University of Houston Energy Group Participates in Earth Day Houston 2012

Displays Supported the Event's Sustainability Theme

Earth Day
Earth Day attendees discuss the benefits of fuel cells and solar cells at the UH Energy exhibit
The University of Houston Energy group participated in “Earth Day Houston” activities on April 7 at Discovery Green in downtown Houston. Earth Day Houston was organized by the Air Alliance Houston and was supported by more than 50 organizations. Approximately 15,000 people attended.

The UH Energy group was invited to participate in the sustainability theme of the event. The UH displays included:

  • Shell Eco Marathon cars built by students in the College of Technology
  • An environment-sensing balloon launch by the UH Atmospheric Monitoring Lab
  • Fuel Cell technologies presented by students in the Center for Advanced Materials, the College of Technology and the Texas Center for Superconductivity
  • Solar cell technologies presented by students in the Center for Advanced Materials
  • Superconductivity and its role in sustainability as presented by the Texas Center for Superconductivity
  • Architectural energy sustainability concepts presented by students at the UH Green Building Components
  • UH green efforts supported by the students of the UH Sustainability Taskforce

Earth Day
Earth Day attendees discuss the benefits of high mileage cars at the UH Energy Shell Eco Marathon Car Exhibit
The UH exhibit received a highly positive response from the event attendees and yielded strong kudos from the event organizers.

“There was significant interest in how UH was advancing technologies that can lead to a more sustainable energy future,” said Alex Ignatiev, Ph.D., director of the Center for Advanced Materials. “Many attendees acknowledged being UH alums and voiced pride in the fact that UH is working in the important area of energy sustainability.”

The environment-sensing balloon launch, aided by the crowd's enthusiastic countdown, sent a nearly 10 foot diameter, helium-filled balloon high above the skyscrapers of downtown Houston. The balloon’s instruments were sensing temperature pressure and humidity data as it rose out of sight.

UH was the only institution of higher education represented at Earth Day 2012.