Posted On: Monday, Feb 17, 2020 - 12:00 am

In the mid-twentieth century, the Duke Power Company wished its customers a “Merry Christmas” and a “Happy New Year” with an annual collection of holiday recipes. The John W. Hartman Center at Duke University's Rubenstein Library has at least two of these pamphlets in the Nicole di Bona Peterson Collection of Advertising Cookbooks. In this blog post, a PhD student and Rubenstein Library intern recounts efforts to recreate two of the holiday recipes--and chronicles the (rather disappointing) results.

Posted On: Friday, Feb 07, 2020 - 11:13 am

The Navajo Generating Station, the largest coal-fired power plant west of the Mississippi, closed in November 2019. Writing for Forbes, Energy Initiative director Brian Murray looks at a proposal to build a large pumped hydro energy storage facility in the coal plant’s wake—and what role such projects could play in the future of decarbonization in the Western United States.

Posted On: Friday, Feb 07, 2020 - 12:00 am

Dr. Kyle Bradbury is managing director of Duke University's Energy Data Analytics Lab and a lecturing fellow at the Pratt School of Engineering. His work applies machine learning and statistical modeling techniques to energy challenges. He has led Bass Connections project teams each year since the program’s inception in 2013.

This "faculty perspectives" piece includes excerpts from Bradbury’s remarks at a Bass Connections orientation session, where he described his 2019-2020 team's project ("A Wider Lens on Energy: Adapting Deep Learning Techniques to Inform Energy Access Decisions") and offered advice for new team leaders.

Posted On: Thursday, Feb 06, 2020 - 5:03 pm

How can machine learning and data science tools improve our understanding of energy systems and manage them to be more accessible, affordable, reliable, and clean? This single-track symposium will explore cutting-edge approaches addressing this question, highlighting the work of established experts as well as emerging scholars in the field.

Posted On: Tuesday, Feb 04, 2020 - 12:00 am

The U.S. Department of Energy highlights a Duke University project: researchers Christian Nadell, Bohao Huang, Dr. Jordan Malof, and Dr. Willie Padilla used a type of machine learning known as a deep neural network to model how artificial materials (metamaterials) would absorb infrared light. The scientists designed a metamaterial that absorbs many wavelengths of infrared light but emits very few. This approach may enable scientists to develop practical thermophotovoltaic devices that create electricity from heat instead of light.

Posted On: Monday, Feb 03, 2020 - 12:00 am

The 2012 update to the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards made new cars more fuel-efficient and reduced carbon dioxide emissions. But a new study suggests the regulations may have had unintended consequences: increased "black carbon" particulate pollution that poses health risks. This Grist article features commentary from Duke expert Dr. Drew Shindell: “It shows that if you don’t think of both public health and your CO2 budget at the same time, you’re not going to make very optimal decisions.”

Posted On: Wednesday, Jan 29, 2020 - 12:00 am

Duke University senior Azim Dharani has been awarded a 2020 Winston Churchill Scholarship to pursue a year of graduate study at Cambridge University in England. Dharani plans to pursue a master’s degree in chemistry at Cambridge, while working with professor Erwin Reisner, a pioneer in the field of semi-artificial photosynthesis. During his fellowship, Dharani aims to combine his interests in computational chemistry and biophysics to develop efficient metal-based solar fuels.

firefighters facing a blaze
Posted On: Tuesday, Jan 28, 2020 - 9:50 am

As wildfires ravaged California in late 2019, millions of residents coped with power blackouts when utilities cut power to prevent their equipment from sparking more fires. Duke alumna Melissa Semcer's work at the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC)—first as an administrative law judge and now as program manager for wildfire mitigation—has given her a unique perspective on the crisis and what utilities and other states' regulatory commissions can learn from it. 

Posted On: Monday, Jan 27, 2020 - 12:00 am

Over 2,000 undergraduates, 700 graduate students, and 500 faculty have participated in Bass Connections programming. A recent $5 million grant from the Fortin Foundation, the largest single gift to Bass Connections since the program launched, will be matched by $2.5 million from the Bass Challenge Fund. The gift will ensure undergraduate and graduate students can continue to work alongside faculty on research teams addressing urgent issues, including those related to energy and the environment.

Posted On: Monday, Jan 27, 2020 - 12:00 am

The Duke Energy Access Project brings students, faculty and researchers together to address energy issues in the developing world.