Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Penn State Students Excel In Pollution Prevention, Energy Efficiency Assessments

Penn State engineering students work alongside PennTAP senior engineers performing pollution prevention and energy efficiency assessments for industrial manufacturing facilities.  In this way, students receive the opportunity to work on real-world engineering projects.
One objective of this program is to give the students some exposure in field testing and data analysis to identify waste reduction and energy conservation opportunities.  
Another objective is for students to learn and embrace a proactive, economically responsible energy and environmental conservation ethic that is sustainable.  
A  major aspect of this student engineering experience is the emphasis placed on the importance of interpersonal, oral and written communication skills in engineering.
Since 2009, more than 40 engineering students have been engaged with PennTAP for a total of more than 14,300 student hours to conduct 144 industrial pollution prevention and energy efficiency assessments.  
Industry sectors assessed include manufacturers of chemical, food, glass, medical, metal, plastic, powdered metal, wood and ceramic products, electronics, hospitals, industrial machine manufacturing, transportation equipment, and printing.  
Verified results of these assessments include the following:
— Saving almost $1,650,000/year in energy & waste management costs;
— Reducing water consumption by more than 27,000,000 gallons/year;
— Saving more than 26,000,000 kWh/year in electricity consumption  This is equivalent to the annual energy use of 2,900 households; and
— Reducing their greenhouse gas emissions by almost 50,000 metric tons of carbon equivalent (MTCE) per year.  This is equivalent to removing 9,000 cars from the highway.
A few student comments include:  “I have attached the report for the client’s high-efficiency replacement motors. I feel like after awhile it all made sense.  It was kinda fun!”……“Working with PennTAP allowed me to see in person the challenges and responsibilities that engineers face in the workplace.”……“I had a blast.  I learned a ton!”
“The one on one consulting experiences with clients and hands-on field work made a lasting impression that will follow me throughout my career.”
Click Here for more information, visit PennTAP’s Energy and Environment Services webpage.   Click Here for PennTAP energy and environment webinars, including archived copies of past webinars.  You can also call 814-865-0427 or send email to: penntap@psu.edu for more information on PennTAP.
(Reprinted from the Fall edition of PennTAP newsletter.)

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