produce an image derived from temperature variations. Bolometers allow infrared light to be converted to temperatures and are produced through UV lithography. The final product is infrared sensors that are affordable and can [...]

A Wireless World Is a Better World

2017-11-29T17:21:12-08:00 June 26th, 2016|Communication, Electrical Engineering, Energy & Sustainability, Issue II, Lifestyle, Power, Volume XVII|

The wireless transfer of electrical power is a technological concept that has been around since the late 19th century. However, this technology was never fully developed for commercial use, and after the death of its discoverer, Nicola Tesla, it became obsolete for almost a century. This technology was finally revived in the year 2007 by [...]

Dealing With Our Bacterial Neighbors: Engineering Deodorants and Antiperspirants to Prevent Malodor

2018-09-18T20:12:13-07:00 May 4th, 2016|Biomedical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Energy & Sustainability, Environmental Engineering, Food & Drink, Health & Medicine, Issue II, Lifestyle, Volume XVII, Water|

This paper investigates the physiological production of sweat, and how humans have developed strategies involving deodorants and antiperspirants to prevent the bacteria in our body from producing foul-odor chemicals. Well-known mechanisms of sweat production, from eccrine and apocrine glands, are described to introduce the topic. Biochemical explanations of the four main production pathways axillary bacteria [...]

Big Things in Small Packages: The Development of Portable Nuclear Reactors

2017-10-26T18:32:20-07:00 April 30th, 2014|Energy & Sustainability, Issue II, Power, Volume XVI|

This paper discusses the development of portable reactor technologies and the history behind the science and engineering of portable reactors, focusing on describing the LENR or low energy nuclear reactions associated with the development of small modular reactors. In addition, it will elaborate on the companies and governments researching small reactors, and the current status [...]

Layer-by-Layer: Engineering Surfaces

2017-11-03T17:26:51-07:00 May 1st, 2013|Civil Engineering, Energy & Sustainability, Issue II, Lifestyle, Material Science, Volume XV|

Modifying window panes with thin films can block infrared rays from entering a building, an innovation that can make cars and homes more energy-efficient by limiting the need for air conditioners and heating units. The technology behind these films—layer-by-layer deposition—features many remarkable applications in the present and promises even more for the future. Introduction You [...]

Can Electric Vehicles Charge Wirelessly?

2017-11-03T14:23:49-07:00 July 28th, 2012|Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Energy & Sustainability, Issue I, Physics, Power, Transportation, Volume XV|

Conventionally, electric vehicles are charged by plugging in the battery compartment to an outlet using a heavy duty wire. Recent work and study into inductive power transfer methods have shown that it is possible to power electric cars wirelessly. The work highlights the success achieved in charging car batteries by retrofitting them with inductive power [...]

Rail Guns: From Sci-Fi to Reality

2017-11-10T18:42:13-08:00 April 23rd, 2012|Aerospace Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Energy & Sustainability, Issue III, Physics, Security & Defense, Transportation, Volume XIV|

A rail gun uses magnetic and electric forces to accelerate a projectile. Parallel rails extend along the length of the firing chamber of the rail gun powered by capacitors. With the power generated by the magnetic fields contained in rail guns, objects can be launched at incredible speeds. The result is a destructive force. The [...]

Space-Based Solar Power: A New Path Towards Sustainable, Clean Energy?

2017-11-10T18:45:54-08:00 April 21st, 2012|Aerospace Engineering, Energy & Sustainability, Issue III, Material Science, Mechanical Engineering, Physics, Power, Security & Defense, Space, Volume XIV|

Space-based solar power (SBSP) is an idea that has been alternatively promoted and ignored since its inception in 1968. A space-based solar power system is essentially a satellite comprised mainly of solar panels that beams electrical energy down to a collecting station on Earth, which then distributes that energy to the domestic power grid. The [...]

Power-Generating Fashion: A Look into Smart Textiles

2017-11-11T17:31:33-08:00 December 7th, 2011|Electrical Engineering, Energy & Sustainability, Ergonomics, Issue III, Material Science, Mechanical Engineering, Physics, Volume XIII|

Technology has advanced the functions of clothing to a new level through the creation of power-generating textiles. These materials are made of solar cell or piezoelectric fabric that will allow enough electricity to be generated to recharge a small, portable electronic device. With additional engineering and research, clothing that can recharge any portable electronic device [...]

Maglevs: The Future of Flying Trains

2017-11-10T14:33:57-08:00 December 6th, 2011|Electrical Engineering, Energy & Sustainability, Issue II, Transportation, Volume XIV|

Maglev trains have the potential to revolutionize how we travel. The trains levitate using magnets, zipping through the air at speeds above 350 mph. These high speeds would allow for maglev trains to be a realistic alternative to flying, and they use very little energy and emit no pollutants during transportation. They require little maintenance, [...]

Thorium Reactors: Solving the Global Energy Crisis

2017-11-03T18:02:26-07:00 July 7th, 2011|Chemical Engineering, Energy & Sustainability, Issue I, Material Science, Volume XIV|

As global demand for energy increases and access to fossil fuels decreases, we face a crisis. Nuclear power offers ecologically sound energy, but it is costly to produce and maintain. In the wake of the tragedy at the Japanese nuclear power plant Fukushima Daiichi, nuclear energy seems less safe in the eyes of the public, [...]

Drag Reduction: The Pursuit of Better Fuel Economy

2017-11-03T17:50:23-07:00 April 4th, 2011|Aerospace Engineering, Energy & Sustainability, Issue I, Mechanical Engineering, Power, Transportation, Volume XIV|

Aerodynamics was first used to increase vehicle performance in race cars during the 1970s. Race car engineers realized that air flowing around the vehicle could be used to increase downforce and reduce aerodynamic drag on the car. As fuel economy became a strong factor in road vehicle design, engineers soon realized that the methods of [...]

The World’s Most Attractive Magnet that is not Attracting Attention

2017-11-03T17:59:18-07:00 March 11th, 2011|Energy & Sustainability, Issue I, Material Science, Mechanical Engineering, Volume XIV|

Invented in 1983, the neodymium magnet, though not well-known, is the world’s most powerful permanent magnet. Composed of approximately 70% iron, 5% boron, and 25% neodymium, neodymium magnets are utilized in electric motors, smart phones, hard drives, headphones, speakers, and many more applications. Compared with its predecessor, the Samarium Cobalt magnet, it is 1.5 to [...]

Diesel Engines: Is Old Technology Actually Green Technology?

2017-11-12T23:05:14-08:00 November 10th, 2010|Chemical Engineering, Energy & Sustainability, Issue III, Transportation, Volume XI|

Unbeknownst to many, the familiar diesel engine has potential for the implementation of clean diesel technology for use in the same way that hybrids are used today. From development and historical use of the diesel engine to the engineering principles by which the engine functions, diesel technology has evolved to meet the needs of a [...]

Microbial Fuel Cells: Generating Power from Waste

2017-11-11T16:45:47-08:00 May 4th, 2010|Chemical Engineering, Energy & Sustainability, Issue II, Recycling, Volume XII|

Microbial Fuel Cells (MFCs) use bacteria to convert organic waste material into electrical energy. This environmentally-friendly process produces electricity without the combustion of fossil fuels. MFCs have various practical applications such as in breweries, domestic wastewater treatment, desalination plants, hydrogen production, remote sensing, and pollution remediation, and they can be used as a remote power [...]

Recycling Plastics: New Recycling Technology and Biodegradable Polymer Development

2017-08-09T12:48:55-07:00 April 26th, 2010|Energy & Sustainability|

Plastics are usually disposed of in one of three ways: discarded, combusted, or recycled. Of the three options, recycling is least implemented. Because the disposal or combustion of plastics leads to detrimental health and environmental effects, short and long term solutions need to be established. A potential short-term solution would be the development of new [...]

Better Illuminating our Lives: The Need and Implementation of a Smart Grid

2017-11-11T17:12:02-08:00 February 20th, 2010|Energy & Sustainability, Environmental Engineering, Issue I, Volume XIII|

The demand for power in the United States is rising every year, mostly due to population growth and the increasing use of and dependence on electronics. Our current power grid, being nearly a century old, is simply struggling to keep up. The development of a Smart Grid is a necessary improvement for this country’s infrastructure [...]

California’s Water Crisis

2017-11-12T22:46:17-08:00 October 1st, 2009|Civil Engineering, Energy & Sustainability, Environmental Engineering, Issue II, Issue III, Volume XII|

With its naturally arid landscape, Southern California has always relied on water piped in from other locations in order to meets its demand. However, a growing population and dwindling supplies are creating a huge water deficiency. Traditional methods of tapping into new surface or groundwater sources have proven to be very detrimental to the environment, [...]

The Power of Pond Scum: Algae Biofuels

2017-11-03T17:17:18-07:00 May 1st, 2009|Chemical Engineering, Energy & Sustainability, Issue I, Volume XI|

Our world is facing a global energy crisis. As we continue to deplete non-renewable energy resources, we must seek to develop alternative renewable resources to meet our energy demands. Scientists and engineers are currently researching algae as a potential source of biofuel that might replace fossil fuels as a main source of energy. Compared to [...]

Underwater Habitats

2017-11-11T04:18:04-08:00 September 3rd, 2007|Building & Architecture, Energy & Sustainability, Issue IV, Lifestyle, Volume IX|

Last April, science hobbyist Lloyd Godson surfaced after surviving 13 days underwater in a lake near Albury, Australia. Godson's underwater habitat, the BioSUB, was designed to simulate a closed, autonomous environment. Using a Biocoil, a gas-exchange system that utilizes the photosynthetic properties of chlorella algae when supplied with carbon dioxide, light, and water, Godson was [...]

Motion Sensors

2017-11-11T04:14:34-08:00 September 3rd, 2007|Electrical Engineering, Energy & Sustainability, Issue IV, Volume IX|

Motion sensors are found everywhere today. This technology has helped accommodate our busy schedules by making our daily activities more efficient and convenient. These sensors were introduced by the demand for detection of enemy aircraft during World War II and were ultimately developed to apply to everyday life. With the demand of useful tools to [...]

Turbochargers

2017-11-11T04:06:03-08:00 October 3rd, 2005|Energy & Sustainability, Issue III, Mechanical Engineering, Transportation, Volume IX|

Turbocharging, a technology originally developed for use in aircraft, is a current trend among automobile enthusiasts. Applying a turbocharger to an internal combustion engine increases the power output of that engine, allowing for greater acceleration and higher maximum speeds. Turbochargers increase an automobile's power-to-weight ratio by harnessing the exhaust from the engine. They can also [...]

Engineering Water: Finding Solutions to a Drying Well

2018-11-07T10:37:58-08:00 September 1st, 2004|Energy & Sustainability, Environmental Engineering, Issue II, Volume VI|

The global fresh water supply has become a major concern as most third world nations, and even some developed countries, face the disconcerting reality that drinkable water is running out. To solve this newly realized crisis, engineers are offering the world new, innovative techniques for water purification. Nanotechnology, technological development on the nanometer scale, is [...]

Biodiesel: A Realistic Alternative?

2017-10-26T18:24:11-07:00 May 23rd, 2004|Energy & Sustainability|

Biodiesel is a renewable source of energy that could potentially reduce the world's dependence on coal and crude oil. It is a byproduct of refined vegetable and soybean oils, and it contains almost the same amount of energy per gallon as traditional diesel while having cleaner emissions when consumed. Biodiesel is not a mainstream fuel [...]

Phytoremediation

2019-01-10T11:09:39-08:00 May 3rd, 2003|Chemical Engineering, Energy & Sustainability, Environmental Engineering, Issue II, Volume V|

The natural environment is very easily polluted by the toxic compounds contained in oil. In the past, methods for restoring contaminated areas have been expensive but largely inadequate. A recently developed decontamination process called phytoremediation uses plants along with the bacteria that live in their roots to break down the toxins directly, or to absorb [...]

Bamboo: An Alternative Movement

2019-01-10T11:50:52-08:00 April 7th, 2003|Building & Architecture, Energy & Sustainability, Issue IV, Material Science, Volume V|

Bamboo is emerging as an alternative resource to other types of wood. In the past, people intuitively used it as a basic material for making many different household objects and small structures. However, ongoing research and engineering efforts are enabling us to realize bamboo's true value as a renewable, versatile and readily available economic resource. [...]

Alternative Building for the Future

2019-01-10T11:56:34-08:00 March 12th, 2003|Building & Architecture, Energy & Sustainability, Environmental Engineering, Issue IV, Material Science, Volume V|

The advancement of technology and the preservation of the environment do not have to be opposing goals. When taken together, these objectives provide the basis for sustainable technologies that reduce resource consumption and pollution. Through the use of these technologies and a little creative planning, a building can be constructed that includes all the expected [...]

Is Safeguarding America’s Nuclear Power Plants Impossible?

2017-10-30T11:20:23-07:00 March 16th, 2002|Energy & Sustainability, Issue I, Volume III|

Today, nuclear power plants are one of the most common forms of power production. Much of the world today is dependent on nuclear power, despite the inherent danger that radioactive fuel presents. Although nuclear power plants have been engineered for the utmost safety during normal operation, they are still vulnerable to intentional acts of sabotage. [...]

Engineering a More Fish-Friendly Dam

2018-11-07T16:01:57-08:00 September 1st, 2001|Energy & Sustainability, Environmental Engineering, Issue I, Volume VI|

Thousands of Americans have come to rely on dams not only as a source of inexpensive power, but also for irrigation and navigational needs. In spite of their benefits, dams have come under fire because of the role they have played in contributing to the decline of Pacific Northwest salmon populations. To avoid dam removal, [...]

Hybrid Electric Vehicles: A History of Technological Innovation

2017-10-26T18:27:42-07:00 October 1st, 2000|Energy & Sustainability, Environmental Engineering, Issue II, Lifestyle, Transportation, Volume II|

The release of the first hybrid electric vehicles in the United States marks the start of a revolution. Hybrid vehicles are electric cars that utilize small internal-combustion engines and an electric generator. The advantages of this concept are clear: increased fuel efficiency and reduced levels of pollution without the complications and maintenance requirements of a [...]