First graduates of UPEI's School of Sustainable Design Engineering to exhibit work

The first ever group of fourth year students from the UPEI School of Sustainable Design Engineering will present their projects at the Atlantic Green Expo — a trade show that will introduce Islanders to green technology available on P.E.I.

Alternative energy and creative minds

Andrew Simmons is a fourth-year student in the School of Sustainable Design Engineering. He and his team have designed and installed a three kilowatt solar array on the school roof. The array generates some of the electricity for the building.

Simmons' area of expertise is mechatronics, a combination of mechanical and electrical engineering, he also does some computer programming. He crunches the data from the solar array and the weather station.

Simmons and his seven classmates are the first engineering graduates from UPEI and they've been mentoring the next round of grads throughout the school year.

"I found it rewarding to be able to work with someone who a year ago I was in their position and be able to watch their skills develop and be able to, as much as I could, try to help them with the challenges they were foreseeing in the project," he said.

"And then also collaborating with skilled individuals and creative minds and we were able to move the design forward in different directions that I wouldn't have come up with with on my own.

Allan Doyle is a professor with the school. He's enthusiastic about sustainable design for all aspects of life. He said "precision agriculture" is one way sustainable design could help Islanders.

"How do we effectively use the waste products in the agriculture? How do we effectively fertilize our crops? All of those things that have a direct impact on Islanders — those are the type of things that we're focussing on."

Opportunities to learn

The first ever Atlantic Green Expo will also have two keynote speakers: Peter Childs and David MacDonald.

Childs is the head of the Dyson School of Design Engineering (as in the fancy vacuums Dyson). He's also the Professorial Lead in Engineering Design at Imperial College London.

Childs will be the Keynote speaker on Friday, April 21 at 5:30 p.m.

David MacDonald is an Islander and was an MP for 20 years, beginning in 1965. MacDonald was the first chair of the House of Commons Committee on the Environment from 1989 to 1993.

He'll be speaking on Saturday, April 22 at 4 p.m.

Always room for more

Anyone with a green business, process or product can contact the event organizer for a chance to pitch at the expo.

The expo is looking for people interested in volunteering, and also has some spaces left for exhibitors.

The Atlantic Green Expo will be at the UPEI School of Sustainable Design Engineering from April 21 to 23.

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