Outreach

Helene

Mechanical Engineering student Helene Beauchamp showing the construction team who's boss.

CEET has an active outreach effort. CEET collaborates with the Center for Micro-Engineered Materials (CMEM) to host students working under the University of New Mexico Nanoscience and Microsystems (NSMS) REU Program. This program sponsors travel and other activities, provides students with a stipend, on-campus housing and focuses on the development of strong student-mentor relationships as well as laboratory and research skills. This year, CEET hosted we one REU student, Kellan Euerle, an undergraduate student at Gustavus Adolphus College, Minnesota. During the summer he worked on "Hierarchically Structured Fuel Cell Electrocatalysts " under the supervision of Dr. Babanova and Prof. Atanassov. The UNM REU program is funded by the National Science Foundation and by the DOD ASSURE program.

This year, UNM was also the recipient of an National Science Foundation Research Experience for Teachers award. This three-year grant brings elementary and high school teachers to UNM for a six-week summer program where they partner with faculty on ERC research projects. This year, CEET hosted three RET teachers, one in electrochemistry, one in photovoltaics, and one in solar resource assessment. The teachers use the time to work with faculty and students, to develop teaching kits that will become part of teaching curricula in their respective institutions.

The DOE Solar Decathlon is the outreach project with the highest visibility this year. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, the Solar Decathlon is a program that challenges collegiate teams to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive. The winner of the competition is the team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency.

The first Solar Decathlon was held in 2002; the competition& has since occurred biennially in 2005, 2007, 2009, and 2011. Team ASUNM, a cooperation between Arizona State University and YNM, is a competitor in the 2013 event. Open to the public free of charge, the Solar Decathlon gives visitors the opportunity to tour the houses, gather ideas to use in their own homes, and learn how energy-saving features can help them save money today. In 2011, the Solar Decathlon provided more than 350,000 house visits to the public over 10 days, offered 31 workshops onsite for the public and held a dedicated day of six workshops for builders and industry, and reached millions of readers and viewers in markets across the globe through various media.

CEET faculty and students regularly conduct tours of labs and facilities (including the Mesa del Sol distributed power infrastructure) to show industry, media, middle and high schools and members of the public the relevance of CEET's research to the well-being of society through technological innovation and workforce development.