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ISSUE #154

The Out-of-state Emissions Edition

Half of U.S. deaths related to air pollution are linked to out-of-state emissions

MIT News

New research from MIT’s Laboratory for Aviation and the Environment and the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change reveals that more than half of all air-quality-related early deaths in the U.S. are a result of cross-state pollution, or emissions originating outside of the state in which those deaths occur.

How the next generation of nuclear reactors could be smaller, greener and safer

PBS NewsHour

John Parsons, the co-director of the Center for Advanced Nuclear Energy Systems (one of MITEI's low-carbon energy centers), discusses the role that regional needs and capabilities will play in determining where nuclear power will fit into the future energy landscape.
Simple, solar-powered water desalination

MIT News

Researchers from MIT and China’s Shanghai Jiao Tong University have developed a system that has achieved a new level of efficiency in harnessing sunlight to make fresh potable water from seawater. This new system could benefit those in off-grid arid coastal areas by providing a clean and low-cost water source. The project was supported by MITEI’s Tata Center for Technology and Design and others.
Maintaining the equipment that powers our world

MIT News

By organizing performance data and predicting problems, Tagup—a startup formed by MIT alumni— helps energy companies keep their equipment running. Tagup's platform is currently being used by energy companies to monitor equipment in North America and Europe, including transformers, offshore wind turbines, and reverse osmosis systems for water filtration.
Brainstorming energy-saving hacks on Satori, MIT’s new supercomputer

MIT News

Six teams earned prizes at a recent three-day hackathon co-sponsored by the MIT Research Computing Project and MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab. The event was meant to introduce students to MIT’s new supercomputer and to encourage ideas for building energy-efficient AI models that emit less carbon dioxide.     


Podcast: Energy economics and air pollution

Noelle Eckley Selin, an associate professor in the Institute for Data, Systems, and Society and the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences; and John Reilly, co-director of the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change and a senior lecturer at MIT Sloan; discuss energy economics, air pollution, and policymakers. This episode was produced in collaboration with TILclimate.


MITEI Events Calendar

View all of MITEI’s upcoming 2020 events.

Economy-wide deep decarbonization

Tuesday, February 25, 5:00-8:00 pm

The fourth of MIT's six Climate Action Symposia will discuss pathways to scalable, affordable low- to no-carbon fuels; the role of biofuels, hydrogen, and long-term energy storage; and large-scale capture of carbon dioxide and gigaton-scale utilization.

Watch the event livestream on February 25.
Open House: MITEI Undergraduate Programs and Renewable Energy Machines

Friday, February 14, 11:00 am-1:00 pm, MIT Energy Commons

MIT students: Join us for lunch to learn about the Energy Studies Minor, the New Engineering Education Transformation program's Renewable Energy Machines thread, the Energy UROP, Solar Spring Break, and anything else energy-related at MIT. 
Clean energy and transportation in Massachusetts: A science advocacy summit for young professionals

Saturday, February 29, 9:00 am-4:00 pm, MIT Building 4

The Union of Concerned Scientists invites you to participate in its first-ever Massachusetts science advocacy summit—an opportunity for young professionals in the fields of science, public health, economics, engineering, and planning to gain a deeper understanding of how to translate research and science into advocacy and action. Space is limited. RSVP by February 14.

OK Vroomer: Millennials and car culture
Webinar: Thursday, March 12, 2:00-2:30 pm

In this Eno Center for Transportation webinar, Joanna Moody, the research program manager for MITEI’s Mobility Systems Center, will discuss how for many people, owning and using a car symbolizes social status and personal image, and how this symbolic value reinforces car consumption. In addition, she will discuss the key differences between age and generational effects and the tools that are needed to disentangle them, and summarize recent findings on whether or not millennials truly differ from previous generations in terms of their car ownership and use, as well as millennial attitudes toward cars and urban living.


MIT Energy Conference
April 2-3, 8:00 am-6:00 pm, Boston Marriott Cambridge

Tickets to the student-run MIT Energy Conference are now on sale. This year’s theme is “Decision 2020: Creating the landscape for our energy future.” Explore the energy decisions being made today that are on track to deliver the greatest impact over the next five to ten years.


MIT Climate Action Hack
Saturday, April 25, 10:00 am-6:30 pm, MIT Stratton Student Center

MIT’s Plan for Action on Climate Change is turning 5 years old and this all-day hackathon will help shape a new plan that will take MIT’s climate agenda forward. Students will spend all day diving into the different sections of the plan and imagine new ways MIT can contribute to driving down emissions and taking robust action on climate change.

At the end of the day, teams will present their ideas to members of the MIT Climate Action Advisory Committee (CAAC), which makes recommendations to MIT’s senior leadership about the plan. A jury of CAAC members will announce the winners, and all ideas will be taken into consideration.

This event is only open to MIT students.


Call for applications: 2020-2021 Energy Fellows 
MITEI is now accepting applications for 2020-2021 Energy Fellows. MIT faculty members may nominate graduate students and postdoctoral researchers in recognition of keen interest in energy and excellence in research. Nominees may then complete the full application. The full applications are due by Friday, March 20.
EERE Energy Storage Internship Program 

May-September 2020

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Energy Storage Internship Program offers 10-week, hands-on, practical internships at U.S. national laboratories. Participants will conduct research related to the development of newer chemistries, battery designs, and manufacturing processes needed to usher in changes in energy storage. Check out the eligibility guidelines. Applications and supporting materials are due by March 2.

Call for nominations: 2020 C3E Women in Clean Energy Awards 

The annual C3E Awards help to raise the visibility of women in the clean energy sector. The Awards honor mid-career leadership and achievement—and boost recipients’ careers. Awards are given in eight categories: advocacy, business, education, entrepreneurship, government, international, law and finance, and research. Each winner will receive $8,000 and national recognition at the annual C3E Women in Clean Energy Symposium, which will be held at MIT this fall. Nominations are due by
March 11.

UIC Summer Institute on Sustainability and Energy (SISE) 

July 9-22, University of Illinois at Chicago

SISE is a two-week summer "boot camp" for future decision makers eager to join the sustainability and energy revolution happening around the globe. This year’s theme, “Resiliency: Climate Change and the Power of Data + Response”, considers what it takes to be resilient in the face of climate change. SISE Fellows will engage with a new energy mapping initiative being developed by the American Energy Society and identify best practices for activists and advocates committed to achieving climate justice by offsetting climate catastrophe. Apply by May 30.


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“[Nuclear energy is] clearly low carbon. It is relatively safe. But it’s true that the public is anxious about safety issues and about waste,” Parsons said. “So we probably need to have a good conversation about that in order to move forward as successfully as we can.”

John Parsons, a co-director of the MIT Energy Initiative’s Center for Advanced Nuclear Energy Systems (one of MITEI’s low-carbon energy centers), speaks about the role of nuclear energy in the future of energy production.

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New York

The Empire State is “the biggest importer of air pollution deaths”—
60% of air pollution-related early deaths are from out-of-state emissions brought by U.S. winds sweeping eastward, according to new research
from MIT’s Laboratory for Aviation and the Environment and the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change.

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