Spotlight on Green Schools
Schools are focusing more and more heavily on cutting back on the energy they use and trying to reduce their impact on the environment. The articles on these pages spotlight individual campus energy conservation programs, energy initiatives, solar installations, energy-related technology, HVAC, research, grants, policy, and other topics related to green campuses.
Phillip Dickens, a computer science professor from the University of Maine, discovered he could go green with the choice of supercomputer he needed for the job. In fact, to demonstrate how low the energy requirements of a supercomputer could be, he enlisted members of the university's bicycle team to power it with their pedaling.
The University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom has implemented new call center technology from NEC Philips Unified Solutions. The upgrade enables the university to expand its existing call center application, which is used by a number of schools and departments including IT support, an onsite NHS health center, a customer service center, and finance and payroll departments. In addition, the new implementation provides re-routing of all incoming calls as part of a new disaster recovery strategy.
Stanford University announced that it's establishing a $100 million research institute to focus on energy issues. In addition to $30 million already spent yearly on energy research, new funding will enable the hiring of additional faculty and support new graduate students. The new institute is to be known as the Precourt Institute for Energy, after Jay Precourt, an energy executive and Stanford alumnus who donated $50 million to Stanford.
Duke University has launched the Zipcar program at its campus. Four cars, including two hybrids, will be available at Duke through the program, providing campus members who are age 18 and older with a transportation alternative to keeping a car on campus. Zipcar rates start at $8 an hour or $66 per day. Fuel, maintenance, and insurance are included.
Yissum, the technology transfer arm of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, is launching a million-dollar program to support the development of clean-tech inventions by scientists at the university. Initially, five technologies have been chosen for funding, three of which aim to reduce the polluting effects of toxic substances and create alternative, clean energy sources.
Mississippi State University has implemented Reflex VMC (Virtual Management Center) from Reflex Systems. The application allows IT administrators to monitor a virtual infrastructure and enforce business and IT policies.
Napa Valley College said it has installed six Ice Bear hybrid cooling systems from Ice Energy in its Child Development Center. The new cooling systems are expected to reduce the daytime power consumption of the facility and lower greenhouse gas emissions while improving indoor comfort for the children and staff learning and teaching there.
VMware rolled out the centerpiece of its virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) strategy this week with the release of VMware View 3.
Tufts University has optioned rights to a technology that can recharge the batteries of any hybrid electric and electric-powered vehicle while it is driven. The Tufts-developed technology could increase by 20 percent to 70 percent the miles per gallon or total driving range performance of vehicles like the Honda Civic, Ford Escape, and Toyota Prius hybrids and the Tesla Motors and Phoenix Motorcars electric vehicles.
Netbooks and mobile computers will soon be able to run the Ubuntu operating system with additional energy efficiency. The breakthrough comes from porting Ubuntu to the ARMv7 processor architecture, which Canonical last week announced it planned to do.
The California Institute of Technology (Caltech) recently became the latest of several higher education institutions to deploy a solar array in a campus parking structure. The newly completed system is expected to produce about 320,000 kilowatt hours in its first year of operation with the aim of improving sustainability in research projects, according to Caltech.
Parallels has released Parallels Desktop 4.0, an update to the company's desktop virtualization solution for Mac OS X. The new version adds more than 50 new features, including support for DirectX 9.0 and significant performance improvements.
The Center for Clinical Imaging Research (CCIR) within Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology at Washington University's School of Medicine in St. Louis is using BlueArc's Titan to provide back-end storage for a VMware virtual server environment serving the Center's bioimaging research. CCIR is using Titan as the backend for 60-plus VMware ESX virtual machines.
Microsoft this week released the second major component of its virtualization strategy, making System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 (VMM 2008) as a download.
An IDC study released Thursday depicted a slowing worldwide market for virtualized servers. However, Microsoft and interoperability may heat things up again in 2009.