Earth Day celebrations at TU

Monday, April 20, 2009

The University of Tulsa will host several events on Earth Day, April 22 that promote sustainable products and responsible recycling of technology.

Earth friendly market

The University of Tulsa will host the Conscious Consumer Marketplace, an open air market featuring sustainable and organic products, 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. on Earth Day, Wednesday April 22.

The Conscious Consumer Marketplace will have local retailers from Tulsa and surrounding areas, providing campus and community neighbors an opportunity to shop with organic farmers, retailers, educators and organizations.

The Market will be located at the TU McFarlin Library on the U’s East end (East of Delaware & 6th ). The event is free and open to the public.

Responsible recycling

The TU Student Association is hosting an electronics recycling event through April 22 on campus. The E-waste Fundraising Drive provides the campus community a convenient way to drop off computer and electronic components that can be toxic if not disposed of correctly.

The drive is located at at northeast corner of the Keplinger parking lot, which is located at the corner of 4th Place and Harvard. Dropoffs are accepted from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on weekdays, and from 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on weekends during these dates.

Items accepted at the drop off include CD/DVD players, cell phones, computers, batteries of all kinds, cameras, fax machines, game consoles, microwave ovens, monitors, printers, radios, remote controls, speakers, video cameras and televisions.

TU is partnering with Tulsa-based recycler EarthEcycle, LLC for the event. All proceeds raised will be donated to Gilcrease Middle School.

Student sustainability projects

Many TU students have committed years of effort to energy-efficient projects that find long-term solutions to fossil fuel dependent problems.

The award-winning TU Challenge X team redesigned a 2005 Chevrolet Equinox to get 38 miles per gallon during a four-year-long national alternative vehicle competition sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy and General Motors.

The TU team achieved high fuel efficiency by installing a diesel engine and an electric motor running on a high-voltage rechargeable battery pack with hydrogen fuel cells. A computer screen in the vehicle allows the driver to monitor the car's hybrid system controls. TU's participation in the four-year competition concluded last spring, but students continue to conduct educational outreach and explore the technology.

Last summer, the Supermileage team at TU took fuel efficiency to the extreme with their first-place design of a 337-miles-per-gallon vehicle. This year will be TU’s second year to compete in Supermileage, an annual international competition sponsored by the Society of Automotive Engineers.

To reach 337 miles per gallon, TU engineering students used an aluminum honeycomb base, donated by Nordam Group, Inc., reinforced with aluminum C-channel and a steel rear roll cage. The three-wheeled vehicle was powered by a 3.5 horsepower gasoline lawn mower motor and a transmission system of clutches and roller chains from the engine to a multi-speed hub used to power the back tire.

An intrepid TU student group called Sustainable Energy for North Eastern Asia (SENEA) has designed and implemented sustainable energy projects for rural villagers in China for the last three years.

SENEA designs projects at TU and builds them on location in China. Their community enhancement projects include 

  • a compressed earth block brick press for community building projects; 
  • a biogas digester that uses methane from manure to provide heat and light; 
  • two wind turbines that take advantage of the area’s strong winds; 
  • a passive solar oven used for making daily bread.

David Hamby

Faculty Profile

Geoffrey Price
Geoffrey Price Professor and Chairman, Chemical Engineering
Dr. Price joined the University of Tulsa faculty as Professor and Chairman in Chemical Engineering in 2000. »