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Student Examines Solar Power in College's eGarden

Every year in early March, while experts in the field of sustainable energy begin to flock to Austria for the annual World Sustainable Energy Days conference, students around the world are hard at work conducting sustainable research projects of their own. Last summer, Aidan Murphy, a senior math major, had the opportunity to work on a project at Geneseo’s own environmental research facility known as the eGarden.

The purpose of this one-acre, living-learning lab is to allow students the opportunity to research and analyze the efficiency of environmentally friendly, sustainable technology. Supervised by Distinguished Teaching Professor of Physics Stephen Padalino, students conduct various research projects, ranging from determining if spray-painted black cans are able to gather enough solar energy to heat a small area, to building measuring the efficiency of a solar powered golf cart.

Murphy learned about the eGarden after taking a digital electronics course with Padalino last spring. He stayed in Geneseo over the summer to work on a project designed to improve the setup for solar collection and to determine the feasibility and potential energy savings of automating those efforts.

Aidan Murphy Murphy said that it was a great opportunity “to be able to work so closely with a lot of intelligent people who shared my interests.” Other eGarden sustainability projects include photovoltaic solar panel energy studies, composting dining hall food waste, and wind turbine powered energy.

 Murphy has plans to enroll in a doctoral program in mathematics after graduation, and is waiting to hear from colleges and universities regarding his applications.

The eGarden is among several college-wide sustainability initiatives directed by the Office of Sustainability. Read more about upcoming events.   

— Genna Amick ’18, Academic Affairs communications intern

— Portrait is of Aidan Murphy '17