Newsletter Archive

HARC Newsletter | July 2018

Putting Knowledge into Action | Clean Energy Outreach
HARC studies many aspects of sustainability and resilience in ecosystems, cities, energy systems, infrastructure, and more. Clean Energy has long been an essential part of this endeavor. Renewables such as wind, solar, and biofuels are only part of the picture. Energy efficiency represents enormous opportunity to lower emissions with significant economic benefits built in. While clean energy has always been important, ever-changing environmental and economic pressures make it an imperative for sustainability and resilience. This work often brings together stakeholders, experts, and others with something to share or learn.
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Featured Project
Texas Property Assessed Clean Energy
In 2013, the State of Texas legislator passed the Texas PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) Act. PACE is a voluntary financing tool that helps owners of existing commercial, non-profit, industrial, and multifamily (5+ unit) properties invest in energy efficiency, water conservation and distributed generation improvements with little or no upfront capital outlay. The first PACE region was created by Travis County in 2015 and since that time, an additional 16 regions have been created across the State. The 17 regions cover over 40% of the Texas population.
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Featured Application
Effects of Hurricane Harvey: Pre & Post Regional Aerial Imagery
Hurricane Harvey brought more than 50 inches of rain in a single week to a region that normal receives 45 inches of rainfall in a year. This amount of rainfall in such a short period of time brought widespread flooding and destruction of property throughout the Houston-Galveston region. However, flooding and excessive rainfall from natural disasters also create impacts to eco-systems that provide benefits to the region both recreationally and in mitigating the effects of natural rainfall events. This application can be used to compare pre and post Hurricane Harvey true color and color infrared imagery. Pre-Harvey imagery is circa 2016 courtesy of TNRIS NAIP program and is 1 Meter resolution. Post-Harvey imagery was flown by the Houston-Galveston Area Council from 8/30/2017-9/8/2017 and is 1 Foot resolution.
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Featured Researcher
Asanga Wijesinghe, PhD
Research Associate, Engine and Emissions Control
Dr. Asanga Wijesinghe is a Research Associate at the Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC) in engine and emission measurement technologies. He obtained his B.S. in physics from University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka and his M.S. and Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Houston. He is also a National Instruments Certified LabVIEW Associate Developer. Since coming to HARC, he has been involved in software and hardware system development for many air and energy-related research project with a focus on engine emission control technologies and air quality monitoring.
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Announcements & Events
HARC People & Nature Speaker Series: Innovative Resilience Financing
On Wednesday, September 12, HARC will continue its People & Nature Speaker Series hosting an evening conversation with six national thought leaders on the topic of innovative resilience financing and the role that the public and private sectors can play to develop new community partnerships and diversified resilience funding mechanisms in Greater Houston.
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Workshop Series: Energy Efficiency for Business
HARC, Greater East End Management District and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development have partnered together to develop a series of three lunch & learn workshops that will help small to mid-sized business owners and developers increase energy efficiency and save money.
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Research on Induced Seismicity Presented at EWRI International Congress
Energy of tectonic forces relentlessly reshaping the Earth’s crust can impart stresses in geologic formations that may build over time, perhaps suddenly released in a seismic event such as an earthquake.
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Carbon tax would accelerate shift to renewables, away from coal: studies
HARC Program Director, Gavin Dillingham was recently quoted in S&P Global Platts Megawatt Daily regarding a recent report on the impacts of a federal carbon tax on the energy markets.
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Upcoming CHP Webinars | Learn About CHP Applications in Hospitality, Wastewater Treatment, and Oil & Gas Operations
The Southcentral and Upper-West CHP TAPs are hosting three upcoming webinars focusing on applications for Hospitality, Wastewater Treatment, and Oil and Gas.
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Lisa Gonzalez discusses Resilience in a post-Harvey Houston at the Texas Association of Environmental Professionals Luncheon
HARC President Lisa Gonzalez was the featured speaker at the June luncheon meeting of the Texas Association of Environmental Professionals, held June 21, 2018.
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HARC Researchers Dr. Stephanie Glenn and Dr. Erin Kinney to participate at the CEC Greater Houston Environmental Summit 2018
HARC Researchers Dr. Stephanie Glenn and Dr. Erin Kinney will be participating at the CEC Greater Houston Environmental Summit 2018 on Friday, August 10, 2018.
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Dr. Asanga Wijesinghe receives a Young Scientist Paper Award
HARC Research Associate, Dr. Asanga Wijesinghe, received the Young Scientist Paper Award (Third Place) for his paper entitled “Effects of Nanoparticle Based Fuel Additives on Diesel Engine Performance and Emissions."
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HARC Research Scientist juror at Gulf Coast Green Student Competition
HARC research scientist, Marina Badoian-Kriticos, served as a juror for the Gulf Coast Green 2018 Student Competition on June 1, 2018.
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HARC Research Scientist at Industrial Energy Technology Conference
HARC research scientist, Marina Badoian-Kriticos, participated on two panel discussions at the 40th Annual Industrial Energy Technology Conference on June 13, 2018.
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Houston and Hurricane Harvey: A Call to Action
HARC researchers Stephanie Glenn, Marina Badoian-Kriticos and Gavin Dillingham contributed to a recent report published by reinsurance firm Zurich RE discussing the significant negative impacts Hurricane Harvey had on Houston and the Gulf Coast’s economy, communities and natural environment.
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HARC in the news
Friday, June 15, 2018
Enhancing Resilience of Critical Infrastructure with Combined Heat and Power
Researchers Gavin Dillingham and Carlos Gamarra, leading the DOE’s CHP Southcentral and Upperwest CHP TAPs, recently published an article in the American Public Gas Association (APGA) trade association publication “The Source.” The article discusses how CHP can improve a facilities resilience and keep the lights on during and after a major power outage event.
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Thursday, June 14, 2018
Dr. Erin Kinney featured in NOVA: Rise of the Superstorms
HARC’s Dr. Erin Kinney discusses the impact of impervious surfaces on the recent flood events including Hurricane Harvey in the recent PBS broadcast NOVA: Rise of the Superstorms. Dr. Kinney’s work on land use change and wetland loss in the Houston-Galveston region highlights the importance of wetlands for flood mitigation and protecting water quality.
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