UCalgary researchers showcase clean energy solutions at Alumni Weekend Sept. 23

[Canada] The team at Solar Biocells takes the term “green energy” quite literally.

Solar Biocells, a startup co-founded by scholars Christine Sharp and Marc Strous in the Energy Bioengineering Group at the University of Calgary, aims to produce renewable, clean energy using microorganisms such as algae to create carbon-neutral fuels. They’ll be leading the Alumni Weekend session The Greenest Green Energy on Saturday, Sept. 23, from 10 – 11 a.m.

Postdoctoral Fellow in the Energy Bioengineering Group Christine Sharp, Research Assistant Karen Andrea Canon-Rubio, and undergraduate student Zack Urquhart have been bringing bioreactors into elementary school classrooms.

The session promises an inside look at the microorganisms we interact with every day. Participants will get hands-on experience with some of the microscopes and other tools that the Solar Biocells team uses in their day-to-day research.

“When you look at algae, it just looks like green sludge, but, when we put it under the microscope, you can actually see all the different microorganisms,” says Karen Canon-Rubio, MSc’16, a research assistant with Solar Biocells. “We’ll show people all of the things we can do with algae, aside from capturing carbon dioxide.”

Taking research into the community

The session is just one of the ways the team is helping to promote renewable energy sources in our community. They also offer an educational program in schools called Fixing the Atmosphere that brings algal technology to elementary school students to teach and learn about climate change, photosynthesis and more.

The program successfully completed its pilot in spring this year, and the team is hoping to expand it to 10 schools in the year ahead.

“People don’t always realize how much these microorganisms are involved in our daily lives and how much we rely on them, so participants will get a closer look at that,” says Jackie Zorz, a second-year PhD student with the Solar Biocells team. “Plus, it’s always fun to look at stuff under the microscope.”

To learn more about Solar Biocells, visit their YouTube page or their website.

Join us at Alumni Weekend

The second annual Alumni Weekend takes place Sept. 22 – 24, featuring more than 30 events offering opportunities to learn, connect and play, including five signature events and more than 10 faculty celebrations.

Whether you’re looking to learn more about the latest research discoveries, connect with former classmates or play the weekend away, Alumni Weekend has something for everyone. Everyone is welcome to attend Alumni Weekend — you don’t have to be a UCalgary grad, so bring the whole family!


Photo: Karen Canon-Rubio, MSc’11, right, with Fixing the Atmosphere team members Christine Sharp, PhD, and Zachary Urquhart, is one of the presenters at the Alumni Weekend session The Greenest Green Energy.

View original article at: UCalgary researchers showcase clean energy solutions at Alumni Weekend Sept. 23





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