Carnegie Mellon Scholar to Develop a New Sustainable Hydropower System

dianamarculescu0Diana Marculescu, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, is leading a new three-year research project to develop a system to generate electricity through the natural flowing of rivers and and streams.

Professor Maculescu says, “there is value in making small amounts of electricity anywhere there is flowing water, from rivers to the garden hose. Energy harvesting from water is trapped in an archaic damming paradigm with high front-end costs and ecological impacts. But rivers run to the ocean and there is an enormous amount of kinetic energy that could be sustainably harvested.”

Funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation, Professor Marculescu will develop a plan to harvest electricity from hydrokinetic generators in river networks throughout the country. “There is a huge benefit to society in this work,” says Dr. Marculescu, “as we strive to create more sustainable ways to power our lives. Small footprint hydroelectric projects could create enough low-carbon energy to power an economy the size of Virgina while minimizing impact to the environment and surrounding communities.”

Dr. Marculescu has been on the faculty at Carnegie Mellon University since 2000. Previously, she taught at the University of Maryland. Professor Marculescu holds a master’s degree in computer science from the Polytechnic Institute of Bucharest in Romania and a Ph.D. in computer engineering from the University of Southern California.

Filed Under: STEM Fields


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