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Clarendon Hills, IL, United States

Diwekar U.,Vishwamitra Research Institute
Clean Technologies and Environmental Policy | Year: 2015

Sustainability is a keyword commonly used by researchers and practitioners globally. However, even defining the goals of sustainability is fraught with difficulties and hence attaining it is nearly impossible. Since sustainability is a property of the entire system, engineering sustainability requires the boundaries of the system greatly expanded. The thinking of sustainability also brings in larger time scales. In this article, I present a perspective on journey toward sustainability using systems analysis approaches from various disciplines. © 2015 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg Source

Abbasi S.,University of Illinois at Chicago | Diwekar U.M.,Vishwamitra Research Institute
Clean Technologies and Environmental Policy | Year: 2014

There are inherent uncertainties in the biodiesel production process arising out of feedstock composition, operating and design parameters and can have significant impact on the product quality and process economics. In this paper, the uncertainties are quantified in the form of probabilistic distribution function. Stochastic modeling capability is implemented in the ASPEN process simulator to take into consideration these uncertainties and the output is evaluated to determine impact on process efficiency and quality of biodiesel. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. Source

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 39.93K | Year: 2013

1261650 (Diwekar). This grant provides partial financial support for a two-and-a-half day workshop that will bring together American and European engineers and scientists on the topic of social, economic, policy, and regulatory incentives to advance sustainability in society. NSF funds will be used only for U.S.-based researchers. The workshop will be held in the U.S. in May-June of 2014. The workshop will be organized in cooperation with the U.S. EPA and the Austrian Federal Ministry of Science. Discipines represented will include engineering, economics, ecology, law, and policy. A workshop report on outcomes will be provided to NSF and also posted on the web.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY | Award Amount: 146.26K | Year: 2016

Diwekar, Urmila M.

The food production system generates waste streams that are characterized by high concentrations of organic matter, nitrogen- and phosphorus-containing species in water. Therefore, monitoring nitrogen and phosphorous species is important for water quality requirements for agricultural as well as energy recovery from waste streams. Currently these species are monitored via stationary monitoring stations. However nitrogen and phosphorous species move via agricultural run-off to other water systems, so portable sensors are needed that can change positionsin real time. This type of dynamic sensing requires suitable algorithms that can calculate appropriate sensor locations in real time in the face of inherent uncertainties in the fate and transport of the relevant species. To develop such an algorithmic framework to solve the problem of sensor placement in real time is the objective of this research.

This research is targeted to develop a fundamental understanding of the relationships involved in sensor placement and interaction with nutrient fate and transport of relevant species, with the goal of identifying the number and spatio-temporal positions of sensors for maximum effectiveness. Given that uncertainty is inherent, the problem of sensor placement will be formulated as a dynamic stochastic programming problem, the solution of which will be the dynamic optimal sensor deployment policy for nutrient monitoring in the face of uncertainties. Dynamic sensing with portable low cost sensors is a new area for nutrient monitoring which shows promise for food-water-energy nexus. This research will provide a theoretical basis for such an endeavor. This real time sensor placement problem will allow for the study of the spatial-temporal aspect of pollution which a constant monitoring station does not provide.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY | Award Amount: 40.79K | Year: 2015

1552107 (Diwekar). The Trans-Atlantic Research and Development Interchange on Sustainability (TARDIS) workshops are a series of meetings on scientific topics related to environmental sustainability held every other year alternating between Austria and the United States. The first workshop was held on the subject of modeling for environmental sustainability at Schloss Seggau in Leibnitz, Austria in October 2004. Subsequent workshops were held in September of 2006 at the YMCA of the Rockies on the topic of underlying scientific principles of environmental sustainability, and in October 2008 again at Schloss Seggau on energy and environmental sustainability. The TARDIS 2012 workshop was held in April 2012 at Schloss Seggau in Leibnitz, Austria on the topic of time and time-frames for environmental sustainability. The most recent TARDIS workshop was held in June of 2014 at the YMCA of the Rockies in Colorado on the topic of social, economic, policy, and regulatory incentives to promote environmental sustainability in society. The next TARDIS workshop will be again held at Schloss Seggau in Leibnitz, Austria October 19 - 21, 2016 to explore the compatibility of economic growth and environmental sustainability.

The body of participants will be balanced to include adequate representation with respect to discipline (engineering, physics, chemistry, economics, policy, etc.), institutions (academic, government, private sector) and regional and national representation, and minorities and women will be encouraged to participate. Two reports will be produced: (1) a final report summarizing the results and conclusions and the presentations given, and (2) a briefer summary focused on policy. A WIKI site has been established and is currently being populated with the relevant information on all of the TARDIS workshops.

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