Get involved in energy access projects!

Bass Connection Competition – Applications now open!

Join the Bass Connections Competition to get involved in finding solutions to energy access challenges!

Duke students from all levels and schools are invited to check out the new Bass Connections projects for 2019-2020. Applications will open on January 22 and will be due on February 15 by 5:00 p.m. Please use the online application. All interested students can learn more about new project teams by talking to faculty and staff team leaders at the Bass Connections Fair on January 22.

Bass Connections is a university-wide initiative that brings students and faculty together to tackle complex societal challenges. Working in interdisciplinary research teams, students of all levels collaborate with faculty, postdocs and outside experts to conduct cutting-edge research.

In 2019-2020, Bass Connections will host 60 project teams. Project teams last for two semesters, and some include a summer component. Course credit and summer funding are available. This year, members of the Energy Access Project are supporting two project teams:

Providing Clean Fuel for the Developing World: Technology Is Not Enough (2019-2020)

This Bass Connections project will introduce students to the challenges involved in developing, translating and promoting new technologies to address global problems, and will thereby involve aspects of basic science, engineering, economics, sociology and psychology. The team will develop an alkaline water electrolyzer and hydrogen storage system that can provide fuel for cooking and heating at a lower cost than using electricity from an electrochemical battery (e.g., lithium ion or lead acid) and eliminates the need for a supply chain.

In addition to giving students the opportunity to develop a new technology, an equally important goal of the project is to instill in students from STEM disciplines the understanding that technology alone is rarely sufficient to address global problems. Thus, team members will write a literature review on the various studies and programs that have been undertaken to introduce new cookstove technology, in order to gain an understanding of the challenges and lessons learned. If the technology development stage of this project is successful, team members will use these lessons to design and run a field study of their technology in subsequent project years.

Click here for more information.

A Wider Lens on Energy: Adapting Deep Learning Techniques to Inform Energy Access Decisions (2019-2020)

Using satellite imagery and remote sensing data obtained through deep machine learning techniques, this project team will work to enable the automatic, global collection of data on multiple types of energy infrastructure and electricity access measures. The team will also work to facilitate the fluid transfer of information between geographic regions to increase the potential scale of application, the generalizability of these methods and the ability to accurately identify rare types of infrastructure.

The overarching goals will be to:
• Investigate a new form of domain adaptation by using synthetically generated imagery
• Investigate multiclass energy object identification at scale, including rare objects
• Make data for decision-makers and policy-makers in the energy access and system planning space open source and available for two cities.

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Funding