Brown University School of Engineering

Previous Dourdeville Lectures

2016 - John Dabiri

John O. Dabiri

Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering and of Mechanical Engineering
Stanford University 

November 11, 2016 at 4:00 pm 
MacMillan 117 - C.V. Starr Auditorium
167 Thayer Street 

Opportunities and Challenges for Next-Generation Wind Energy

John Dabiri is a Full Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering and of Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University. His research focuses on science and technology at the intersection of fluid mechanics, energy and environment, and biology. Honors for this work include a MacArthur Fellowship, an Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award, and a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). Popular Science magazine named him one of its "Brilliant 10" scientists for his research in bio-inspired propulsion. For his research in bio-inspired wind energy, Bloomberg Businessweek magazine listed him among its Technology Innovators, and MIT Technology Review magazine named him one of its 35 innovators under 35. In 2014, he was elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society. He currently serves on the Editorial Boards of the Journal of Fluid Mechanics and the Journal of the Royal Society Interface, and he is a member of the U.S. National Committee for Theoretical and Applied Mechanics.

Opportunities and Challenges for Next-Generation Wind Energy

Despite common characterizations of modern wind energy technology as mature, there remains a persistent disconnect between the vast global wind energy resource --- which is at least an order of magnitude greater than total global power consumption --- and the limited penetration of existing wind energy technologies as a means for electricity generation worldwide. Dabiri's talk describes an approach to wind energy harvesting that has the potential to resolve this disconnect by leveraging concepts from unsteady fluid mechanics and biology-inspired engineering. Whereas wind farms consisting of propeller-style turbines produce 2 to 3 watts of power per square meter of the wind farm footprint, full-scale field tests over the past five years have demonstrated that 10x increases in wind farm footprint power density can be achieved by arranging vertical-axis wind turbines in layouts inspired by the configurations of schooling fish and seagrass beds. Opportunities for near-term application of this technology were discussed, as were remaining challenges for wide-scale implementation of this approach to wind energy.

2015 - Amy Smith

Amy Smith

Senior Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering
Founder of D-Lab
MIT

October 15, 2015 at 4:00 pm 
Salomon 101

Innovation, Inclusion and Impact: Promoting Creativity and Design in International Development

Amy Smith founded the D-Lab program at MIT, which focuses on the development, design and dissemination of appropriate technologies for international development. She was selected as a 2004 MacArthur Fellow and was named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in 2010 for the work she is doing to promote local innovation and technology creation. Her current projects are in the areas of water testing, treatment and storage, agricultural processing, and alternative energy.

Innovation, Inclusion and Impact: Promoting Creativity and Design in International Development

Amy Smith is a senior lecturer in Mechanical Engineering and founder of D-Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She served in the U.S. Peace Corps in Botswana and has also done fieldwork in Senegal, South Africa, Nepal, Haiti, Honduras, Uganda, Ghana, and Zambia. She won the BF Goodrich Collegiate Inventor's Award and the Lemelson-MIT Student Prize for Invention for her work in creating technologies to improve the lives of people living in poverty. In 2002, she founded the D-Lab program at MIT, which focuses on the development, design and dissemination of appropriate technologies for international development. She also founded the International Development Initiative at MIT, the Innovations in International Health program and the International Development Design Summit. She was selected as a 2004 MacArthur Fellow and was named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in 2010 for the work she is doing to promote local innovation and technology creation. Her current projects are in the areas of water testing, treatment and storage, agricultural processing, and alternative energy.