BiSSL Grad Student Colton Brehm Nominated for the Leo Award for Best Paper


Congratulations to BiSSL MS student Colton Brehm! His conference paper for the 26th CIRP Life Cycle Engineering Conference on Advancing Industrial Sustainability, to be held at Purdue University May 2019, is nominated for the Leo Award for best paper!

“Designing eco-industrial parks in a nested structure to mimic mutualistic ecological networks,” first authored by Colton Brehm

Industrial Ecology uses ecological systems as a guide for improving the sustainability of complex industrial systems. Eco-Industrial Parks (EIPs) have gained support as a solution that seeks to simultaneously reduce environmental burdens and promote economic interests by exchanging materials and energy between industries to their mutual benefit. Recent studies have focused on drawing relations between food webs (FWs) and EIPs to improve the sustainability of the latter using ecological metrics, such as the level of cycling or average connections between actors. This study incorporates a new ecological metric, nestedness, into the discussion of sustainable design for EIPs. The association of nestedness with mutualistic ecological networks supports its application to EIP design. The work here improves the understanding of holistic network structure with the goal of improving future design decisions for EIPs with purposeful placement of material and energy flows.

TAMU Student Research Week

Dr. Astrid Layton and BiSSL MS student Tirth Dave with his award

BiSSL Master’s student Tirth Dave just won 1st place out of all Engineering Graduate Student Presentations at Student Research Week at Texas A&M University! His presentation was titled: “Sustainable Water Networks Design: A Bio-inspired Approach” 

Everyone here in the BiSSL group is so proud!

Student Research Week at Texas A&M is the largest, single-university student-run research symposium in the nation. Students get to show their research and have a chance to win up to $1,000 in award money and receive feedback from faculty and graduate student judges.

TAMU Student Research Week

Shelby Warrington presents her research poster

Clare Boothe Luce scholar and J. Mike Walker ’66 Department of Mechanical Engineering undergrad Shelby Warrington did an excellent job presenting her work at Student Research Week – Texas A&M University from our last 2 years working together on bio-inspired human system modeling!

Student Research Week at Texas A&M is the largest, single-university student-run research symposium in the nation. Students get to show their research and have a chance to win up to $1,000 in award money and receive feedback from faculty and graduate student judges.

The Clare Boothe Luce Scholar Program has, since its first grants in 1989, become one of the single most significant sources of private support for women in science, mathematics, and engineering in Higher Education in the United States. Clare Boothe Luce, the widow of Henry R. Luce, was a playwright, journalist, U.S. Ambassador to Italy, and the first woman elected to Congress from Connecticut. In her bequest establishing this program, she sought “to encourage women to enter, study, graduate, and teach” in science, mathematics, and engineering. To date, the program has supported more than 2,500 women. Learn more here.

Student-Led Paper Accepted for ASME’s Conference for Manufacturing Science & Engineering (MSEC) 2019

Congratulations to BiSSL Masters student Jewel Williams and undergraduate Clare Boothe Luce scholar Shelby Warrington for the acceptance of their peer-reviewed conference paper titled WASTE REDUCTION: A REVIEW OF COMMON OPTIONS AND ALTERNATIVES. The ASME Conference for Manufacturing Science and Engineering (MSEC) will be held in June at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College.

Paper Abstract:

Circular economy aims to address limited resources through the continuous circulation of materials and energy. Re-circulating low quality materials for reuse is a sustainability goal that is analogous to the primary function of Nature’s detritus species, a keystone for the proper functioning of ecosystems. Prior applications of ecosystem structure to human network design uncovered that even the most economically successful networks of industries demonstrate a lack of analogous detritus actors in the form of reuse and recycling. The recycling industry’s volatile nature, dependency on international factors, and financial difficulties prevent this strategy from becoming an efficient alternative. Creativity in design, inspired by ecosystems, is proposed here as a method to repurpose manufacturing byproducts that are otherwise seen as low quality waste materials. Realizing the reuse potential of these materials can create detrital-type feedback loops, an attribute that supports the characteristic resilience and efficiency of ecosystems. The work here analyzes existing methods of pursuing circular economy and investigates the potential benefits generated by purposefully adding connects that create detrital-feedback-loops at the consumer and producer levels.


Women’s History Month at Texas A&M

At Texas A&M University, diversity is changing the face of engineering, so join us in celebrating Women’s History Month! Throughout March, hear what Texas A&M Mechanical Engineering students, staff, and faculty have to say about embracing differences.

This afternoon’s shoutout goes to Assistant Professor Dr. Astrid Layton:

“Just because a subject is hard for you and seems easy for everyone else, doesn’t mean it isn’t for you! The hard stuff is often the most interesting and rewarding, and it’s hard work – not talent that creates success.”

Dr. Astrid Layton, more here.