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Students showcasing research posters at the 2015 GCEP Symposium

ERE Seminar: Kate Whitefoot, PhD (CMU) - Flow in porous materials...

October 26, 2020 - 1:00pm to 2:00pm
Virtual Meeting via Zoom (see login details in Description)
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Energy Resources Engineering
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Kae Whitefoot, PhD | Carnegie Mellon University (CMU)

TITLELight-weighting Transportation to Reduce Emissions using Additive Manufacturing

ABSTRACTThe transportation sector is the largest source of CO2 emissions in the United States, and reducing these emissions to meet climate targets will require the adoption of energy-efficiency technologies such as light-weight materials in addition to low-carbon energy sources. Additive manufacturing (AM) has the potential to enable light-weighting across a wide range of the transportation sector, but new design for AM (DFAM) computational tools are needed to reoptimize vehicle systems for AM and reduce production costs before it will become widespread. This talk will discuss computational DFAM methods for parts consolidation and redesign of vehicle systems. We have developed topological optimization methods that minimize AM production costs and system weight subject to structural requirements during the system's use. The method determines how to consolidate parts in the system and redesign the geometry of these parts, optimizing tradeoffs between build time, assembly steps, and material use and support structure requirements, which can increase production costs and environmental impacts. The talk will conclude with design strategies and materials innovations that could enable light-weighting transportation systems while reducing the upstream embodied energy of materials in the system.

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BIOKate S. Whitefoot is an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Engineering and Public Policy, and Mechanical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. She is thrust leader of Technology Commercialization for the NextManufacturing Center and Faculty Affiliate of the Scott Institute for Energy Innovation. Her research bridges engineering design theory and analysis with that of economics to study the design and manufacture of new technologies and their adoption in the marketplace. Her areas of expertise include transportation energy-efficiency technologies, consumer choice, design and adoption of green products, manufacturing productivity, and environmental policies.Professor Whitefoot currently serves on the National Academies Committee on Technologies for Improving Fuel Economy as well as the World Economic Forum’s Global Futures Council for Clean Air. Her research is published in Science, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and Environmental Science & Technology among others, and is featured in the Atlantic, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post, and referenced in multiple U.S. regulations. She has worked with several companies in the automotive, aerospace, and high-tech industries, and has been invited to present briefings at the White House and Capitol Hill.

*If you are a Stanford Affiliate outside the Energy Resources Engineering (ERE) department and would like to attend, please contact Emily Gwynn ( for the Zoom Meeting link and password.

**If you are in the Energy Resources Engineering (ERE) department, you will receive an announcement from Emily Gwynn ( with the Zoom Meeting link and password.

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