SERC TALKS: “How Can a Systems Approach Help Critical Civil Infrastructure Become Smarter, More Sustainable and Resilient?” by Michael Salvato

April 28, 2021 12pm CT

ABSTRACT: Climate change, NetZero energy, and the Fourth Industrial Revolution are all game changers for infrastructure providers. Inadequate and ill-prepared infrastructure will increase the consequences of rapid urbanization, extreme weather events and digital disruption, driving up the costs to individuals, businesses, and society, reducing economic productivity and undermining the quality of life for people and plant. To build smarter, more sustainable, and resilient infrastructure, cities will need to reimage infrastructure services they provide, and arrange deeply interconnected technological, social and environmental systems to do so. Infrastructure 4.0 is comprised, not just of physical assets and digital twins, but an interconnected web of social, institutional, and ecological systems. New, complex forms of socio-technological systems are emerging that require a synthesis across traditional disciplines of engineering, information technology, environmental science, and policy. Leaders in smart, sustainable cities are embracing information and communication technologies and other means to meet the needs of populations without compromising future generations, envisioning new possibilities, and developing transformational roadmaps for a smarter, more sustainable and resilient future.


MEGSO, MEFEGs, and MEEN Girls present: “Info Session for Grad School”

October 6-7, 2020

The Mechanical Engineering Graduate Student Organization (MEGSO), the Mechanical Engineering Female Graduate Student Group (MEFEGs), and the Mechanical Engineering Undergraduate Women’s group (MEEN Girls) are together hosting an informational session series about Graduate School as a Mechanical Engineer.

Faculty/Staff Panel: Tuesday, October 6th 3:30-4:30pm
Student Panel: Wednesday, October 7th 4:30-5:30pm

Ask questions or come to hear the answers! Find out about admittance procedures, what it’s like to be a graduate student first hand, and what opportunities you can unlock!

Texas A&M Energy Institute Lecture Series

Dr. Debalina Sengupta and “Disaster Resilience: Are we ready before the next one strikes?”

July 2, 2020 12-1pm CT Zoom Meeting

Dr. Debalina Sengupta is the Associate Director of the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station’s Gas & Fuels Research Center, as well as the Water, Energy, and Food Nexus Coordinator in the Texas A&M Energy Institute at Texas A&M University.

Abstract: We are witnessing history, and living through it. Never before in recent times has a pandemic spread around the world and paralyzed nations, economies, resources, and most importantly, people, all at the same time. It has exposed vulnerabilities to systems in ways that we are yet to fathom. As we wade through solving the immediate human health concerns and crisis, there is a deeper question that we need to address. The role of different entities and players in the society need to be taken into consideration for determining the resilience to disasters of great magnitude.

Over the past two decades, statistics suggest that the intensity of natural disasters have been increasing, and the damages caused by them have been impacting the lives of millions. Hurricanes and flooding events have increasingly influenced coastal communities and given rise to terms as climate refugees. Disaster management has primarily been a top-down approach from governance perspectives. The Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act of 2006 saw a comprehensive push towards disaster management strategies, and the need for emergency planning and implementation. However, the multiple failures during disasters and the resulting increase in losses to human lives, property, and progress of regions have yet again shown us that a convergent, interdisciplinary research approach is required to address the four stages of disaster management: Response, Recovery, Mitigation, and Preparedness. From analyzing vulnerabilities and risks to identifying root causes and critical elements in the full cycle of disaster management, interventions can be designed for timely recovery and minimizing loss of life. Deriving from concepts of sustainable development, this webinar will provide a framework for resilience studies, and seek to develop partnerships that can bring translational research components for innovative approaches towards disaster resilience.

MEFEGs Monthly Faculty Lunch

Dr. Cynthia Hipwell speaks about “When your experiment does not go as planned

June 26, 2020 12-1pm CT

The Mechanical Engineering Female Graduate Students (MEFEGs) is honored to invite Dr. Hipwell to share her experience in our monthly faculty lunch this Friday noon. Dr. Hipwell spent 21 years in industry – most of that as a data storage leader at Seagate Technology, and is known as a technology and business process innovator. She is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and National Academy of Inventors and is very passionate about promoting innovative thought and curriculum at Texas A&M. The faculty lunch will be discussion based and it is a good opportunity to interact with female faculties within MEEN department.

MEEN Girls Informational

Thursday, September 19th 6pm

Come check out MEEN Girls, A&M’s Mechanical Engineering undergraduate women’s group, Thursday September 19th at 6pm for their first meeting of the semester!

MEEN Girls Study Break

February 6, 2019

MEEN Girls Flyer 02_06

Come take a study break and meet the TAMU MEEN Girls faculty advisors Drs. Astrid Layton and Shima Hajimirza, Wednesday, February 6, 2019 at 3pm Texas A&M Engineering

Aggie Women in STEM Conference, Hosted by MEEN Girls

February 2, 2019

stem conference flyer 2019

Come check out the 2nd annual Aggie Women in STEM conference hosted by the amazing undergraduate female student in Mechanical Engineering at Texas A&M (MEEN Girls) and open to all! February 2nd, 2019 9-3pm at MSC2406

Register at aggiemeengirls.com

The 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals

The Sustainable Development Goals are the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. They address the global challenges we face, including those related to poverty, inequality, climate, environmental degradation, prosperity, and peace and justice. The Goals interconnect and in order to leave no one behind, it ís important that we achieve each Goal and target by 2030. Click here to learn more about each issue…

The work being done in the BiSSL lab can be related to:

  • Goal 9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • Goal 12: Responsible Production and Consumption

“Want to fight climate change? Educate a girl”

TED Oct. 9, 2018 Shabana Basij-Rasikh

A coalition of researchers, scientists, business leaders and policymakers came together in 2017 to identify the most substantive solutions to not just halt global warming, but actually cause an annual decline in the concentration of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere. The result was a ranked list of the 100 most powerful solutions to reversing global warming, educating girls was number 6.

To put that in perspective: Rooftop solar panels are #10. Electric vehicles come in at #26. Educating girls ranks at #6.

Read the article here… 

“The man-made world is horribly designed. But copying nature helps.”

WFSC/ABS co-sponsored seminar with Dr. Brian Fath

Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, Towson University and Editor-in-Chief, Ecological Modelling

“Investigations of sustainability and resilience using a network of networks approach” 

Friday 21st September, 12-1pm, HFSB 102

Dr. Fath will talk about his research in the area of systems ecology and network analysis applied to the sustainability and resilience of socio-ecological systems.

Abstract: Sustainability is a system-level property of the structure and function of the system in question.  Key features of sustainable systems are energy and material resource flows and waste recovery and the presence and maintenance of autocatalytic cycles that build, dissipate, and regenerate resource gradients.  A resilient system is one that is able to successfully navigate all stages of the adaptive cycle.  This view focuses on sustaining life processes rather than piecemeal solutions to specific symptoms.  In this study, network analysis is used to assess the impact of an invasive species on the food web in a series of Nebraska reservoirs.  Introduction of the invasive species is mediated by a social network of anglers moving from place-to-place.  Using this approach it is possible to promote management options to control the spread of the invasive species.

For more information on Dr. Fath please visit his website: https://www.towson.edu/fcsm/departments/biology/facultystaff/bfath.html

U.S. Secretary of Energy Perry Announces Texas A&M Energy Institute Joining Collaborative Effort to Advance Women’s Leadership in Clean Energy

May 9, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced that the Texas A&M Energy Institute is joining the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Energy Initiative (MITEI) and the Stanford Precourt Institute for Energy to support implementation of the DOE-led U.S. Clean Energy Education & Empowerment (C3E) program to advance women’s participation and leadership in clean energy.

Circular Economy and the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency

SEPA’s Becs Walker talks about their efforts to support the creation of a circular economy in Scotland. “Confused about #OnePlanetProsperity or the circular economy? Becs Walker explains how collaboration is at the heart of it all.”


AskNature provides innovators with the world’s most comprehensive catalog of nature’s solutions to human design challenges. This curated online library features free information on over 1,800 (and growing!) natural phenomena and hundreds of bio-inspired applications.


MSC Wiley Lecture Series at Texas A&M University presents:

The Environment and Our Posterity

Wednesday, September 20th at 7 pm in MSC 2406

Panel discussion, moderated by Timothy M. Mulvaney from the School of Law and featuring panelist Dr. Wendy Jepson from the department of Geography both at Texas A&M, covering the role of the US constitution on climate change policy.


The Constitution of the United States notes in the preamble a concern for promoting the general welfare for ourselves and our posterity. In a world where the health of the environment threatens not only our welfare, but the welfare of generations to come, environmental protection is of vital importance. The Commerce Clause also affirms the right of the government to pass environmental regulation, as it gives congress the authority “To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian Tribes.” This clause was used to pass many federal statutes, including the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act. However, the question remains as to what kind of action is appropriate for both the environment and the economy. Do some statutes to protect the environment cause undue harm to the economy? Does the harm done to our environment have a greater economic impact than the statutes passed to protect it? How far can our government go, and how far should they go, to regulate industries’ impact on the environment? The event is free and open to the public.

Aggie Women in ​STEM Conference

women in stem.PNG

Come check out the FREE 1-day STEM conference on Texas A&M’s campus, consisting of 4 professional development workshops. Hosted by ASME’s MEEN Girls, the undergraduate women’s group for mechanical engineering at Texas A&M University.

Register HERE

Tools for Systems Thinkers: The 6 Fundamental Concepts of Systems Thinking

by Leyla Acaroglu with Disruptive Design


Find the full article with original illustrations here

6th annual Campus RainWorks Challenge


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is launching its sixth annual Campus RainWorks Challenge, a design competition that is open to colleges and universities across the country. EPA seeks to engage with students to foster a dialogue about responsible stormwater management, and showcase the environmental, economic, and social benefits of green infrastructure practices.

Registration for the 2017 Challenge is open from September 1st through the 30th. Student teams must register in order to submit their entries by December 15th. Winners will be announced in the Spring of 2018. Each first-place team will earn a student prize of $2,000 to be divided evenly among student team members and a faculty prize of $3,000 to support green infrastructure research or training. Second-place teams will win $1,000 for student teams and a $2,000 faculty prize.

Water pollution associated with stormwater runoff requires infrastructure solutions that are innovative, resilient, and affordable. Today’s scholars are tomorrow’s design professionals. The Campus RainWorks Challenge will harness their creativity and knowledge to jointly advance the agency’s mission to protect public health and water quality.

Learn more at: www.epa.gov/campusrainworks

Biomimicry Global Design Challenge



The Biomimicry Global Design Challenge is an annual competition that asks teams of students and professionals to address critical global issues with nature-inspired solutions. The challenge is hosted by the Biomimicry Institute, in partnership with the Ray C. Anderson Foundation. All category winners will be awarded cash prizes. Open category winners will also be invited to participate in our Biomimicry Accelerator and compete for the $100,000 Ray of Hope Prize™ http://challenge.biomimicry.org/

Article: Sustainability is unhelpful: we need to think about regeneration

by Herbert Girardet published Monday 10 June 2013 08.23 EDT in the Guardian

“Sustainable development is a concept to which few people would object; most of us would agree that we should not live as if there were no tomorrow. But … [it leaves us with many questions:] How long is sustainable: 10 years, 100 years, 1,000 years? And who and what should be sustainable: households, cities, whole nations, the world economy? And who should benefit: current generations or all humans who will ever be alive? And where is the critique of the current economic system: can SD really occur under the rules of capitalism,where the refusal to put a price on nature’s services and on ecological and social externalities is a systemic problem?…The concept of regenerative development aims to fill this gap: it means that we need to develop comprehensive rules for an environmentally enhancing, restorative relationship between humanity and the ecosystems from which we draw resources for our sustenance.”

Video: Network Earth

This is why I love working in bio-inspired design! There are so many things we can still learn from nature to make our lives and communities better.

Video Visualization: Mauro Martino, Jianxi Gao, Baruch Barzel, Albert-László Barabási. Narration: Shamini Bundell

“In a world filled with complex networks, this data visualisation explains how mathematical tools can both predict and bring order to potentially chaotic situations. This Nature Video from 2016 recently won a prestigious National Science Foundation Vizzie award.” The accompanying paper: Jianxi Gao, Baruch Barzel, Albert-László Barabási. “Universal resilience patterns in complex networks” , NATURE LETTERS (530): 307, 2016. doi:10.1038/nature16948

Video: Biomimicry Explained

Recommended TedTalk: Biomimicry Explained a conversation with science writer Janine Benyus. Filmed July 2009 at TEDGlobal 2009

“Janine Benyus has a message for inventors: When solving a design problem, look to nature first. There you’ll find inspired designs for making things waterproof, aerodynamic, solar-powered and more. Here she reveals dozens of new products that take their cue from nature with spectacular results.”