(May 13, 2010)--The University of Texas at San Antonio, led by technical experts from the College of Engineering's Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and supported by engineers and project managers from the UTSA Office of Facilities, will receive $1.08 million in Department of Energy stimulus funds distributed by the State Energy Conservation Office (SECO) to install solar panels on two buildings at the UTSA Main Campus.
Led by engineering professors Brian Kelley, Mo Jamshidi and Hariharan Krishnaswami with assistance from undergraduate student Gerardo Trevino, the project will produce a wireless smart grid to monitor the energy and cost savings from utilizing the solar panels.
The solar-energy grant is one of four that will enable solar panel installations in San Antonio. The City of San Antonio, St. Philip's College and the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio also received funding for solar initiatives.
"This is a big step forward for sustainability in San Antonio," said Mayor Julian Castro. "With these grants, we will multiply our solar energy production by several times as well as make real the value of renewable sources of energy to the community."
Mauli Agrawal, dean of the UTSA College of Engineering, said the grant already is building momentum for energy research at UTSA. "UTSA is committed to achieving national research status," he said. "Through energy and sustainability research, the College of Engineering is steadfast in supporting that goal."
UTSA will install the solar panels on the roofs of the University Center's recent expansion and the Support Services Building on the Main Campus. The panels are expected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions up to 273,661 pounds annually, the equivalent of planting 37.2 acres of trees. They also are expected to generate 237 megawatt hours of energy, saving UTSA as much as $64,000 per year.
"The introduction of this green technology fits into UTSA's long-term energy plan by reducing annual utility costs and providing a renewable source of electricity to power UTSA facilities," said Dave Riker, UTSA associate vice president for facilities. "This will result in saving scarce operating funds for other important purposes."
CPS Energy also will participate in the UTSA solar initiative. To create opportunities for UTSA students to work on the project, $127,720 is pledged from its solar rebate program for student scholarships.
"It may be one of these very students who someday develops more efficient solar power generation technologies or solves the all-important issue of power storage, making renewable energy sources like solar PV as effective as conventional power plants in supplying our energy needs," said Bruce Evans, CPS Energy director of custom solutions delivery.
The UTSA solar energy systems are planned to be in operation by the end of next year.
The annual Center for Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship (CITE) 100K Venture Competition and Exposition will be held on the Main Campus on Dec. 1. Twenty-eight teams from across the university will exhibit their project; six teams will compete for a prize pool of more than $100,000 in funding to launch their new venture / company. More than 650 students have participated in launching new technology ventures.
Biotechnology, Sciences and Engineering (BSE 2.102), Main Campus
This concert features 50 community children performing music in the UTSA Downtown String Project Winter Concert. The children, led by UTSA music students studying to be music teachers, will join together in playing the Theme from Batman at their concert. The Batman of San Antonio, a local celebrity figure, will make an appearance at the concert. This event is free.
Buena Vista Theatre, Downtown Campus
Graduate student uses storytelling to highlight important issues facing children
As touch screens and e-books demand more and more attention from both casual readers and scholars, many people say the handwriting is on the wall for the printed page.
At UTSA, the handwriting is on the wall for a library that doesn't have any printed books.
Since March 2010, the bookless library in the Applied Engineering and Technology Building has given UTSA students an innovative way to read, research and work with each other to solve problems.
With ultra-modern furniture and a décor featuring desktop computers, scanners and LCD screens, the AET Library is designed to engage students in an online format. But it also offers group study niches and study rooms with whiteboards and glass walls on which students can write. The space encourages teamwork, communications and problem solving for the next generation of scientists and professional engineers.
Did you know? The UTSA AET Library is the nation's first completely bookless library on a college or university campus. It served as a model for Bexar County's first-in-the-nation public bookless library system and one of its branches, the Dr. Ricardo Romo BiblioTech.
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
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