Missouri S&T Professor Works with National Leaders to Develop Climate Change Solutions

A Missouri University of Science and Technology professor is working with leaders across the country to discuss and develop climate change solutions. His recent efforts include participating in the White House Campus and Community-Scale Climate Change Solutions forum, and he will return to Washington, D.C., this week.

"The importance of protecting the environment and finding solutions to climate change cannot be over-emphasized," says Dr. Fatih Dogan, professor of ceramic engineering and interim director of the Center for Research in Energy and Environment at S&T. "There will not be a single solution to climate change, but rather multiple community solutions, regional solutions and national solutions. We will all have our parts to play for this."

Dogan represented Missouri at the forum, and in the break-out sessions, he explained the climate-positive changes S&T has made, such as switching from a coal power plant on campus to geothermal energy.

Also, the university has made headway with hydrogen-powered vehicles, developing the state's first hydrogen fueling station in 2008. The station currently needs rescoped to be operational, but it could again become a tool to help with climate change.

"We were a testbed," he says. "At S&T, it was possible to ride on a hydrogen bus well before many people were even aware this mode of transportation existed. The university has always been ahead of the curve in terms of decarbonization."

S&T is also home to the rooftop Baker Greenhouse living laboratory atop Butler-Carlton Civil Engineering Hall, a green roof atop Emerson Hall and the Solar Village living laboratories. The greenhouse and green roof allow students and faculty to research plant-related environmental issues and find solutions. The Solar Village has multiple solar homes that were designed by students and are used for research and demonstration purposes.

"Everything I discussed related to S&T was well-received, and participants from other states are interested in pursuing some of the initiatives I highlighted," he says. "That was an excellent perk of this forum. Experts from across the country had an opportunity to sit down and discuss a variety of possibilities that have worked for them and could potentially work in other areas as well."

Dogan says the federal government is supporting more university and industry collaborations to help the country reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. He says S&T's work will make a significant contribution toward that goal. Multiple researchers throughout the university are conducting interdisciplinary projects related to the environment, and students regularly take part in these studies.

"It will continue to be a community effort," he says. "There are so many possible ways to make a difference and so much available in federal funds to pursue solutions. Every citizen will be involved in these decarbonization efforts."

From Wednesday, March 22, to Friday, March 24, Dogan will attend another event in the D.C. area – the 2023 Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy Summit at the Gaylord National Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland. Dogan will be an active participant in this thinktank, which is also aimed at helping with the climate.

"This is not something we will solve overnight," Dogan says. "These events are only the start, and I look forward to aiding in these efforts related to climate change solutions and protecting our planet."

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