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The Florida State University

 IESES Newsletter



February 2011



Image IESES Logo Best
Table of Contents
Student Engineers to Represent Florida in Solar Decathlon 2011
International Sustainable Development Course Offered
After Last Year's Win, a New Formula Hybrid Team Will Compete
FAMU-FSU Students to Compete in 2012 American Solar Challenge
Join the Seminole Association for Sustainable Energy
Energy Policy Class Visits State Capital!
Law and Sustainability Symposium - Feb. 25
Open House at CAPS, IESES & High Magnetic Field Lab - Feb. 26
OGZEB to Host Mixer with the College of Visual Arts, Theatre and Dance - Feb. 27
Pres. Barron Discusses the Variety of Research Needed to Prepare for Climate Change
Congratulations to Recent Graduates!
Design Features of the Off Grid Zero Emissions Building (OGZEB)
Student Engineers to Represent Florida in Solar Decathlon 2011

Students at the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering are helping design a sustainable, cost effective house to be judged and showcased at the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011 in the fall.  FSU is one of four universities that comprise Team Florida, a multidisciplinary team of students and faculty partnering to design, build, and operate an affordable, energy efficient house for the international collegiate Solar Decathlon competition. Team Florida is one of 20 teams selected to compete. Teams will be judged on affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence with optimal energy production and efficiency.

Team Florida's submission for the Solar Decathlon is FLeX House, a flexible, modular building system designed for a young, moderate-income couple and engineered specifically for Florida's hot, humid climate. 
FSU's component of the team has been focusing on the house's energy efficiency.  The student engineers have worked for over a year to determine which features would be right for the house.


Solar Decathlon 2011 

Design of FLeX House  


FLeX House will employ an adjustable mounting structure for optimum solar panel installation, flat plate collectors for solar thermal water heating, zoned air conditioning for efficient air temperature control, and a liquid desiccant system to reduce air humidity.  Construction is set to begin in March.

Shannon Ingersoll

Team Florida member Shannon Ingersoll


"We ultimately wanted to design a sustainable house that balances energy efficiency and affordability," said Shannon Ingersoll, engineering graduate student at FSU. "FLeX House will help show the public that solar-powered homes are accessible and attainable, and will draw attention to all the sustainable energy initiatives in our state and the expertise we have to offer."


IESES is supporting FSU's participation in Team Florida.  To view other sponsors of FLeX House and for more information, please visit  


International Sustainable Development Course Offered

The College of Social Sciences and Public Policy is currently offering a course on International Sustainable Development.  Taught this spring by Public Administration Ph.D. candidate David Grasso-Ortega, this course is designed to help students understand the world through the lens of sustainability. Sustainable development has only recently become ingrained in our political lexicon. Today, it is frequently cited in the policy arena as the only option to secure long term development.   


isd image


This class will attempt to approximate a working definition of sustainability in a number of relevant economic and policy spheres, and examine the role of sustainable development in policy making.


For more information, please contact David Grasso-Ortega at

After Last Year's Win, a New Formula Hybrid Team Will Compete

The Formula SAE Competition is an annual international collegiate competition striving to build a formula style, gas-electric hybrid vehicle. This year's competition takes place in Loudon, New Hampshire on May 1st and is organized by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). Competitors will be judged on the static and dynamic aspects of their vehicle. The static portion includes design judging and presentations.  The dynamic portion includes acceleration, autocross and endurance race.    


Hybrid Car

FSU's Formula vehicle.

IESES is continuing its support of the Formula Hybrid Vehicle Team. This year, the student team is striving to continue the success of last year's team and win the 2011 competition. 


This year's team is a combination of computer, electrical and mechanical engineering students. These students are:

- Stephanie Medina, Computer Engineering (Senior)  

- Lorenzo Neal, Electrical Engineering (Senior)

- Israel Daramola, Electrical Engineering (Senior)

- Ryan Zombek, Mechanical Engineering (Senior)

- Thomas Emerick, Mechanical Engineering (Senior)

- Philip Young, Mechanical Engineering (Senior)


Hybrid Car Engine
Ryan Zombek working on internal combustion engine.

Last year, the team's vehicle won first place in the Hybrid-in-Progress competition. This year, the project team will enhance the structure and develop a full hybrid vehicle to serve three objectives: reducing fuel consumption, improving  the performance of the vehicle, and innovating the drive-train within the vehicle. To achieve these objectives, the students plan to incorporate an internal combustion engine, couple an electric motor with the internal combustion engine, incorporate a battery management system, and redesign the differential, braking system, body and shell of the vehicle.  The students are working to complete the project for the design fair in April and competition in May.

Working on Hybrid Car

Stephanie Medina working on vehicle.


 This year's sponsors include:

 Image of IESES Logo  Ford Motors  

For more information, contact Stephanie Medina at

FAMU-FSU Students to Compete in 2012 American Solar Challenge

As part of their course work and graduation requirement, senior undergraduate students of the College of Engineering are required to complete a large scale capstone design project.


Inspired by a 1997 College of Engineering solar car design project, an interdisciplinary team of students has been assigned the task of constructing a solar car to compete in the 2012 American Solar Challenge. The American Solar Challenge is a competition to design, build and drive solar-powered cars in a cross country time-distance rally race. The race's goal is to show commitment to the education and support of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) fields.


The project is a two year effort and is currently in its second phase.  Last year, a team of three electrical engineers and three mechanical engineers were able to set the foundation of the project by developing a rolling chassis capable of running on battery powered energy. This year's team will complete the project by improving upon the design and are in the process of constructing a body to encompass the solar car, while designing an electrical system that will allow the solar car to convert and store solar energy into the existing circuit.

Solar Car Group

Solar Car Team with part of their project


An electrical engineering team will be responsible for streamlining the electrical systems currently in place, creating protection for the batteries, and for implementing a solar array.  This team includes James Barge, Zachary Prisland and Shishir Rajbhandari.  The mechanical engineering team will be responsible for redesinging and fabricating a carbon fiber body, a new suspension and a new braking system.  Emiliano Pantner, Keith Dalick and Adrian Cires make up the mechanical team.  The industrial engineering team will be responsible for the driver's cockpit and making the driving controls as intuitive as possible and includes Amanda Robarts, Nelson German and Rajat Pradhan.


The project is supported by the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering Machine Shop, the High Performance Materials Institute, IESES, MSC Software, SolidWorks, Hexcel, and Reichold.


For more information, email Zachary Prisland at

STUDENTS! Join the Seminole Association for Sustainable Energy 

fsuSASE logo 
The Seminole Association for Sustainable Energy (SASE) has several projects already underway and many opportunities for students to get involved in activities that will enhance your education in sustainable energy and make professional contacts that will assist you after graduation.  


Students interested in joining our organization, please contact Melanie Simmons at


I hope you enjoy this issue of the IESES newsletter! 


The student version provides information about IESES and SASE sponsored events, as well as research and professional development opportunities. 


The best way to stay up-to-date with SASE jobs, internships and events is to "like" our Facebook page.



 Find us on Facebook

Energy Policy Class Visits State Capital!  

Dr. Dave Cartes and students in his Energy Policy for Engineers and Scientists class visited the capital and met with representatives.  


Dave's class at the Capitol

Pictured above from left to right: Andrew Magaletti, Cristina Collier, Due Le, Representative Michelle Rehwinkel Vassilinda, Representative Clay Ford, Siyn Leng, Wei Gu, Yusheng Lao,

IESES Director Dr. Dave Cartes.


Law and Sustainability Symposium - Feb. 25

Please join us for the Law and Sustainability Symposium: The Energy-Land Use Nexus



Friday, February 25, 2011

 8:00 A.M. to 3:30 P.M.



FSU College of Law

425 W. Jefferson St.

(see map)

Free and open to the public! 

Register Here 

Open House at CAPS, IESES & High Magnetic Field Lab - Feb. 26

The Center for Advanced Power Systems, IESES and the National High Magnetic Field Lab will hold their annual Open House. 


Saturday, February 26, 2011, 10:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M.


Faculty and students will offer demonstrations of electricity and magnetism, superconductivity, fuel cells, smart grid technologies and more. There will also be fun activities like hydrogen car races, programing robots and building your own electric motor.


Innovation Park   

(see map)


Leon County students are welcome to display their energy related science fair projects. For more information please contact: Melanie Simmons  


Park in our convenient lot at 2000 Levy Avenue and enjoy the CAPS-IESES Open House.  Then walk to the Mag-Lab Open House down the road.  The Mag-Lab Open House features tesla coils, potato cannons, maglev trains and more.


Find out more here! 

OGZEB to Host Mixer with the College of Visual Arts, Theatre and Dance - Feb. 27


Sunday, February 27, 2011,

6:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M.



The OGZEB is proud to host a Jazz, Coffee, and Dessert Mixer for the College of Visual Arts, Theatre and Dance to promote the collaboration of various departments within the college.   


Come by on Sunday for free refreshments while mingling and viewing FSU graduate student artwork on display in the OGZEB.



1033 Atomic Way

Tallahassee, FL

(see map)

Pres. Barron Discusses the Variety of Research Needed to Prepare for Climate Change

Listen to the Florida State University President Eric J. Barron talk to the Chronicle of Higher Education about the role of universities in research and mitigation of climate change  here



President Eric Barron


President Barron is a

climatologist and the former director of the National Center for Atmospheric Research.  In his interview, he discusses how he plans to stay active in his field of study and what FSU will do to address climate change.


Congratulations to Recent Graduates!

Sean Collins received his PhD in Economics from FSU in 2010 and is now Assistant Professor at

Fordham University.   


Gustavo Munoz received his B.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering in the summer of 2010.  Read his FSU student profile here.   

Gustavo Munoz
Gustavo Munoz
Sarah Berner graduated with her J.D. from the College of Law

and is now a staff attorney at the Florida House of Representatives.  


All of these students participated on IESES-funded research projects.   

Design Features of the Off Grid Zero Emissions Building (OGZEB)

The Energy and Sustainability Center is home to the Off Grid Zero Emissions Building, a 1,064 sq. ft. graduate style flat that serves as a test bed for renewable energy technologies.  This living laboratory is entirely reliant on solar power to produce electricity and uses hydrogen to store energy when solar power is unavailable.


One of the main goals of the OGZEB was to integrate sustainability with livability in order to show people that a hi-tech home can be both comfortable and convenient.  When people tour the OGZEB, the first thing they say is, "Wow! I would love to live here.  This is really nice."  Design features like high ceilings give the home a spacious feel while rapidly renewable bamboo flooring and reclaimed cedar trimming make the house warm and welcoming.  To improve natural lighting in the building, light shelves were built into windows 20 feet above the floor.  These light shelves reflect light onto the white ceiling, dispersing the light evenly throughout the building.


Although the technology remains behind the scenes, the house is first and foremost a laboratory.  One experiment to be performed at the OGZEB will focus on improving the efficiency of the Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) unit.  The HVAC is one of the most power consuming items in the house.  A heat transfer loop will be implemented to connect the HVAC unit with the solar thermal water heating system.  This integration will decrease the electricity of the HVAC unit approximately 90% during heating cycles by using hot water from the solar thermal system to directly heat air entering the building.



The OGZEB is also being retrofitted with a full scale data collection system donated by Siemens.  This system will be capable of monitoring all of the electricity production and consumption and provide the statistics to prove the energy efficiency of this building.


Sponsors of the OGZEB include:

For more information, visit or email Shannon Ingersoll at to set up a tour.



The FSU Institute for Energy Systems, Economics and Sustainability

is a public resource. Here we carry out scholarly basic research and analysis in engineering, science, infrastructure, governance and the related social dimensions to further a sustainable energy economy. The Institute unites researchers from the disciplines of engineering, natural sciences, law, business, urban and regional planning, geography and economics to

address sustainability and alternative power issues in the context of global climate change.


Editor: Melanie Simmons PhD at and

Associate Editor: Carolyn Mooney at 

Contributors: Michael Willinger and Chrislande Dorcilus 

FSU IESES Newsletter


2000 Levy Avenue, Suite 360

Tallahassee, FL 32310

(850) 645-9165