“What are the ramifications of water contamination?”
Water is one of the most fundamental resources for human life. However, if there is any Water Contamination present, whether it be from runoff chemicals or an infectious bacteria, there could be dire ramifications. Humans can be harmed by unsafe chemicals in drinking water while mechanical processes can be harmed through corrosion.
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Why Groundwater Needs to be Constantly Monitored
“Why do we need to constantly monitor groundwater?”
Groundwater is used worldwide for drinking and irrigation water. However, if levels become too low or the water becomes too toxic, then there could be disastrous consequences on a community’s health, as in the current ongoing case in Chennai, India. This is Why Groundwater Needs to be Constantly Monitored.
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Nuclear Reactor Cores
“What is the beating heart of a nuclear reactor?”
Nuclear energy generation is one of the most prolific sources of energy, powering 11% of the world’s electricity. However, what exactly drives all of it? Well, nuclear fuel rods are heated up in a Nuclear Reactor Core, which allows the water to be heated up into steam while keeping the exterior environment safe from nuclear radiation. If the nuclear reactor core fails, then the radiation from the nuclear control rods can be released into the external environment and cause lethal destruction, as in the case of Chernobyl.
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“How can we make climate-change adaptation in accordance with nature?”
With the rising temperatures, humans will have to adapt drastically to climate change. Part of this will be utilizing nature such as rain gardens to make Nature-Based Adaptation.
Sea Level Rise Resilience
“Why do we need to protect against sea level rise?”
As the climate changes, sea levels will also rise. This will cause great devastation to coastal communities that were not designed with such high levels in mind. To solve this, institutions, municipalities must implement Sea Level Rise Resilience through walled barriers or managed retreat. Although the upfront cost may seem like a large investment, it will protect against much costlier long-term consequences.
Cross Laminated Timber
“How can we make buildings quicker, more sustainably, and more resilient to fire?”
The built environment is going through a crisis. Not enough housing is being developed, the cement used in construction emits a voluminous amount of embodied carbon, and they are prone to destruction by fire. So how can we use our engineering mindset to solve this? Well, what if we were to take many thin wood planks, glue them together to make a series of squares, and then attach these squares perpendicular to each other with adhesives? Not only is this material extra durable, but is also tough against fires and feaster to build in comparison with cement. The added efficiencies add by Cross Laminated Timber can help with societal decarbonization and fixing the housing crisis.
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“How can we quantify the carbon emitted by a building during construction?”
Buildings energy efficiency is one of the most widely studied topics in combating climate change. However, these operational emissions are not the only cause of emissions. In addition, there is the carbon emitted during manufacturing, transport, and construction of the building. What makes this Embodied Carbon special is that once the building is finished its embodied carbon cannot go down, unlike operational carbon which can be lowered through energy efficiency programs. That’s why more research needs to go into lowering the carbon intensity of construction.