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2022
Thursday, June 23rd
12:00 AM

Energy intensity of human transportation

William Lubitz, University of Guelph

Windsor, Ontario

12:00 AM - 12:00 AM

Humans are a mobile species, and transportation technology has been one of the primary enablers of our current shared, globally-connected society. Transportation is also one of the largest categories of human energy use, and this energy use correlates with a diverse range of environmental impacts. Different modes of transportation have different energy intensities, with increasing speed being associated with greater energy intensity. This study reviews the fundamental relationships and energy requirements of human-powered and wheeled ground transportation. Relevant data for modeling energy efficiency of walked, running and wheeled transport in the context of engineering design are compiled and presented. It is shown that increasing energy intensity facilitates greater speed and movement of more people. In general, people are able to travel anywhere at any speed, if they are willing and able to pay the energy price. At the same time, a willingness to accept reduced speeds would greatly reduce the energy intensity and environmental impact of transportation. Finally, several design implications for low energy ground transportation are examined in the context of energy efficiency.

Engineering: Cleaning Water, Producing Food, Building Shelters

Graham T. Reader Dr., University of Windsor

Windsor, Ontario

12:00 AM - 12:00 AM

Human survival requires that we drink water, eat food, breath sufficiently oxygenated air, and enjoy a safe shelter. Historically, shelter was perhaps the most important since, as hunter-gathers, wild animals, fish, and uncultivated plants provided the food sources while rivers, streams, lakes, and surface pools supplied the drinking water. Shelter protected against the vagaries of weather, climate, and possible animal attacks, including other humans. In the provision of these needs, artisans, skilled trades, technicians, and engineers have played pivotal roles since erect human beings first populated the Earth. In a global survey seven out of ten people think engineers’ societal contributions are undervalued and largely unrecognized. However, the same people also believe engineering’s first priority is to solve the world’s problems by 2035, including improving renewable energy and healthcare, and they are equally expectant that as the global population continues to increase, water, food, and housing scarcities can be addressed by engineering. These challenging responsibilities, long familiar to engineering undertakings, invariably encountered political, cultural, geographical, and economic obstacles in the pursuit of providing societies with acceptable, sustainable, and affordable solutions. In this paper, the challenges faced, both in the past and now, by engineering with regard to improving drinking water quality, increasing food quantity and quantity, and providing adequate housing are discussed along with some observations on how and why some of the present obstacles may be exacerbated in the future