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An immensely powerful yet invisible force pulls water from Earth to the top of the tallest redwood and delivers snow to the tops of the Himalayas. Yet despite the power of evaporating water, its potential to propel self-sufficient devices or produce electricity has remained largely untapped until now. In the June 16 online issue of Nature Communications, Columbia University scientists report the development of two novel devices that derive power directly from evaporation -- a floating, piston-driven engine that generates electricity causing a light to flash, and a rotary engine that drives a miniature car. When evaporation energy is scaled up, the researchers predict, it could one day produce electricity from giant floating power generators that sit on bays or reservoirs, or from huge rotating machines akin to wind turbines that sit above water, said Ozgur Sahin, Ph.D., an associate professor of biological sciences and physics at Columbia University and the paper's lead author. "Evaporation is a fundamental force of nature," Sahin said. "It's everywhere, and it's more powerful than other forces like wind and waves." Last year, Sahin found that when bacterial spores shrink and swell with changing humidity, they can push and pull other objects forcefully. They pack more energy, pound for pound, than other materials used in engineering for moving objects, he reported in a paper published in Nature Nanotechnology, which was based on work Sahin had started as a Scholar in Residence at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University. Building on last year's findings, Sahin and his Columbia colleagues sought to build actual devices that could be powered by such energy. To build a floating, piston-driven engine, the researchers first glued spores to both sides of a thin, double-sided plastic tape akin to that in cassette tapes, creating a dashed line of spores. They did the same on the opposite side of the tape, but offset the line so dashes on one side overlapped with gaps on the other. When dry air shrinks the spores, the spore-covered dashes curve. This transforms the tape from straight to wavy, shortening the tape. If one or both ends of the tape are anchored, the tape tugs on whatever it's attached to. Conversely, when the air is moist, the tape extends, releasing the force. The result is a new type of artificial muscle that is controlled by changing humidity. Sahin and Xi Chen, a postdoctoral fellow in his lab, then placed dozens of these tapes side by side, creating a stronger artificial muscle that they then placed inside a floating plastic case topped with shutters. Inside the case, evaporating water made the air humid. The humidity caused the muscle to elongate, opening the shutters and allowing the air to dry out. When the humidity escaped, the spores shrunk and the tapes contracted, pulling the shutters closed and allowing humidity to build again. A self-sustaining cycle of motion was born. "When we placed water beneath the device, it suddenly came to life, moving on its own," Chen said. The spore-covered artificial muscles function as an evaporation-driven piston. Coupling that piston to a generator produced enough electricity to cause a small light to flash. "We turned evaporation from a pool of water into light," Sahin said. With its current power output, the floating evaporation engine could supply small floating lights or sensors at the ocean floor that monitor the environment, Chen said, speculating that an improved version with stickier plastic tape and more spores could potentially generate even more power per unit area than a wind farm. The Columbia team's other new evaporation-driven engine -- the Moisture Mill -- contains a plastic wheel with protruding tabs of tape covered on one side with spores. Half of the wheel sits in dry air, causing the tabs to curve, and the other half sits in humid environment, where the tabs straighten. As a result, the wheel rotates continuously, effectively acting as a rotary engine. The researchers next built a small toy car, powering it with the Moisture Mill and were successful in getting the car to roll on its own, powered only by evaporation. In the future, Sahin said, it may be possible to design engines that use the mechanical energy stored in spores to propel a full-sized vehicle. Such an engine, if achieved, would require neither fuel to burn nor an electrical battery. A larger version of the Moisture Mill could also produce electricity, Sahin said, suggesting a wheel that sits above a large body of water and evaporates saltwater, causing the wheel to rotate and generate electricity. This development would steadily produce as much electricity as a wind turbine, Sahin said.   Source : Story Source: The above post is reprinted from materials provided by Columbia University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length. Journal Reference: Xi Chen, Davis Goodnight, Zhenghan Gao, Ahmet H. Cavusoglu, Nina Sabharwal, Michael DeLay, Adam Driks, Ozgur Sahin. Scaling up nanoscale water-driven energy conversion into evaporation-driven engines and generators. Nature Communications, 2015; 6: 7346 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms8346

The following is invitation letter to participate in Technical Workshop in Techincal Workshop on UI GreenMetric 2015 for Indonesian Universities. Please read carefully the following information about workshop venue and registration [gview file=""]

On 22 September 2015, University College Cork, one of the National University located in Cork, Ireland visited Universitas Indonesia. Dr. Christopher K.Brown, Director of International, Dr. Christopher Shepard, International Strategy Officer, Prof. David Kerins, Dept. of Pharmacology & Therapeutics, and Dr Liz Gebruers are the delegation of UCC. Prof. Dr. Ir. Riri Fitri Sari, M.Sc., MM, Dr. Ayomi Dita, and Drg. Baiduri Widanarko MKKK, PhD. and other Green Metrics team received the delegation with international Office representatives, Nurul Tri and Desi Dinwati. The partnership between UCC and UI has started since UCC becomes a member of Green Metrics, World University Ranking on environmental Sustainability made by Universitas Indonesia. The aim of the visit is to develop more collaborative relationships between UI and UCC and meeting Green Metrics team. UCC emphasized marine renewable energy, and food science biochemistry as one of their key concern of joint research to be considered in the future. UI also proposed to sign formal MOU between UCC and UI and also offered some other possible collaboration such as student exchange, and customized short term student mobility to attract more inbound students to UI and vice versa. This initiative is taken to accommodate internationalization of UI to global world.   Source :

UC Davis continues to be listed among the top public universities in the nation, according to annual rankings released today by U.S. News & World Report. “With hundreds of public universities in the United States, we are always gratified to be considered one of the very best in the nation,” said Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi. “As we continue to grow and advance our big initiatives to enhance the university and support the success of our students, I know our reputation for excellence remains very solid. That is certainly reflected in our receiving a record number of applications year after year from some of the best students anywhere.” The U.S. News & World Report rankings come on the heels of other strong rankings for the university. In the latest report from QS World University Rankings, for example, UCD was rated No. 1 in the world for agriculture, forestry and veterinary sciences. It was the third No. 1 world ranking in a row for UC Davis in agriculture and forestry, and in this year’s QS rankings, UCD was one of just four universities to be listed as No. 1 in more than one discipline. The others were Harvard, M.I.T. and Yale. In addition, the School of Veterinary Medicine was ranked No. 1 by U.S. News & World Report for its graduate and professional school rankings. Sierra magazine listed UCD as 2nd “Cool School” among more than 150 of America’s greenest colleges and universities in 2015. The UI GreenMetric World University ranked UC Davis as 4th internationally and 1st in the United States. UCD is 6th among universities with the most students hired by top companies in and around Silicon Valley, according to Business Insider. And just last month, Washington Monthly listed UCD as the 16th best university in the nation and 4th best in the Western United States in the category of “Best Bang for Your Buck.” As part of the 2016 U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Colleges” rankings, UCD is ranked 41 overall. “UC Davis continues to build on our commitment to be a global leader in providing a high impact and quality environment for our students and faculty, and we are very proud of our reputation both nationally and internationally,” Katehi said. One of several UC Davis initiatives underway is the University of the 21st Century, which aims to address how the university can work collaboratively with faculty, students and staff to transform into a stronger community of learners, locally and globally. Another significant goal is the 2020 Initiative, with activities underway to create a more diverse scholar community and achieve greater financial stability. UC Davis has also established a World Food Center to broaden collaboration and partnerships, convene leaders to shape strategy and policy, and connect groundbreaking research to society and the marketplace. UC Davis also continues to make progress on Katehi’s goal of attracting $1 billion a year in research grants, with grants totaling more than $780 million this year, according to preliminary figures.   Resource :

People do a lot of activities every day. But they don’t realize that the activities can give bad impacts to the environment. Various activities that we do every day will accumulate and will cause Carbon foot print. Carbon foot print is the amount of greenhouse gas that is produced through the various activities undertaken by individuals, organizations, corporations, derived from daily activities, such as the use of motor vehicles, air-conditioning, the lighting and electrical equipment, the use of paper, and others. These greenhouse gases will give effect to temperature of the earth. The gas will withstand sunlight in the atmosphere so that the temperature of the earth will increase. Carbon foot print can be calculated using the carbon calculator. Carbon calculator serves to measure the amount of carbon that is produced every day, so it will be able to help individuals, organizations, or companies to control the amount of carbon that they produce.Knowing the approximate amount of carbon produced each day, will help individuals, companies, or organizations to control the amount of carbon in the air.Carbon calculator will calculate the amount of carbon released then advise how emissions can be reduced or how many trees planted that are equivalent to the emissions released. We can do a lot of thing to reduce carbon emissions, among others are : • Reducing the use of motor vehicles. • Reduce the excessive use of electricity. • Reducing the use of electronic objects. • Conduct waste recycling

UI Greenmetric participated in IREG Forum, represented by Prof. Dr. Ir. Riri Fitri Sari, M.Sc., M.M. Over 140 participants and speakers from 40 countries attended IREG Forum on Rankings by Subject held at the Aalborg University in the city of Aalborg in Denmark. There had been a general consensus among the participants of the IREG Form that rankings by subject or fields of study represent a positive trend as these rankings provide a wealth of information valid for users of rankings both on national and international level. As an example how to approach a ranking by subject, the fields of engineering was discussed in detail, taking into account both academic as well as industry’s perspectives. At the IREG Forum, the IREG Guidelines for Stakeholders of Academic Rankings were presented and officially launched as a document of IREG Observatory.

University rankings are a popular way to gauge the academic prowess of schools, but a new report released last January rates the environmental sustainability of campuses across the globe. Unsurprisingly, it shows that the Arab world could do better. Only 14 universities located in eight countries have adopted any significant environmentally friendly policies out of the more than 600 universities across the region. This was the conclusion of the fifth annual Universitas Indonesia UI GreenMetric World University Ranking, which used data collected in 2014. The ranking was based on results computed from information provided by 360 universities from 62 countries. The data relates to six main categories: green statistics; energy and climate change; waste management; water use; transportation and education. The data categories varied in weight in the rankings with factors related to energy and climate change the most important and water use the least.  Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, Syria and Morocco have only one university each in the rankings. Egypt has two, Palestine three, and Jordan four. Jordan was accordingly the top country in the Arab world for establishing environmentally conscious universities. The rankings of the Arab institutions are as follows: – Jordan University of Science and Technology: 49th – University of Jordan: 103rd – American University in Cairo: 105th – Kafrelsheikh University (Egypt): 129th – The Islamic University of Gaza: 133rd – An-Najah National University (Palestine): 136th – al-Aqsa University (Palestine): 201st – The University of King Abdulaziz (Saudi Arabia): 203rd – United Arab Emirates University: 230th – Petra University (Jordan): 253rd – American University of Beirut: 257th – Damascus University 333rd – Cadi Ayyad University (Morocco): 340th – The Hashemite University (Jordan): 345th The meager representation of Arab countries among the world’s green campuses comes despite a 2009 report from the U.S. National Intelligence Council, which cites North Africa as particularly vulnerable to climate change—thanks to its geographic and ecological features along with a low capacity to adapt to change. Shabbir Shahid, acting manager of the central analytical laboratory at International Center for Biosaline Agriculture in the United Arab Emirates, said that the low performance of Arab universities in the green metric is due to the persistence of an “old curricula and a lack of understanding of the values for adopting a green campus concept.” Tarek Saif, an environmentalist at Egypt’s National Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries, recommended establishing a network of green Arab universities to collaborate on environmental innovations, training programs and building low carbon campuses. The 14 Arab universities that were in the green rankings could partner with other specialized institutions—such as the Pan African University Institute of Water and Energy Sciences in Algeria and Masdar in the United Arab Emirates—to constitute the core of the network, suggested Saif. A Saudi bio-scientist, Mohammed Kuchari at King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah, agreed with the idea of an Arab network, but warned it shouldn’t be too ambitious.  “The proposed network should not re-invent the wheel as we already have regional and international best practices to learn from.” Those best practices include 25 recommendations from universities and colleges across the globe, which were documented in another report last month by the International Sustainable Campus Network. The United Nations also has a list of recommendations in a “toolkit,” released two years ago, which focused on sustainable campuses. A recent report on the “Green Economy: Sustainable Transition in a Changing Arab World,” made the case for more environmental awareness in Arab countries. (Download a PDF of the report here.) Eltayeb Mohamed Abdelgadir, a researcher at the Agricultural Research Corporation in Sudan, said the effort to create environmentally conscious campuses in the Arab world should produce homegrown technologies and generate a competitive green industry in the region. “Applying the green-campus concept should not be seen as just fashionable imitations of Western higher education trends.”     Resource :

Universitas Indonesia (UI) released the results of its GreenMetric Ranking of World Universities on 16th January 2015. This is the fifth year of this ranking which compares universities efforts towards campus sustainability and environment friendly university management. it was announced by the university Rector, Prof. Muhammad Anis, Prof Gunawan Tjahjono, and the Chairperson of UI Greenmetric Prof. Riri Fitri Sari at the Central Administration Building, Depok. This year, 360 universities from 62 countries took part, which is an increase from last year with 301 universities from 60 countries. University of nottingham in UK was ranked first with a score of 7,803, followed by University College Cork National University of Ireland in the Ireland (score 7,553) and third by Nottingham Trent University (score 7,530). The UC Davis, University of Oxford, the University of Bradford, University of Connecticut, Universitat fur Bodenkultur Wien Austria, UC Berkeley, and Northeastern University are on the top 10 of the rank. Apart from the US, the UK, Japan, south America, Chinese Taipei and countries in Europe, Asia, and Africa, the 2014 results include universities from Trinidad & Tobago, Sri Lanka, and Syria. The results are computed from information provided by universities online. This year the information are organized under Six (6) main categories. These categories, and their weightings, are: Green Statistics (15%), Energy and Climate Change (21%), Waste management (18%), Water usage (10%), Transportation (18%), and Education (18%).

Subject: Invitation to participate in UI Green Metric World University Sustainability Ranking 2014 Dear Sir/Madame, It is with great pleasure that I write to invite your institution to participate in our world ranking of university sustainability – Green Metric. Since the last 4 years, UI GreenMetric has become one of the flagship programs of Universitas Indonesia that ranked universities throughout the world according to appointed indicators of campus environmental issues such as setting and infrastructure, energy, waste management, water, and transportation, and education. This ranking is one of the university’s efforts in promoting sustainability in campuses and also in involving stakeholders in any kind of effort to create a sustainable environment. This program was launched in 2010 and has been conducted four times, ranked 301universities from 61 countries around the world. In this ocassion, we would like to invite you to join the 2014 ranking. There are a number of benefits for participating universities. Participation can help you in sharing your experience in sustainability to other universities. You can measure your sustainability policies and compare results with other institutions on the ranking. You can also see the criteria that need to be improved. This ranking also could be a platform for future cooperation. We do hope your institution will be able join us. Please let me know as soon as you can whether you can make it. We hope to see you with us. Please do not hesitate to email any questions you may have to Yours sincerely, Prof. Dr. Ir. Muhammad Anis, M. Met Rector

By : Wagdy Sawahel To counter the negative impact of climate change in North Africa, several higher education initiatives and scientific programmes are producing scientific workforces with the required skills, as well as carrying out research for promoting renewable energy for sustainable development. The North Africa region is particularly vulnerable to climate change because of its geographic and ecological features. The situation is aggravated by the interaction of multiple economic and social sources of stress and further compounded by a low adaptive capacity. Model projections indicate a clear rise in temperature over the next 20 years and this is expected to continue throughout the 21st century, probably at a rate higher than the estimated global average, according to a recent report,'North Africa: The Impact of Climate Change to 2030. Simulations also suggest a drying trend, particularly along the Mediterranean coast, driven by large decreases in summertime rainfall. Because coastal areas historically receive by far the largest amount of rainfall in North Africa, future decreases will likely have a significant and noticeable impact, the report says. Given the ecological and socioeconomic characteristics of the southern Mediterranean countries, the effect of climate change may be more marked than in other regions of the world. The most significant factors are likely to include water resources stress, agriculture, migration, natural disasters, energy and tourism. "Most of the predicted impacts in the region are already occurring regardless of climate change, for example, water stress and desertification. Climate change is expected to exacerbate these trends," the report says.   Green universities Only three universities in North Africa were ranked out of 301 participating higher education institutions located in 49 countries in the 2013'UI'GreenMetric World University Ranking for their sustainability initiatives. These were the American University in Cairo (101) and Kafrelsheikh University in Egypt (130), along with Cadi Ayyad University in Morocco (284). Launched in 2010 in response to the absence of sustainability criteria from existing university rankings bodies, the UIGreenMetric World University Ranking reflects the efforts made by participating institutions to implement environmentally friendly policies and programmes to reduce their carbon emissions and to help combat global climate change. The criteria include baseline information such as the size of the university, spatially and in terms of population, the campus location and the amount of green space; and also information on energy use, transport, water use and recycling and waste treatment, along with efforts being made by the institution towards establishing green policies and management and education programmes.   Teaching and research programmes To deal with climate change challenges, North African countries have hosted several regional initiatives including the following: The Pan African University Institute of Water and Energy Sciences, or PAUWES, at Algeria’s University of Tlemcen, contributes to the development of higher education and sustainable development in Africa. PAUWES offers two world-class graduate programmes, a master of science in water and an MSc in energy, as well as providing training programmes for top students to become engineers and policy analysts, able to address Africa’s most pressing development challenges. The Desertec University Network is an integrated concept which includes energy security and climate protection, as well as drinking water production, socio-economic development, security policy and international cooperation. It focuses on generating sufficient clean power in the world's deserts to supply mankind with enough electricity on a sustainable basis. The Desertec University Network is formed around 20 universities in North Africa and the Middle East and is aimed at the development of know-how and the implementation of programmes related to renewable energy. Among the first steps are plans for tertiary-level degrees in renewable energy to be made available at local universities along with training technical personnel. The Regional Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, or RCREEE, is the first regional centre of excellence for capacity building in the field of renewable energy and energy efficiency in the Middle East and North Africa. The centre carries out research and studies on renewable energy resource assessment as well as demonstration, testing and evaluation of different technologies focusing on solar and wind. It also provides consultancy services, promotes knowledge and technology transfer as well as providing training programmes for scientific and technical manpower to settle renewable energy technologies in Egypt and other Middle Eastern and North African countries. In addition, the centre focuses on promoting renewable energy technologies through direct contact with research centres in Europe and takes part in formulating policies related to renewable energy.   Expert's views Manar Sabry, an Egyptian higher education expert at the US State University of New York says climate change is a real threat for the North African countries. Sabry says higher education institutions have an important role to play in reducing the risk of these changes. "The first role that universities can play is to establish specialised research centres to study the impact of climate change at the regional, global and local levels. This may include studying the expected impacts of climate change and the risks associated with it,' he says.' "These centres should also bring university professors and form multidisciplinary committees to draft applicable policies, taking into consideration the legal, technical and financial aspects, and the like, that would help prevent further deterioration." Sabry says universities should design courses to educate new generations about the issue including the risks of climate change, methods to face it, and adaptation to climate change. At the local level, universities have a responsibility to educate the public and the local communities about the causes, solutions and adaptation measures. "In short, universities can take a leadership role as well as being a role model in this regard by actively studying, researching and implementing sound solutions that would consider the financial and legal components as well as the technical ones," he says. A Libyan higher education expert, Amal Rhema, who lectures at the Aljabal Algharbi University and at Victoria University in Australia, says higher education institutions have good practical, financial, academic and moral reasons to try to reduce the impacts of climate change. "I would suggest that universities in the North Africa region should work hard at reducing the carbon impact of their campuses, and exercise moral leadership in the fight against climate change," Rhema says. "They can benefit from other successful initiatives and experiences in developed countries, which can serve as a powerful example for those institutions that follow their strategies for confronting the negative impact of climate change." He says North African universities should participate in research and innovation for promoting sustainable development, and ensure provision of a safe, equitable and prosperous future for their students and communities.   Way forward With last month's creation of the'Africa Climate Change Fund by the African Development Bank in Tunis, African universities and research centres have the opportunity to enhance their scientific, teaching and training programmes.' These include support for adaptation and mitigation projects, knowledge management and information sharing related to climate change; and capacity building, recruitment of national and international consultants; as well as training and consultation workshops, and regional and international meetings.   Source :''story=20140517163225939

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