Engineered wood in wind turbine blades: Focus of Clouston’s NSF-funded summer Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU)

Engineered wood in wind turbine blades: Focus of Clouston’s NSF-funded summer Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU)

The UMass Offshore Wind Energy Program hosted an NSF-funded Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) this summer. BCT Professor, Peggi Clouston, along with her PhD student, Rachel Koh from Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, mentored and supervised two of these students in research projects that explored the use of engineered wood laminates in offshore wind turbine blades. The students, Malia Charter from Smith College and Yashira Valentin Feliciano from University of Puerto Rico/Mayaguez, participated in hands-on research in Clouston’s lab, a three day field trip to Cape Cod and Boston, weekly seminars on professional development and on the state of the art in wind energy research. Malia’s research involved computer modeling turbine blades using the Numerical Manufacturing and Design tool produced by Sandia National Laboratory (SNL). Three major blade components: spar cap, skin, and shear web were volumetrically replaced with laminated veneer lumber composites. These four blades along with an entirely wooden blade were subjected to static and inertial loads through finite element...
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Crowdfunding Campaign Underway for Wood on the Plaza Project

Crowdfunding Campaign Underway for Wood on the Plaza Project

Together with her graduate students, BCT Associate Professor Peggi Clouston is starting a crowdfunding campaign to turn the idea of a 30-foot wooden gridshell into reality. The project involves a large public art exhibition on Wood Architecture and Engineering to be held on the Plaza of the UMass Fine Arts Center. The plan is to build a 30 foot timber grid shell as a demonstration structure to raise awareness about the environmental benefits of wood construction while at the same time create excitement around the new UMass Design Building being framed in wood. The promotional video is below and here’s a link to the project website where anyone can make an online donation:  http://woodontheplaza.info/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MRqNPCq3PVM&feature=youtu.be There are major company donors already but the team is seeking everyone's help in getting the word out. Please share this post with anyone who may interested in supporting the cause....
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Eureka Girls Build and Test Bridges with BCT PhD Students

Eureka Girls Build and Test Bridges with BCT PhD Students

BCT Ph.D. Candidates Carl Fiocchi, Nariman Mostafavi, and Soroush Farzinmoghadam sponsored a session for “Eureka” which is on campus for the month of July. Eureka is a fantastic program where young women are exposed to opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math. In this session, “Why Buildings don’t Fall Down – Building with Macaroni” the girls, Eureka Scholars, viewed a presentation on buildings and bridges - elegant, strong, and safe; worked through a statics lecture solving a simple equilibrium problem, reviewed a vocabulary list of some structural terms and forces, and learned some of building techniques and strategies (with Macaroni). They then built a macaroni bridge and tested its response to greater and greater loads until finally the structures failed or in some cases until they started to fail as some girls wanted to keep their models. Some bridges were pretty darn robust --- check out the photos! You can find more images on our Facebook page....
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Weil to speak on net-zero Food Coop at Green Night

Weil to speak on net-zero Food Coop at Green Night

The Western Mass Green Consortium is hosting a presentation by board members of the Quabbin Harvest Food Coop on their path towards a net-zero energy operation. BCT faculty member, Ben Weil provided the hygothermal modeling and analysis that enabled them to insulate an antique structural masonry building that might have otherwise been too risky to insulate (due to potential increased freeze/thaw and moisture issues). As part of their Energy Auditing course, BCT students Andrew Weuling and Brian Sunnerberg worked with Weil, using infrared thermography, pressure testing, and temperature data logging to provide analyses and prescriptions that will enable the Coop to reduce its energy use for heating and cooling, recover heat from the refrigeration equipment, and run the refrigeration and freezers more efficiently. Come hear about a project that combines cutting-edge building science, renewable energy, sustainable local food systems, and community organizing and economic development. Western Mass Green Consortium’s Green Night is July 8, 2015 at the Clarion Hotel in Northampton from...
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BCT Students Revitalize Springfield

As part of a day of volunteering with Revitalize CDC in the Old Hill neighborhood of Springfield, MA, BCT students helped make homes more energy efficient.In the words of Zachary Kushner, co-president of the NAHB student group at UMass Amherst: “It's always nice to do community service projects ... but its also good for team bonding and we can all work together and accomplish the same goal. And at the end of the day, we can look back at the work we did and you know its a good feeling.” You can watch the entire video of the WGGB report below: Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM   The NAHB student group also has photos of the event on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.969283853111319.1073741834.746049955434711&type=1...
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