(May 14, 2012) -- Students who won the UTSA Campus Greening Idea Contest were honored at a ceremony last month with certificates and cash prizes for the seven winning teams.
The first-place project proposal, "Smart Campus," was submitted by team members Clare Cloudt (Architecture), Michelle E. Garza (Environmental Science), Norma Gomez (Mechanical Engineering) and Daniel Fisher (Environmental Science). The team proposed that UTSA create a network of "smart" buildings in which sensors placed in breaker boxes would detect the amount of energy being consumed by different zones of the building. To encourage positive energy behavior, data points would be transmitted and analyzed, then shown on a screen show building occupants their zone's energy consumption in real time.
Thanks to generous support from the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) Institute for Capacity Building, each winning entry received a cash award with $1,500 to the first-place team.
The contest was launched in late 2011 when UTSA students were invited to submit implementable and sustainable ideas to aid the greening of UTSA. With an emphasis on multidisciplinary collaboration, each idea team was required to have at least three members representing at least two UTSA colleges. Twenty teams submitted entries with 71 UTSA students participating and representing all eight colleges.
A seven-member jury of UTSA faculty, staff and students judged submissions. The contest organizer was Taeg Nishimoto, associate dean of the College of Architecture.
"This contest was a wonderful opportunity for so many students to think about sustainability initiatives," said Gage Paine, vice president for student affairs, who was a jury member. "The students who participated put a lot of time and thought into their submissions, and many of these proposals have a great chance to be implemented at UTSA in the future."
"Instant feedback really changes people's attitudes and actions, and that's what I liked about this project," said Pam Bacon, associate vice president for administration and contest jury member. "This project goes beyond metering because it's interactive."
Several of UTSA's leading organizations in sustainability were partners in the contest including the UTSA Sustainability Council, The Movement and the Green Fund Committee. The Movement, a UTSA student organization that focuses on sustainability and philanthropy, will work with all of the winning teams to help make their ideas more implementable and turn them into Green Fund applications. The Green Fund is a student-led committee that reviews and recommends funding for sustainability projects submitted by students, departments, faculty and staff.
>> See the list of the winners of the UTSA Campus Greening Idea Contest.
For more information about the contest, email Nicole Chavez.
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.
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