Ph.D. student Brittany Bruder and MS student Kacey Ivey in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) were invited to present their research on renewable tidal energy at the 2010 American Institute of Architects (AIA) Georgia Conference: Waves of Change. Both Brittany and Kacey are studying Environmental Fluid Mechanics and Water Resources with Assistant Professor Francesco Fedele and Assistant Professor Thorsten Stoesser serving as the students co-advisers.
The Waves of Change conference was held September 30 - October 2, 2010 at the Desoto Hilton Hotel in historic Savannah, Georgia. As part of this year's program, student groups submitted proposals to develop an eco-village for the Girl Scouts of America on Rose Dhu Island. This natural habitat is located on Savannah's south side and is home to the Girl Scouts of Historic Georgia's Camp Low. In all, the island encompasses 300-acres, including four hammocks (pieces of forested land that rise above an adjacent marsh), 200+ year old magnolia trees, 500+ year old cedar trees, and palmetto trees over 40 feet tall. In addition, it is the site of an earthen battery built by Confederate troops during the Civil War. Some of the trenches and mounds of this battery are still visible today.
Brittany and Kacey's proposal to generate energy involves exploiting the abundant renewable resources of tidal streams that surround Rose Dhu. They presented their research to six teams of students from departments within GT's School of Architecture, Southern Polytechnic in Marietta, and the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). Each competing team presented original design components, and a jury of architects selected the overall winning design. Brittany and Kacey's renewable energy research was selected by the jury to be incorporated into the final design of the eco-village.
The CEE graduate students have been working under the supervision of Drs. Francesco Fedele and Thorsten Stoesser on two new turbine concepts, a vortex shedding turbine and a vertical axis turbine that will be tested next year in the waters off of Rose Dhu Island. Brittany and Kacey will continue to work with Drs. Fedele and Stoesser, and with Dr. Kevin Haas. This team of CEE faculty was recently awarded funding from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources to assess the tidal energy potential around Rose Dhu. Working with the research team, Brittany and Kacey will use the Regional Ocean Modeling System (ROMS) and Large Eddy Simulations (LES) to gather and assess field-measurements and numerical simulations.