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Engineering for a healthier Earth


In honor of Earth Day 2023 let’s take a look at a few of the many efforts that mechanical engineers are taking part in to make the world work better and greener.

From composting on land to dolphin trackers in the ocean, mechanical engineers are working hard to develop ways to mitigate climate change and help conserve fragile ecosystems.

Carbon capture, utilization and storage roadmap reveals technologies that are ready to go

The Global CO2 Initiative focuses on carbon capture technology that once was a distant dream and now has become a key technology in helping to reduce carbon emissions. Volker Sick, director of the initiative and a professor of mechanical engineering, is an active advocate of carbon capture and utilization. He speaks to this in a Q&A article depicting how the technology is ready to be used in areas such as aviation fuels.

U-M’s botanical gardens taking steps toward carbon neutrality

Working across campus, Margaret Wooldridge, professor of Mechanical Engineering, is leading an effort to change organic waste from the Matthaei Botanical Gardens into valuable products. as well as heat and energy for the gardens’ facilities. Her team plans to upcycle the waste using two different methods and convert it into fertilizers, biofuels, and other useful products.

New activity trackers for dolphin conservation

Dolphin splashing in water as it takes off from swimming dock

University of Michigan engineers, in collaboration with marine mammal specialists at Dolphin Quest Oahu, have led the development of wearable sensors for marine mammals to monitor movement and behavior in order to enhance marine conservation efforts for these animals.

$11M DOE center for next-gen battery technology

Female research leans over testing equipment verifying the charge of lithium metal

A new $10.95 million research center, led by Michigan Engineering and funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, could help enable the development of advanced batteries and fuel cells for electric vehicles. 

It focuses on understanding an emerging branch of science involving mechanical and chemical phenomena that affect advanced battery designs.

100% Renewable diesel cars could reduce emissions while waiting for electric vehicles