Solar Powered Emergency Lights for Campus Safety

1) Sustainability Problem: Safety

Purdue University has taken an environmentally friendly approach to safety by making the “blue light” Emergency Telephone System (ETS) in the Waldron Street area of campus powered by the sun. Before the installation of this technology, the call boxes in the Waldron area were not illuminated. Most call boxes on campus draw power from neighboring buildings owned by the University. However, this was not an option along Waldron Street because the surrounding buildings are privately owned. This solar powered approach has been able to enhance the safety on campus while also utilizing alternative energy supply.

2) Summary

  • Tom Barbour, the Electronic Technician for Operations and Maintenance at Purdue University, believed it was important to find a way to equip all call boxes on campus with functional safety lights.
  • After trying a variety of methods to make the lights in the Walden area functional, solar power was determined to be a viable alternative.
  • Installing solar powered blue lights on the ETS phones in the Walden area is an effective emergency solution that helps to raise the level of safety on campus.
  • Solar powered blue lights are also cost effective, as the local police department previously saved energy costs by installing energy efficient lighting in the police dispatch center.

3) Stakeholders

  • Students
  • Faculty
  • Community Members
  • Facilities Management
  • Local Police
  • University Administrators

4) Deployment

  1. Identify ETS phones that are not currently illuminated, or otherwise costly to illuminate, on campus.
  2. Install solar panels on the under-illuminated ETS phones.
  3. Provide enhanced campus safety by providing illuminated spaces where emergency calls can be made while also reducing energy costs.


Solar-powered emergency light provides sustainable safety. Purdue Today. Purdue University. September 26, 2011. Web Accessed October 19, 2017.

GOVTECH enables Singapore Government to better serve its citizens.

1) Sustainability Problem: In today’s fast moving and resource-constrained world cities are facing challenges becoming smarter and be more efficient. Singapore Government is aiming for to become a first Smart Nation by 2020 which means people are empowered by technology to lead meaningful and fulfilled lives.

2) Technology Summary: The new Government Technology Agency (GovTech) was created to advance engineering support to smart nation developments and restore old e-government services. GovTech has lined up several new projects – including a digital vault of citizens data for the auto-filling of banking forms and an autonomous wheelchair prototype – to drive digital transformation in the public sector.

-Lined up several new projects – a digital vault of citizens’ personal data for the auto-filling of banking forms and an autonomous wheelchair prototype – to drive digital transformation in the public sector. Identified following five key domains that will have a significant impact on the citizen and society, and in which digital technology can have a needle moving impact:


– Focus on six key areas: application development, data science, government infrastructure, geospatial technology, cybersecurity and smart sensors.


Source: Irene Tham, “GovTech launched to lead digital transformation in public sector”, The Straits Times OCT 7, 2016

Tags: #smartcity, #smartnation #technology #data #tarnsport #envirnoment #healthcare #publicsectorservices

3) Key Stakeholders :

  1. Government Technology Agency of Singapore
  2. Public Sectors
  3. Private sectors
  4. People

4) Steps Deploying Technology:

Public-Private People’s Partnership is the key to successful deployment of the
– Educate citizens and visitors to use data (Technological literacy)
– Build a community and infrastructure
– Constant update and improvement

Other Sources:

1. Smart Nation Singapore

2. GOVTECH Singapore 

3. Government Technology Agency of Singapore, Oct 6, 2016, Youtube 

4. Computer World “Smart Cities”, Dec 12, 2016


Not a Plastic Bag


  1. Sustainability Problem: Waste

Single use plastic bags are among the greatest contributors to land and water pollution. They are normally used for just minutes, but take can take up to 1,000 years to decompose, polluting land, air and water, and killing wildlife in the process.

  • Avani Eco, an Indonesia based company, has created a 100% plant based, non-toxic and biodegradable material that can replace plastic bags.
  • The material is made primarily from the cassava root, a very common and inexpensive vegetable in Indonesia.
  • The material is harmless to animals and humans if ingested, and breaks down in months.
  • The bio-based plastic bags still cost about twice as much as conventional plastic bags.
  1. Stakeholders for this technology include municipal governments/sanitation departments, large retail stores and supermarkets (who are increasingly facing plastic bag bans), as well as environmental advocacy groups and non-profit organizations dedicated to waste and pollution reduction.
  2. The first steps for deploying this technology on a large scale:
  • Invest in R&D to help reduce the cost of the bio-based plastic bags, making them more competitive with traditional plastic bags.
  • Ban the use of single use plastic bags in local municipalities
  • Partner with a large national retailer (such as Walmart, Target, or Wholefoods to gain widespread recognition and prove market viability.
  1. Comment on post “Smart Transportation & Smart Waste Management” by sn2754:

While I think technology is a great idea for optimizing waste management, there would be a huge hurdle to implement this in NYC, as commercial waste (from stores, offices, restaurants, etc.) is not managed by the city. Each business has a contract with a private waste hauling company, which causes garbage routes to be extremely inefficient and redundant. In order to implement a “smarter” waste management system as described in the post, legislation would first have to change the status quo in commercial waste contracts.

Solar Water Capturing Device

Many developing countries in the Middle East and Africa are experiencing water shortage problems. The amounts of water vapor that can be found and potentially captured from the air are equal to about 10% of fresh water found in lakes on Earth. Most of the countries in question rely on importing water and aid from other word organizations. Furthermore, those areas experience low humidity which restricts the use of current technology due to their low efficiency.

A research team at MIT has come up with a design for a device that can capture water vapor at an average rate of 2.8 liters daily at relative humidity levels as low as 20%. The design is based on “porous metal-organic framework-801” that utilizes adsorption properties of the metal and organic material. The frame absorbs water and then the device uses the heat from the sun to release the water into a storage device. This means that no additional heat or energy is required to operate the device. The design is still in its early stage and further research and development are needed to make sure of its efficiency and reliability.



  • Potential investors
  • Scientists and institution working on the research
  • Manufacturers of metal-organic material
  • People living in areas with water shortages

Next Steps
Since the technology is still in development, MIT and other investors should back the project for further development. The device is still a prototype and requires additional filtration system and an improved collection system for water particulates that form on the surface of the device. Advertise the technology and shift focus to countries in need of new freshwater resources to help fund the manufacturing process of the device and start initial testing.

By: Ahmad Al Zubair (aa4098)

Resources used:


Comment on “Hybrid Wind Power Generating & Fish Farming System

Although I like the idea of integrating different technologies and ideas and finding more efficient uses of spaces, there are many debates growing on whether these can be called “sustainable.” There are many issues with fish farms:

  • They disturb other fish habitats in the area
  • Inconsistent water currents and circulation can result in water with high health risks
  • Generally, they acquire a bad image in the eyes of the public vs. wild fishing
  • Risk of fish “escapes”

Maybe the technology can be modified so that the energy generated can somehow try to fix or minimize some of the issues listed above.


Turning Climate Pollution Into Fish Feed



Area of focus: Safety and Health


Overfishing is a global issue that causes environmental and social problems. From an environment standpoint, it not only affects fish stocks around the world which are declining at an alarming rate but also represent an important source of water pollution due to massive fishing boats deployed in various locations. Those big scale exploitations then affect small scale fishermen by decreasing the amounts of fish reaching the coasts. Also, a lot of fish caught by the bigger boats are exported, leaving local population with a reduced quantity of food available.

One of the drivers of overfishing is the need for small fish used as feed (usually for bigger fish productions and livestock).  As the Fast Company’s article mentions : “NovoNutrients wants to replace that fish food with something more sustainable: microbes grown with carbon dioxide”.

The company uses carbon dioxide to feed microbes that become protein used for animal feed production. A pipe is connected to water where the gases are dissolved.

During the process, Hydrogen is also being produced thru (solar-powered) hydrolyse which helps power the installation.



Stakeholders :

  • Animal feed manufacturing companies
  • Livestock and aquaculture farms
  • Government officials


  • Research countries with the highest concentration of aquaculture farms
  • Approach farmers to show them the product
  • Work with government officials to integrate the use of the product in best management practice guides for farmers

Other technology:  Fighting fire with math and maps (

This technology is interesting as it could help cities with diseases spreading among trees. By mapping the type of trees available around the city, officials would be able to better diversify the kind of new trees planted making “greening” efforts more efficient.


Fighting fire with math and maps

1. Sustainability Problem: Forest fires in California have increased in frequency and magnitude. This is causing increased loss of human life and property. After the forest fires subside, Forest Department prunes/ cuts down trees in uniform manner, similar to farming, to avoid future fires. However, this results in artificial spacial patterns among trees thereby increasing chances of disease, fire and loss of biodiversity. It is important to mimic natural forest patterns, to avoid these issues and to enable forests to survive on their natural resilience. However, there is no easily available technology for this.

Category: Safety & Health, Waste

2. Technology: QuickMap – A forestry app

  • University of Washington has developed an app called QuickMap which uses statistics and GIS data to randomize tree patterns, to closely mimic nature, based on which foresters can prune trees, to avoid future fires.
  • An experienced 2 person team can mark 10-20 acres of land per day, which is quick.
  • It will take time for tree removal and for the forest to take over the job – growing, seeding new areas, and dying back from others – but this approach gives the forest a head start at creating healthier, more resilient conditions.

3. Organizational Stakeholders: Forest Department, Policy makers, Academic institutions

4. Next steps for deployment:

  • Train forest staff in use of the app and GIS.
  • Create synergistic partnerships between academic institutions in the country, to increase availability of GIS data and to adapt it to other forest types
  • Create policy to ensure this app is used in all forests in the country

5. Comment on another article: IceEnergy

Comment: Ice banks have traditionally been used in the dairy industry, to avoid peak demand. Recently few building complexes have started installing icebanks.

Hybrid Wind Power Generating & Fish Farming System


Screen Shot 2017-10-19 at 1.42.17 PM

Sustainability: Energy, Wind power, small-scale fishers

Small-scale fishers are concerned about offshore wind farms but the scale and speed of wind farm development offshore might mean that the situation is likely to change in the near future. The primary concern for small-scale fishers is the potential loss of access to fishing grounds within turbine zones. Infrastructure cost for the conventional floating wind turbine is a tremendous cost. Hybrid Wind Power Generating and Fish Farming System resolve conflicts between wind energy companies and small-scale fishers, leading both parties to collaboration.

Screen Shot 2017-10-19 at 1.42.31 PM


  • Base: Vertical axis wind turbine (VAWT)
    • VAWT doesn’t have complex steering systems
    • Lower center gravity
  • Fish cage structure with a small waterplane area twin-hull feature
    • More stable system against ocean wave impact


  • Fishman
  • Small-scale fishing companies
  • Local government
  • Wind energy company
  • Turbine Manufacturer
  • Turbine  Installer

Steps to deploy this technology:

  • Engage small-scale fish companies, governments, and energy companies
  • Wind energy companies can rent fish farming zones from small-scale fishers to set up these hybrid systems
  • Hire and train local coastal fishers to work as wind turbine maintenance engineers
  • Local government or NGOs can fund small-scale fishing companies
  • Encourage Fishman to grow into an energy company and run both a wind energy and a fish farming business

UNI: QS2162

Comment on another post: