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All Project Updates


  1. Weekly Update

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, Last week picked up a little. Sold a refurb bike—first of the year! Sold a B-a-B as well.

    I interviewed two potential staffers last week as well. They’ve both been volunteering for 10+ hours at the Bike Center and pretty excited about what we do and working here.

    I also got some feedback from former student staff about the manual I’ve been working on, as well as feedback from TBP. It’s pretty close to ready for distribution.

    I’ve got a backlog of safety checks to perform this week on bikes that the student staff have been churning out so far this semester. Unfortunately the weather isn’t helping.


    Visitors: 41
    Sales: $397.50

    Memberships: 1 for $30

    Refurb Bikes: 1 for $190
    B-a-Bs: 1 for $69



    Jake Benjamin
    Campus Bike Center Manager

  2. Weekly Update

    Associated Project(s): 

    All ,This past week was a very slow one. Averaged only a visitor or two per day. New hires Kelly and Jacob started and I spent the majority of the week training them. They both show good promise in their ability to understand and apply the techniques and principles of bicycle repair.

    We received a new coat rack/storage shelf for people to hang their coats and drop their backpacks. Also received a snow shovel and salt to clear out in front of the door. Not having to bug the shop next door to borrow their shovel will be a welcomed change.  

    This week I have two interviews for a couple more student staffers. While I have roughly the same number of staffers as usual and could get by with that, the students’ availability this semester isn’t cutting it, especially once we get busy in the warm months. I am also trying to plan better for the constant and inevitable staff turnover.

    Regular shop duties abound: builds, safety checks, organizing, inventory.


    The numbers:
    Visitors: 41

    Sales: $87
    Memberships: 2 for $60



    Jake Benjamin
    Campus Bike Center Manager

  3. 18F Semesterly Report - Baler Conceptualization


    On March 1, 2018, Morgan White, Pete Varney, and Shawn Patterson met with capital planner Trent Beane, a representative of the engineering firm, and a manufacturer’s rep from Dehart Recycling.  We discussed the project needs, and the current status of the WTS equipment.  Some notable points are listed below:

    • The existing baler was installed in 1996
    • Design of balers has changes a lot, with lower labor costs and alternatives to the perforator currently used at WTS.
    • The power supply is probably similar to the existing power demand.

    After the meeting, the engineering firm was asked to provide a formal proposal to F&S to approve and begin the design work.  Unfortunately, this process was delayed due to emergency family medical issues for Mr. Beane. 


    In August 2018, a new planner was assigned, Chris Anzelmo. Anzelmo finalized the agreement with the engineering firm and arranged a kick-off meeting.  In November 2018, the engineer visited the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC) to examine the Styrofoam densifier and gathered additional information from the WTS.


    Then on December 13, 2018, preliminary drawings were shared with F&S. At that meeting, discussions included the needs for modifying the “pit” at the base of the baler entry system, adjusting the pathway width between the baler and the north wall, and recognition that locating the Styrofoam densifier at the WTS would require a building addition. Information about the HVAC system and required code updates were also reviewed.


    On January 2, 2019, a baler vendor representative met with us at the WTS. They are going to look at an alternative baler that could provide the needed walkway space on the north end and use the existing pit.



  4. PWR013 Zero Waste Coordinator recommendation - Successful

    Dr. Mohamed Attalla, Executive Director of Facilities & Services, responded via email to iSEE Associate Director of Sustainability Ximing Cai affirming the intent of F&S to hire a full-time Zero Waste Coordinator:

    "We have reviewed the PWR013 Zero Waste Coordinator SWATeam Recommendation and iCAP Working Group Assessment, and we will proceed with hiring a full-time Zero Waste Coordinator. 

    The key responsibilities for this position will be to “educate the campus on recycling, and to push for systemic changes to improve campus recycling” as suggested by the iWG. This position will report to Pete Varney and work closely with Morgan White.  Additionally, once the position is filled, that person will serve as the F&S staff person on the Purchasing, Waste, and Recycling SWATeam."

    For future updates on this project, please visit Zero Waste.

    See iWG Assessment of PWR013 Zero Waste Coordinator here.

    See SWATeam Recommendation PWR013 Zero Waste Coordinator here.


  5. Final Report submitted to SSC - EcoConcept

    The target dates listed in the original application have become irrelevant as two years have passed since the application date. However, this year the team built a new carbon fiber chassis and body for the first time in multiple years which was one of the major goals listed in the original application. The car was named EV-1. Because many of the project leads graduated, the team went through drastic leadership changes and lost most of its knowledge about carbon fiber work. Tremendous efforts were made by the remaining members, which ultimately led to our team relearning how to work with carbon fiber. This allowed us to create our first new and completely customized carbon fiber chassis. This year’s chassis design allowed for a decrease in weight and higher structural strength compared to prior designs. The team also switched fuel categories to keep up with the growing focus on battery powered vehicles. Doing so entailed manufacturing a battery powerful enough to power the concept car as well as designing a safe battery management system. The battery successfully passed the official Shell Eco-Marathon safety inspection. Switching to the battery electric fuel category reduced the overall weight of the vehicle as there is no longer a bulky hydrogen fuel cell and hydrogen cylinder in the car. The team participated in the Shell Eco-Marathon 2018 competition on the Sonoma Raceway. EV-1 passed the technical and safety inspections which are a set of rigorous tests performed to ensure the safety of the driver and other participants. Many teams do not make it past these inspections. While last minute technical difficulties disabled the team from qualifying to compete, EV-1 was featured in the front row of Shell’s family portrait.

  6. 18F Semesterly Report - LED Classroom Updates

    Most of the incandescent lamps in the General Assignment classrooms have been replaced with LED lamps at this point.  Several classrooms have also had new dimmers installed to properly control the lights.  Four more buildings have been started and need to be completed.

  7. Weekly Update

    Associated Project(s): 

    All, Last week was slow but we had a few visitors in each day. Hank and Chris helped out all week, which was good. We got a few more shop builds finished but not safety checked. The total build number is creeping towards 30.

    Having the backside of the shop cleaner has been great this past week. Much easier to maneuver back there.

    This week I’ll be finalizing the student staff schedule and safety checking the aforementioned bikes. Kelly, a new hire, starts work today, so I’ll be training her some more as well.


    Visitors: 31
    Sales: $105.50

    • Jake Benjamin
      Campus Bike Center Manager
  8. Weekly Updates for Zero Waste

    Associated Project(s): 

    Hello Pete and Shawn—

    Zero waste activity this past week consisted of

    • Receiving information from the BER students that they had gathered for the glove recycling program. Even though labs will not be participating going forward, they finished up with identifying teaching contacts for us, so I thanked them for our work and have filed their spreadsheet in case we can use it in the future.
    • Meghna Vijayan has been our contact with BER. Her term as president of the group has come to an end, and she provided contact information for their new president, Katie Goebel.
    • I emailed Morgan to confirm whether to revise the glove recycling information on the iCAP portal page to reflect the fact that labs are no longer participating.
    • I followed up with Urbana Purchasing for Kimberly-Clark pricing information requested from sustainability staff at Arizona State University, where they are revamping their glove recycling program. I suspect the information may be confidential, but I wanted to follow up with as much as we’re at liberty to share.
    • Best regards,

    Marya Ryan

  9. SSC funds Bevier Café Dishroom Upgrade

    The Bevier Café is a learning laboratory where FSHN students to get hands on experience running a food service establishment.  This project will reduce the carbon footprint of the Bevier Cafe by installing a new, energy efficient, ventless dishwashing machine. The café will showcase the improvements to students and the general public. Students will get experience planning and purchasing equipment that matches the university’s sustainability efforts. Additionally, students will be exposed to the process and improvements through facility lectures and educational tours.

  10. SSC funds SSF Expansion & Relocation

    The Sustainable Student Farm (SSF) was started in 2009 with a grant from the SSC.  The goal of the SSF is to provide fresh, locally grown food to University Housing to reduce the carbon foot print of food service at the U of I, and to show students the health benefits, quality, and superior taste and flavor of locally grown food. This SSC grant supports the Department of Crop Sciences as they plan to move the SSF from its current location at the Fruit Research Farm to the Landscape Horticulture Research Center (LHRC), adjacent to the arboretum. This new location is closer to the campus core, so students can better access SSF. Additionally, this new site is larger, allowing SSF to increase production output. To maximize this move’s efficiency and sustainability, SSF will hire an external firm to complete a feasibility study that identifies the most economical and space-efficient approach to construct the wash/pack/storage facility and space for equipment storage.

  11. SSC funds EV Concept

    The Registered Student Organization, Illini Eco Concept, will design and build a battery powered concept car to participate in the annual Shell Eco-marathon. In doing so, the team hopes to promote the use of sustainable energy in the automotive field and educate UIUC students about the technology behind electric vehicles. The automotive industry is predicted to greatly decrease its carbon footprint if society shift towards the use of electric vehicles over internal combustion engine vehicles. However, there is often backlash against the use of electric vehicles due to misconceptions about their abilities. This student team will educate its members to design and manufacture an energy efficient electric vehicle and the ecological advantages it can offer.

  12. SSC funds Gable Home

    The Gable Home was designed and built by students to compete in the 2009 US Dept. of Energy's Solar Decathlon Competition. Following the competition, the house returned to campus and was located at the I Hotel until Spring 2017 at which point it had to be moved due to the expansion of the research park. Since then a team of students and faculty have been working on finding a new permanent location for the Gable Home. A suitable location was found at the Energy Farm on Race St. in Urbana. The house is a valuable educational tool for students from many units on campus to visit and experience occupying a space that is powered solely by the sun and uses passive and active systems to create desirable thermal comfort throughout the year. This SSC grant provides support for the installation costs to make Gable Home a permanent fixture at the Energy Farm, so it meets building codes.