Researchers funded to examine microplastic contamination in the Great Lakes system

Besides providing drinking water for more than 30 million people in North America, the Great Lakes play a vital role in the economy’s transportation, power and agriculture sectors.

Plastic pollution in these water bodies has been widely acknowledged for a great deal of time, says Tirupati Bolisetti, an environmental engineering professor at UWindsor. 

However, microplastics — particles that are 5 mm or smaller in size — hidden in the water are posing a much bigger problem for aquatic and human life.

“These ubiquitous microplastics are finding their way into the natural waters due to improper disposal of plastics, which degrade into small pieces,” Dr. Bolisetti says. “They come from plastic packaging, cosmetics, textiles, automotive components and plastic litter thrown on the beaches, to name a few.”

Some of these microplastics in the form of synthetic microfibers are also released from our wastewater systems, he adds.

A team of interdisciplinary researchers from the University of Windsor, including Bolisetti and Dr. Ram Balachandar, are collaborating with Dr. Shooka Karimpour and other researchers from York University to understand how microplastics originate and get transported to the western basin of Lake Ontario, called the Niagara basin. 

Read more.

Windsor professor lands $1.8 million for electric motor and drive train research

UWindsor Engineering student Roman De Angelis fulfills teen dream with Detroit Grand Prix victory

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Engineering profs team with local greenhouse to reimagine electric grid distribution

Peter Quiring, president and CEO of Nature Fresh Farms, with UWindsor engineering professor Rupp Carriveau are pictured at one of the company’s facilities in Leamington.

A team of UWindsor engineering researchers envisions a future where electric transport trucks can deliver more than goods.

While loading or unloading zero emission trucks, why not transfer electrons too? The road-bound big rigs can deliver electricity to companies in need to extend the limits of the electrical grid at high-peak hours.

It’s a scenario Rupp Carriveau and Hanna Maoh are mapping out in partnership with Mitacs, Independent Electricity System Operator, 360 Energy, and Leamington-based greenhouse grower, Nature Fresh Farms.

“Let’s say a truck is done for the day and still has an 80 per cent charge,” Dr. Carriveau explains. “That truck can deliver electrons to a nearby company that’s going to be hit with some penalties for having a high draw on the grid — maybe for the lights in a greenhouse or an electric press machine in a warehouse.”

If the truck charged up with low-cost electrons during off-peak hours, it could sell them at a lower cost to industry, adds Carriveau, director of UWindsor’s Environmental Energy Institute.

The overarching goal of the $160,000 study is to determine the impact of long-haul electric vehicles on Ontario’s electric grid. Drs. Maoh and Carriveau will create an archetypal routing network that examines the path of every major long-haul truck in Ontario. Focusing on a handful of key routes, they will then overlay the electric grid and determine how the grid can manage a fleet of electric trucks.

Read the full article.

VIDEO SPOTLIGHT:  UWindsor Engineering gives grad students the opportunity to create independent, original research with meaningful real-world applications, such as working on cutting-edge technologies in one of North America's top electric vehicle powertrain testing facilities.

Around campus

Engineering teams take top honours in smart infrastructure competition
Study aims to diversify workforce for clean energy future
Partnership aims to develop cybersecurity solutions to promote transit rider safety
Electric vehicle expert partners with industry on $1.8 million research project
UWindsor Engineering prepares for a return to campus
Sessional instructor helps engineer award-winning John Muir Public Library
UWindsor invites industry to submit challenges for industrial engineering students to tackle
Engineering International Support Office launches MEng peer support program
Dr. ElMaraghy lauded by professional association
Dr. Balachandar receives national civil engineering fellowship

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