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U of M and Partners Will Showcase Environmentally Friendly Initiatives Oct. 6 University News
For release: September 23, 2009

For press information, contact Gabrielle Maxey, 901/678-2843

The University of Memphis will celebrate Sustainable Technologies Awareness Day (STAD) on Tuesday, Oct. 6. The free event will be held on the Student Plaza, directly adjacent to the Administration Building, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The campus-wide event will encourage environmental awareness, inquiry, and activism among students, faculty, and staff. It will feature the numerous eco-friendly initiatives that have been developed by the University and its community partners.

STAD is sponsored by the Center for Biofuel Energy & Sustainable Technologies (BEST) and U of M faculty who want to improve the quality of life for future generations through sustainable energy systems and practices. Key among the University partners are the Herff College of Engineering, the School of Public Health, Marketing and Supply Chain Management, and the Environmental Research Center. The event is co-sponsored by three campus student organizations – the Public Health Student Association, the Environmental Action Club, and the Student Government Association.

U of M President Shirley Raines will kick off the event at 10 a.m. by highlighting numerous campus sustainability initiatives, including BEST’s Biodiesel Production Unit. Built with financial support from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, this unit converts recycled cooking oil from campus dining facilities into biodiesel fuel for use in University vehicles and stationary engines. Although “micro” in size, the hardware and software provide continuous flow production using the same principle as a large commercial refinery. The biodiesel production unit provides unique capabilities that will be used to support the research, educational, and outreach efforts required to bring a bio-based green economy to the Mid-South.

Residence Life will showcase plans for the new West Hall, the first and most sustainable public building to be constructed in the state of Tennessee. The Ecologic Research Center will focus on recycling and other actions that reduce health risks while improving our environment and our economy.

The TigUrs Urban Garden Project will showcase fresh produce grown on campus. The Department of Physics will feature research in solar electricity, and the Department of Architecture will show faculty and student work in sustainable design. Tiger Dining (Aramark) will also display its “green” initiatives.

Student athletes will demonstrate their support for sustainability initiatives by giving away door prizes, which will include basketballs signed by Tiger basketball head coach Josh Pastner.

Participating organizations from off campus include Biodimensions, BRIDGES, West Tennessee Clean Cities Coalition, the Memphis and Shelby County Health Department, Shelby Farms Park Conservancy, Hillel of Memphis, Memphis Light Gas & Water, Memphis Area Transit Authority, Sharp Solar, INC, Project Green Fork, University Neighborhoods Development Corporation and Highland Area Renewal Corporation.

The event supports Dr. Raines’ signing of the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, which officially lent our University’s support to develop a plan to achieve carbon neutrality through efforts such as reduced energy use, green building practices, and recycling. A campus-wide Sustainability Committee, led by Dr. David Cox, is working in support of that goal.

For more information on Sustainable Technologies Awareness Day, contact Dr. Marian Levy at 901-678-4514 or mlevy@memphis.edu, or Dr. John I. Hochstein at 901-678-2173 or jhochste@memphis.edu


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