Aerogels Could Be the Future of Housing Insulation

  1. Problem
  • Energy, Safety and Health – Energy efficiency is a major concern within homes and buildings. Improper insulation can lead to a decrease in energy efficiency.  Also fire resistant materials are always needed for homes.

2. Technology

  • Aspen Aerogels, known for producing insulating material for oil and gas pipelines and in aerospace, is selling its aerogels insulation material to make existing buildings more energy efficient.  This aerogels material is 90% air which makes it very effective and lightweight insulation.
  • The cost is more than other options of insulation.  However, according to the company, this type of insulation has 2 to 4 times the insulating value per inch compared to fiberglass or foam.
  • This material is very fire resistant as well.
  • Outside of its industrial use aerogels has only been applied in retrofits of existing buildings so far.

3. Stakeholders

  • Building owners
  • Tenants
  • Building inspectors

4. Implementation

  • Continue to utilize opportunities within existing buildings that need better insulation.  These buildings can include ones that legally need to make changes or voluntarily want to insulate better.
  • Research opportunities within new building construction that can benefit from this insulation material.  Due to cost, the buildings may be limited to those with larger budget and/or incentives.
  • Continue to drive prices as low as possible to make aerogels accessible to the whole market.

Luminous Highways May Improve Road Safety

1. Sustainability Problem

  • Vehicles are evolving to become more efficient and safe, but roads are not.  Highways can more energy efficient and safe for drivers.

2. Technology

  • Heijmans is applying technology to make roads glow-in-the-dark.  This technology is a paint that absorbs solar energy during the day and glows at night.
  • The results are increased visibility and safety.
  • This technology requires no electricity and can be effective even during power outages and locations away from the grid.

3. Stakeholders

  • Urban Planners
  • Government
  • Drivers

4. Implementation

  • Continue testing in areas that have low visibility at night and that can benefit from the energy savings.
  • Try testing with more bike paths in case this is viewed by the public as more practical or useful.  It may be easier to implement more bike paths than it is highways in the beginning.
  • Gather data on energy savings for the city and increased safety from the public.

Dyneema High-tech fiber



Sustainability Problems:

  1. Heavy airplanes use more fuels and thus emit more carbon dioxide.
  2. Weak cargo nets can break, shift cargo and cause accidents and death.
  3. Weak protection for workers in many industries cause injuries and fatalities.


Dyneema is brand cargo nets made of fabric that is made from fibers of ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMWPE), 15 times stronger than steel, has longer lifecycle but weighs half as much as polyester cargo net. It floats on water. It does not get heavier when wet so it is easy to handle and thus reduces accidents and injury among ramp workers. The use of Dyneema nets cuts the weight of commercial, cargo and military planes, reduces fuel consumption and reduces carbon dioxide emission by 2.5 tons per year per net. Dyneema working gloves are cut-resistant. Dyneema can stop bullets, pull oil tankers and harness the power of wind. Dyneema ropes and slings for fishing, maritime, mining and forestry industries are very strong and lightweight, and help in to work more efficiently and safely.

It is invisible to UV light and thermal imaging devices, can withstand extreme cold and hot temperatures and has high electrical resistance, is fire resistant and self-extinguishing. Dyneema products are costly. Dyneema has longer lifecycle than polyester nets but its cost is four times as more. Dyneema’s high cost hinders it from being used widely in the markets.


The Economist,

How Dyneema Works,



Airline companies , police and military workers, Industry workers, forestry, mining, marine industries, policymakers


–  Lobbyist and policymakers should try to lower the cost of this material so that more people can have a grip to this technology.  Although it is used by some industries, most people who would buy other much cheaper but weaker brands thus accidents due to breakage of weak ropes and nets could still occur.

– Governments  in developing countries should work with private investors so that poor people in developing countries can avail of the products thereby solving more energy and safety problems that this technology can address. Dyneema should partner with stakeholder industries and try ways to lower the cost of their products.

–  Further research on this product’s design and increased competition should be addressed to lessen the cost of Dyneema products.

Smart Sets the Bar High with Sustainable Vehicles


– GHG emissions, waste from car parts, energy use, water use, safety and health.

These are sustainability issues that all car manufacturers have to deal with.  Smart aims to solve these.


– Environmental protection is one of smart’s top goals.  The outer layer is 100% recyclable plastic.  Also, each car is constructed in modules for easy dismantling .

– As for safety, each car contains a steel housing that combines longitudinal and crosswise framing that displaces impact forces over a large area of the car.

– The car also features excellent fuel economy that will consume less fuel, resulting in less greenhouse gas emissions.

– Smart uses powder coating, which is a dry powder that does not require a solvent.  This uses 40% less energy and conventional painting methods and no water is consumed or wasted.


– Car companies, consumers, engineers, suppliers, designers


– Smart should increase marketing outside of France and Germany to increase global awareness.

– Add in child friendly features, such as a section for a car seat.  Making a new model of this car that is family friendly will make this car feasible for almost any consumer.

– The cost is a huge plus for smart.  They should easily be able to market this car in developing countries, as it is affordable, uses minimal fuel, and is recyclable.

AI driven health app Your.MD aims to bring better health information to consumers


your-mdSustainability Problem: Safety and Health – Lack of affordable, accessible, and trustworthy health information

Technology: Your.MD is an app that describes itself as a “Personal Health Assistant” that provides users with more relevant and “trustworthy” health information from end to end. The app integrates with Facebook Messenger, WeChat, Slack and other messenging apps to help users better understand the problems and solutions for their personal health questions as well as connect them to services as needed in a seamless experience. Artificial intelligence facilitates a smarter and more personalized experience based on reliable data.

Your.MD Scores $5M For Its AI-Driven Health Assistant

Stakeholders: Consumers, Doctors, Hospital Administration, Nutritionists, Pharmacies

Implementation: (1) Partner with Hospitals to work directly with patients on a pilot basis; make enhancements based on feedback from patients and doctors. (2) Integrate with health news sites and apps where consumers are already looking for better health information. (3) Integrate with other specialized health apps such as those that specialize in on-call personal doctor services to create a true “one-stop” experiences for all personal health needs.

class june 9, 2016 – uni mst2135

Drones to become crime fighters by aiding UK police

  1. Sustainability Problem: Safety and Health
  2. Summary
    1. Sussex and Surrey police force have begun to use drones in thier crime fighting toolkit
    2. Criminals have leveraged drones to illegally film football matches and smuggle illegal goods into prisons
    3. Drones were previously tested in Gatwick airport
    4. Technology was found, in some cases, to be successful, cheaper, faster, and safer
    5. This is a controversial technology being used and the greater community will likely express concerns
  3. Stakeholders who will use technology
    1. Police forcers throughout the UK and potentially other locations
  4. Deployment
    1. Roll out test case deployment in pilot area (complete)
    2. Monitor the performance and effectiveness of technology (complete)
    3. Make adaptations and adjustments based on feedback from pilot (in progress)