By Franz Anunciacion
Spring Quarter may have just begun, but the Grand Challenge Team is coming close to the finish line. Here’s our recap of Winter Quarter. We sent out the official email mid-January notifying the list of Grand Challenge faculty that they will be in contact with a group of undergraduate students from our ESLP Action Research Team. The emails consisted of our project objectives, set interview times, confirmation dates, and the topics we will cover. Within the last two weeks of this past quarter, the team interviewed some of UCLA’s finest leaders in sustainability. Our interviews focused on how each professor’s research can be applied to improve urban sustainability. More specifically, we discussed how it can be applied on the UCLA campus as a pilot to achieve the Grand Challenge goals of 100% alternative energy and local water by 2050 in Los Angeles.
One of our many astounding interviewees was Dr. Gaurav Sant, a professor in the department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Dr. Sant is currently working on cement redesigning that involves the production of construction materials at 50% lower carbon emission and lower energy required to produce with equivalent properties. His research also involves adaptive insulation in building heating and insulation to improve energy efficiency by 25%. Dr. Sant focuses on rationalizing the use of natural resources in construction, promoting environmental protection, and advancing the ecological responsibility in concrete construction industry.
With the start of a new quarter, the team met up this week to assess our progress and the effectiveness of our interviews. We decided to contact professors who were supposed to be scheduled for last quarter by phone. So what’s left of our game plan? Our team will continue to interview the many professors on our Grand Challenge list. And then what? We have begun compiling our notes on each individual for the future database we will soon create. This database will contain information on each professor, allowing students to research and become involved in the Grand Challenge, as well as encourage collaboration.
Check out more of our blogs for information on professors who are making strives at the Grand Challenge!