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Green Engineering transforms existing engineering disciplines and practices to those that promote sustainability. Green Engineering incorporates development and implementation of technologically and economically viable products, processes, and systems that promote human welfare while protecting human health and elevating the protection of the biosphere as a criterion in engineering solutions.

Green Engineering is the design, commercialization and use of processes and products that are feasible and economical while minimizing the generation of pollution at the source and the risk to human health and the environment. Green Engineers design for economic, environmental and social benefits. Economic benefits include reduction in operating costs (i.e., energy and water efficiency, waste management, repair and improvement) and optimization of life-cycle economic performance. Environmental benefits include conservation of natural resources, increased use of renewable energy sources, improvements in air and water quality and reduction of solid waste generation. Social benefits include improved comfort and health, reduced impact on local resources and infrastructure, and use of recycled/reused materials.

San Jose State University, through the College of Engineering, is recognizable nationally or internationally primarily because of our location at the heart of the Silicon Valley. SJSU’s College of Engineering is uniquely positioned to take a leadership position in Green Engineering (GE) both for the region and internationally. To us, local is global because of our location in the Silicon Valley.

Our objective is to promote, coordinate, and facilitate research, studies, and activities relating to the development and implementation of Green and Sustainable Engineering practices at San José State University and to transfer appropriate technologies and techniques to developing countries in the Pacific Rim.

The goals will be to:

  • To promote academic programs of study that will prepare students to enter the burgeoning job market of environmental and sustainable careers in green engineering in industry and public service.
  • To promote student research projects that apply new sustainable and environmentally sound technologies and methods to real world problems
  • To use life cycle thinking in all engineering activities
  • To promote the transfer of cultural appropriate technologies to developing countries
  • To integrate the development and dissemination of green engineering with public policy
  • To promote the adoption of green and sustainable practices in the daily operations of San José State University and its academic and administrative units


[edit] Green Engineering Efforts within the CSU

California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

  • CPSU SLO is investing in two green engineering projects.

The first project involves designing a sustainable village in China (with Tongji (Shanghai), Stanford, and Yale). The second project requires students to develop a renewable energy source for the Salinas Chinatown community garden (with CSU Monterey Bay; funded by HUD).

California State University, Long Beach

  • CSULB is expanding its green engineering research.

Engineering professors at CSULB have designed and patented a high-efficiency vertical axis wind turbine while MAE professors, with the Garvey Spacecraft Corporation, are investigating alternative "green" hydrocarbon propellant combinations for a space Launch Vehicle

California State University, Northridge

The Center promotes, coordinates, and implements research and development in new or alternative energy sources and bridges the gap between the state-of-the-art and the state-of-practice in energy utilization. The involvement of undergraduate students in research is one of the main goals of the Center.

This institute promotes, facilitates and develops educational programs related to sustainability. The institute is committed to increasing interdisciplinary and cross-functional communication, education, and research among the faculty of the Colleges to serve the university and local community.

California State University, San Bernardino

This institute is working on conservation and Carbon Foot-Printing with Walking Demo Area and constructing a new 1.5 acre "Green Garden” on our campus. The “Green Garden” will replace grass with water efficient plant materials that are not only beautiful but also reduce the Green House Gas impact of traditional landscapes.

Sacramento State University

SSU recently established the California Smart Grid Center to test automated metering infrastructure and develops practical field solutions for large-scale integration of Smart Grid technologies.

This event showcases clean tech innovation within the Sacramento region.

San Diego State University

This center seeks to enhance the interaction and cooperative applied research opportunities with government agencies, research institutes, and regional industries on subjects related to energy.

San Francisco State University

This center is part of DOE's Office of Industrial Technologies (OIT. Its mission is to transfer new, efficient, environmentally-sound technologies to industry. IAC works closely with industry towards the goal of a more efficient, competitive U.S. industrial sector. This is an important component of DOE/OIT's efforts to deliver its industrial services in an integrated fashion.

  • Virtual Educational Environment: Sustainable and Energy Efficient

Our goal is to improve the energy efficiency of conducting education in academic environments through virtual reality technology. The disciplines involved are: Computer engineering, Information technology, mechanical and civil engineering.

San Jose State University

  • SJSU has organized several projects involving renewable and sustainable engineering, GreenEngineering_SJSU

These projects focus on issues of green engineering and climate change in a multidisciplinary manner. They are designed to prepare students for an evolving industry that is both technologically advanced and globally conscious.

[edit] Academic Conferences in Green Engineering

  • 2011 GCEP Research Symposium

The 7th Annual GCEP Research Symposium will be held October 4-5, 2011 in Stanford, California. Last year's conference was their most talked about symposium ever and was attended by over 500 participants from academia, industry, government, and the investment community. This year’s two-day meeting promises to be equally enlightening with new ideas from thought leaders and the latest technological innovations in clean energy research from GCEP principal investigators.

Visit for more information.

  • 2012 IEEE Green Technology Conference

The 4th Annual IEEE Green Technologies Conference will be held April 19-22, 2012 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Papers are solicited in the following areas: Energy Generation & Storage Technologies, Energy Usage Reduction and Conservation, Architectural and Engineering Sustainable Designs, Environmental, Legal, Social, Economic, and Political Impacts, Smart Grid Communication and Control, Evolution and Integration, Protection of the Environment, Green IT and Sustainable Computing, and Biofuels and Emerging Fuels Technology.

    Paper Submission: 11 Nov 2011

Visit for more information.

[edit] Upcoming Events in Green Engineering around the San Francisco Bay Area

  • Sustainable Silicon Valley (SSV) West Summit, 3rd Annual Conference, January 27, 2012, Location: Santa Clara, CA.

  • Sustainability Leaders Forum: Data Center Optimization and Management, February 9, 2012, Location: Santa Clara, CA.

[edit] Funding Opportunities

[edit] National Science Foundation

  • Engineering Research Centers

The Generation Three (Gen-3) Engineering Research Centers (ERC) Program creates a culture of innovation in engineering research and education that links scientific discovery to technological innovation through transformational engineered systems research. It will produce engineering graduates who will be creative innovators in a global economy. Letter of intent due: 7/15/11. Full proposal due: 9/16/11.

  • Biomaterials

The Biomaterials program supports fundamental research at the intersection of the physical, chemical, and biological sciences. Proposals focused on the preparation, characterization, structure-property relationships, and applications of biomaterials are encouraged. Emphasis is on novel design of biomaterials, including bioderived, bioinspired, biomimetic and biocompatible materials, discovery of new phenomena, and the combination of experiment with theory and/or simulation. General areas of interest include, but are not restricted to, self- and directed molecular assemblies, surfaces and interfaces, membranes and vesicles, gels and networks, carriers and drug delivery systems, smart and self-healing systems, tissue culture scaffolds, mineralization, hybrids and composites, multi-functional biomaterials such as photonic and electronic biomaterials, biomaterials for energy harvesting, conversion and storage, and biomaterials for sensors and actuators. Full proposal due: 10/31/11.

  • Environmental Engineering

The Environmental Engineering program supports fundamental research and educational activities across the broad field of environmental engineering. The goal of this program is to encourage transformative research which applies scientific principles to minimize solid, liquid, and gaseous discharges into land, inland and coastal waters, and air that result from human activity, and to evaluate adverse impacts of these discharges on human health and environmental quality. Full proposal due: 2/17/12.

  • Energy for Sustainability

The Energy for Sustainability program supports fundamental research and education that will enable innovative processes for the sustainable production of electricity and transportation fuels. Processes for sustainable energy production must be environmentally benign, reduce greenhouse gas production, and utilize renewable resources. Current interest areas include: Biomass Conversion, Biofuels & Bioenergy, Photovoltaic Solar Energy, Wind Energy, and Advanced Batteries for Transportation. Full proposal due: 2/17/12.

  • Environmental Sustainability

The Environmental Sustainability program supports engineering research with the goal of promoting sustainable engineered systems that support human well being and that are also compatible with sustaining natural (environmental) systems. These systems provide ecological services vital for human survival. The long-term viability of natural capital is critical for many areas of human endeavor. Research in Environmental Sustainability typically considers long time horizons and may incorporate contributions from the social sciences and ethics. There are four principal general research areas: Industrial Ecology, Green Engineering, Ecological Engineering, and Earth Systems Engineering. Full proposal due 2/17/12.

[edit] U.S. Department of Energy

  • Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy

The Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E) is a new organization within the Department of Energy (DOE), created specifically to foster research and development of transformational energy-related technologies. Transformational technologies are by definition technologies that disrupt the status quo. They are not merely better than current technologies, they are significantly better. This FOA supports the Nation's need for transformational energy-related technologies to overcome the threats posed by climate change and energy security, arising from its reliance on traditional uses of fossil fuels and the dominant use of oil in transportation.

  • Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) provides funding for renewable energy and energy efficiency research and development. The majority of EERE financial opportunities are for business, industry, and universities.

[edit] CA Energy Commission

  • Emerging Technology Demonstration Grant Program

The Emerging Technology Demonstration Grant (ETDG II) Program is a competitive grant solicitation seeking emerging technologies that are past the “proof-of-concept” stage and are ready to be demonstrated in an industrial setting. The demonstrations at industrial sites will be partially funded by the PIER program and the applicants will need to provide a minimum of 25% matching funds subject to certain conditions. The objective is to produce proven technical and economic performance data from these demonstrations, which could make the technologies eligible to participate in the utilities’ energy efficiency rebate programs and could facilitate the successful deployment of the technologies into the marketplace. Abstract due: 10/6/11, Final proposal due: 12/22/11.

  • Energy Innovations Small Grant Program

The Energy Innovations Small Grant (EISG) Program provides up to $95,000 for hardware projects and $50,000 for modeling projects to small businesses, non-profits, individuals and academic institutions to conduct research that establishes the feasibility of new, innovative energy concepts. Research projects must target one of the PIER R&D areas, address a California energy problem and provide a potential benefit to California electric and natural gas ratepayers.

[edit] Background information related to Green Engineering

There are many recent reports related to green engineering. I'll include links to some of them here.

  • The NRDC recently launched a new mapping tool called “Renewable Energy for America” that features a broad look at both existing and proposed clean energy facilities (wind, ethanol, and biodigester) across the country.
  • Climate protection success stories, Joint Venture Silicon Valley. Joint Venture wants to recognize the great work that public agencies in the Valley are doing to combat climate change, use energy more efficiently, and become more sustainable. The following stories showcase just one environment-ally-beneficial project per jurisdiction that has been carried out successfully. Each of these agencies could have a long list of their climate protection efforts--this is but a small sampling of various programs that have really made a difference! Go to
  • On 9/18/08, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) adopted California’s first Long Term Energy Efficiency Strategic Plan, presenting a single roadmap to achieve maximum energy savings across all major groups and sectors in California. This comprehensive Plan for 2009 to 2020 is the state’s first integrated framework of goals and strategies for saving energy, covering government, utility and private sector actions. The Plan includes four strategies as cornerstones for significant energy-savings with widespread benefit for all Californians. It sets the foundation for transforming energy patterns to make energy efficiency of way of life and “business as usual” in California.
    • All new residential construction in California will be zero net energy by 2020
    • All new commercial construction in California will be zero net energy by 2030
    • The Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) industry will be reshaped to ensure optimal equipment performance
    • All eligible low-income homes will be energy-efficient by 2020

To view the Long Term Energy Efficiency Strategic Plan, and related information, please visit:

  • Sponsored by IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science (EES) A new open access (free to read) proceedings service dedicated to conferences in Earth and Environmental Sciences, EES provides conference organizers with a fast, flexible and cost-effective publishing service. First volume now live at
  • New Report: Green Efforts Improving on Campuses. More campuses in the United States have shifted their focus to environmental and sustainability programs, but funding and staffing issues have prevented them from implementing green initiatives on the scale campus administrators would like, according to a new report released recently by the National Wildlife Federation.
  • The Utility Solar Assessment (USA) Study, produced by clean-tech research and publishing firm Clean Edge and green-economy nonprofit Co-op America, provides a comprehensive roadmap for utilities, solar companies, and regulators to reach 10% solar in the U.S. by 2025. To download the full report, go to
  • According to a Department of Energy (DOE) report, "wind energy could generate 20 percent of the nation's electricity by 2030, about the same share now produced by nuclear reactors," the AP (5/13, Hebert) reports. The federal assessment, released Monday, noted that "[s]uch growth would pose a number of major challenges, but is achievable without the need of major new technological breakthroughs. The report, released 5/12/08 found that "[s]uch growth would envision more than 75,000 new wind turbines, many of them larger than those operating today. About 54,000 megawatts would be produced by turbines in offshore waters." To read the full report from the Department of Energy, click on this link,
  • 2008 edition of the Silicon Valley Index, a document provided jointly by Joint Venture and our new partner, the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. It shows clear evidence of a strong economy: productivity gains, employment growth, another big jump in patents, leadership in promising new areas like cleantech, and venture funding rising to new highs. To read the full report, click on this link,
  • The inaugural California Green Innovation Index is a new report produced by Next 10. The Index provides a deep analysis of key economic and environmental indicators that will help us better understand the role green innovation plays in reducing greenhouse gas emissions while strengthening the economy. To read the full report, click on this link,
  • “Taking Responsibility,” a new report by the National Environmental Trust released 12/6/07, examines the greenhouse gas emissions of U.S. states as compared to developing countries and underscores the moral necessity for the United States to assume global leadership in ongoing efforts to craft a new post-Kyoto global climate treaty. Featuring a state by state profile of GHG emissions, the report also examines individual and collective efforts by U.S. states to reduce GHG emissions. To read the full report, click on this link,
  • Starting in early 2007, a research team from McKinsey worked with leading companies, industry experts, academics, and environmental NGOs to develop a detailed, consistent fact base estimating costs and potentials of different options to reduce or prevent GHG emissions within the U.S. through 2030. The team analyzed more than 250 options, encompassing efficiency gains, shifts to lower-carbon energy sources, and expanded carbon sinks. Their report released in December 2007, Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions: How Much at What Cost? is available on the web at
  • On 10/5/07, Mayor Chuck Reed unveiled his bold forecast for a green San Jose, circa 2022, today. His 10-point "green vision" calls for 25,000 new clean-tech jobs, mostly from the solar industry, the planting of 100,000 new trees and 60 miles of new trails. For more information about the green vision for the City of San Jose, visit the City's web page at
  • A Golden Opportunity: California's Solutions for Global Warming: This joint NRDC-E2-Silicon Valley Leadership Group report describes how California is protecting the state from global warming pollution while growing its economy and encouraging the innovative clean technology industry. You can view this report in PDF format at
  • The Silicon Valley Leadership Group (SVLG) has released its report entitled "Clean & Green" Projections 2008. This report showcases the top challenges facing the Silicon Valley region in the coming year, with an emphasis on those related to global climate change. The report is available at
  • Archived Audio Broadcasts from Commonwealth Club
    • "It's Easy Being Green," Keely Wachs, Matt Nauman, Peter Whiteley, Jeffrey Schaub
    • "Technology Solution for Fresh Water," Gayle Pergamit
    • "Sinking Carbon & Raising Living Standards," Larry Brilliant, Andrea Gardner, Ad Melkert, & Nancy Pfund
    • "From the Death of Environmentalism to the Politics of the Possible," Michael Shellenberger, Ted Nordhaus, and Adam Werbach

Listen at

  • State of Green Business 2008, from answering the question: How are U.S. businesses doing in their quest to be more environmentally responsible. At

[edit] Tools for Green Engineering

  • National Instruments enables green engineering with the graphical system design platform, providing measurement, automation, and design tools to measure and understand real-world data, then to correct or fix the problem by designing and developing more efficient products and technologies. For more information, go to
  • Software for educational and professional use has also been developed by the Green Design Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. The economic input-output life cycle assessment software has been used in university classes at Carnegie Mellon, in the United States, and abroad. Also, one major effort of the Green Design education effort is the development of an Environment Across the Curriculum program intended to offer all Carnegie Mellon students a basic introduction to environmental issues. Environmental modules and case studies have been developed for use both at Carnegie Mellon and anywhere across the world with the support of NSF Project 97-00568, Curriculum and Educational Materials for Environmentally Conscious Green Products and Processes. The case studies are available at
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