TROY, N.Y. (AP) — Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute will be requiring all of its students to be able to use diverse datasets to solve complex problems.
Energy, Environment, and Smart Systems
Building on what nature has provided, researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have improved the efficiency of a leaf and branch compost cutinase that breaks down polyethylene terephthalate (PET), the plastic used in clear and colored plastic water bottles and many other products.
Michael “Miki” Amitay, the James L. Decker ’45 Endowed Chair in Aerospace Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, has received a grant from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research to study the phenomenon of flow separation on aircraft wings, which could lead to improved aerodynamic performance in future-generation air vehicles.
The Jefferson Project was begun by researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in Troy, NY three years ago. The team has gradually transformed Lake George into what is arguably the world’s smartest lake, equipped with a tremendous range of sensors and equipment that collect more data points every week than researchers had been able to gather in the 30 years prior to the project’s beginning. Project leader Rick Relyea corresponded with EM about the endeavor.
Data is an increasingly pervasive force in American life, with the power to shape perception and policy. And so it makes a certain amount of sense that Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute recently adopted a new "data dexterity" requirement for its students, starting in fall 2019.
Stabilizing a bacterial enzyme by strategically decorating it with sugars could help it to recycle one of the most widely used plastics and ultimately keep that plastic out of the landfill (Biochemistry 2018, DOI: 10.1021/acs.biochem.7b01189).
Experiments at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute aquatic lab in Troy, New York, have found that higher salt concentrations reduced growth rates in rainbow trout and decreased the abundance of zooplankton — tiny animals or larvae that are critical to the aquatic food chain and play a role in keeping lakes and streams clean.
Other studies have shown that salinization of lakes and streams reduces the numbers of fish and amphibians, kills off plants, and alters the diversity of these freshwater ecosystems.
“At high road salt concentrations, you can see reductions in growth, reduction in the diversity of species within a system and you can also see effects on reproduction of certain species,” said William Hintz, of Rensselaer Polytechnic.
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About Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Founded in 1824, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is America’s first technological research university. Rensselaer encompasses five schools, over 30 research centers, more than 140 academic programs including 25 new programs, and a dynamic community made up of over 6,800 students and 104,000 living alumni. Rensselaer faculty and alumni include upwards of 155 National Academy members, six members of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, six National Medal of Technology winners, five National Medal of Science winners, and a Nobel Prize winner in Physics. With nearly 200 years of experience advancing scientific and technological knowledge, Rensselaer remains focused on addressing global challenges with a spirit of ingenuity and collaboration. To learn more, please visit www.rpi.edu.