Penn State hosts Energy & Sustainability Day at The Navy Yard
by Colleen Lynch, PR ’14
On Wednesday March 19, Penn State held Energy and Sustainability Day at The Navy Yard in Philadelphia, as part of the Schreyer Honors College Shaping the Future Summit. Over fifty students and faculty members from a variety of educational backgrounds were welcomed from Penn State’s University Park, Abington and Berks campuses.
The event was hosted by Penn State’s Grid Smart Training and Application Resource (GridSTAR) Center, an innovative learning and research environment focused on energy efficiency, renewable energy and smart grid technologies. The GridSTAR Center is coordinated by Penn State’s Department of Architectural Engineering and is based on The Navy Yard campus in Philadelphia.
David Riley, professor of architectural engineering at Penn State and the Principal Investigator of the GridSTAR Center said, “Penn State is fortunate to be a part of the redevelopment of The Navy Yard, as it will offer our students excellent opportunities for learning and research about sustainability.”
The day began with an introduction from Navy Yard leaders, including the director of the Consortium for Building Energy Innovation (formerly known as the EEB Hub), Martha Krebs; Senior Vice President of Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC), Will Agate; and Principal at Kieran Timberlake, David Riz; who is the leading designer of Penn State’s new facilities at The Navy Yard. Students were then taken on a bus tour of The Navy Yard, led by Will Agate, with a variety of stops including GlaxoSmithKline headquarters, the Courtyard Marriot and Penn State’s new facilities, The Center for Building Energy Science and Engineering and The Center for Building Energy Education and Innovation. The tour concluded at the Urban Outfitters headquarters where students enjoyed lunch at the Shop 543 food court.
After lunch, participants visited the GridSTAR Center for demonstrations of cutting edge technologies in the Smart Grid Demonstration Residence, including energy storage systems, solar modules, sustainable construction methods and electric vehicle charging stations. Students also had the opportunity to learn from our industry partners at Solar Grid Storage about what it is like to work for a start-up in the energy sector. The demonstrations and workshops within the GridSTAR Center were most popular among participants. A student from Penn State Berks said, “All of my classes are based on micro grids, solar power and electricity, so being able to see it in action brings life to it. It’s new and exciting.”
Though some were unaware of Penn State’s presence at The Navy Yard, many were impressed with the progress that has been made. After their visit, students and faculty from a variety of academic backgrounds recognized the growing importance of interdisciplinary sustainability and left feeling energized about the potential of Penn State’s initiatives in Philadelphia.