The National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering (NACME) has awarded Fairfield University student Antonio Tello ’18 a $5,000.00 grant for his Green Technology research project, “Feasibility of Solar Recharged Electric Bike Share Program for Fairfield, CT.”
“Having this opportunity to research with Dr. Munden is a great example of what we can do to make this world a better place and make it more eco-friendly.”
— Antonio Tello '18
Working under the guidance of Ryan Munden, PhD, assistant dean in the School of Engineering, Tello’s project will determine the viability of bringing this innovatively green and undeniably hip transportation alternative to the Fairfield community. “If feasible,” says Tello, “implementation would foster lower carbon transportation, as well as increase economic benefits.”
As an international student from Puebla, Mexico, Tello’s perspective on the importance of Green Technology is far-reaching, “It’s important to me because it has a positive effect around the world. In addition to decreasing problems with the exhaustion of natural resources, Green Technology is beneficial for the general health of our planet and for the well-being of people everywhere.”
Now that he has earned the grant, Tello, an electrical engineering major, says his next steps will be to investigate the cost and method of implementation for solar charging stations and electric bicycles, with emphasis on technology needs and payment options. He also plans to study both Fairfield traffic patterns and the current demand for transportation, in order to determine potential high impact areas including campus locations, the downtown bookstore, and the train station.
To assess the environmental impact of the project, Tello explains that “point in time” snapshots of local traffic will be used “to calculate likely carbon offset through the substitution of e-bikes for buses, taxis and cars.” The economic impact – as it relates to spending by both students and town residents – will also be projected. And finally, Tello will survey students, faculty, and town residents to determine perceptions of the idea and evaluate likelihood of use.
Tello’s research grant comes from NACME, an organization that partners with more than 50 colleges and universities in the U.S. to support underrepresented minority engineering students from college to career. According to the NACME website, “economic projections point to a need in the next decade for approximately one million more STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) professionals than the U.S. will produce at the current rate.” Through scholarships and collaboration with global companies, NACME supports the development of well-qualified candidates to meet the current demand for more diverse STEM talent.
As his project kicks into high gear, Tello observes, “Having this opportunity to research with Dr. Munden is a great example of what we can do to make this world a better place and make it more eco-friendly.”