RPI team wins award

The Record (Troy, NY) - - LOCAL NEWS - By Record Staff

TROY, N.Y. >> Col­lege of­fi­cials said stu­dents and fac­ulty from Rens­se­laer Polytech­nic In­sti­tute were re­cently awarded an Ed­i­tor’s Choice Blue Rib­bon at the New York Maker Faire.

Of­fi­cials said their re­search ex­hibit, a col­lab­o­ra­tive project be­tween the univer­sity’s schools of En­gi­neer­ing and Ar­chi­tec­ture, fo­cused on turn­ing empty wa­ter bot­tles into shel­ters for disas­ter relief.

Ac­cord­ing to a news re­lease, the event, put on an­nu­ally by Make: magazine, took place at the New York Hall of Sci­ence in Queens, and fea­tured more than 600 projects with 90,000 mak­ers at­tend­ing from all over the world.

The Rens­se­laer and Friend­ship Prod­ucts ex­hibit was ti­tled “The Friend­ship Bot­tle: What If a Bot­tle Had a Long and Im­por­tant Life Af­ter You Drink The Con­tents?”

It was on dis­play in a new zone of the Maker Faire called “Tiny Homes Vil­lage,” which fo­cused specif­i­cally on in­no­va­tions in ar­chi­tec­ture and de­sign.

“Friend­ship Prod­ucts is ex­cited about the re­search Rens­se­laer is do­ing to dis­cover many dif­fer­ent prac­ti­cal uses for Friend­ship Bot­tles, ex­pand­ing the op­por­tu­ni­ties for mak­ing a pos­i­tive en­vi­ron­men­tal and hu­man­i­tar­ian im­pact across the world,” said Tim Carl­son in the re-

lease, man­ag­ing part­ner at Friend­ship Prod­ucts.

“We owe a huge thank you to RPI alum­nus Todd Thomas, who has been a driv­ing force be­hind the es­tab­lish­ment of a new zone at the Maker Faire that was ded­i­cated to ex­hibit­ing the next gen­er­a­tion of ar­chi­tec­ture,” added Rhett Russo in the re­lease, as­sis­tant pro­fes­sor and un­der­grad­u­ate chair of the school of Ar­chi­tec­ture. “He was de­lighted that Rens­se­laer stu­dents and fac­ulty could share their con­tri­bu­tions with the pub­lic.”

Of­fi­cials said the rib­bon-win­ning ex­hibit fea­tured a short film by Wayne and Kristin West­book that gave in­sight into the de­sign process and the role that Rens­se­laer stu­dents and fac­ulty played in get­ting Friend­ship Prod­ucts in the pub­lic eye.

The ex­hibit also gave the pub­lic hands- on ex­pe­ri­ence to build with the bot­tles and show­cased Sec­ond Lives / Af­ter Bot­tles, a pav­il­ion made en­tirely of bot­tles that was de­signed by ar­chi­tec­ture stu­dents and Ly­dia Kal­lipoliti, as­sis­tant pro­fes­sor in the school of Ar­chi­tec­ture.

Also on dis­play was a beam and col­umn pro­to­type com­posed en­tirely of wa­ter bot­tles that is cur­rently be­ing tested for its struc­tural ca­pac­ity by Mo­hammed Al­nag­gar, as­sis­tant pro­fes­sor in the Depart­ment of Civil En­gi­neer­ing at Rens­se­laer.

The Bot­tle Tran­si­tional Shel­ter test­bed that is be­ing used to test the en­vi­ron­men­tal per­for­mance of the bot­tles as a build­ing sys­tem was also on site at the event. It was devel­oped by the Rens­se­laer Cen­ter for Ar­chi­tec­ture and Sci­ence and Ecol­ogy, where Josh Draper, a lec­turer in the school of Ar­chi­tec­ture, led the project.

“We are so pleased that we were able to at­tend the New York Maker Faire and share our re­search with some of the world’s great­est in­ven­tors, ar­chi­tects, and de­sign­ers,” said Russo who led the ex­hibit team. “We are hon­ored that our ex­hibit was cho­sen to re­ceive an Ed­i­tor’s Choice Blue Rib­bon and look for­ward to con­tin­u­ing to share the im­pli­ca­tions of our re­search with the world.”

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