November 15, 2021
CHE 150 project
First-year students from Marc Porosoff’s CHE 150: Introduction to Sustainable Energy class gathered on the Hajim Quad on a sunny day earlier this semester to begin work on their solar water heater projects. (Photos by J. Adam Fenster/University of Rochester)

A wonderful example has occurred this summer and fall in Marc Porosoff introductory
course, CHE 150: Introduction to Sustainable Energy.

A $15,000 Sykes award enabled the assistant professor of chemical engineering and two of his teaching assistants–Levi Sunday-Lefkowitz ’22 and Peri Fogel ’24–to completely “reimagine” the way the course is

The award paid for:

  • The two teaching assistants to serve as Sykes interns during the summer.
  • The supplies they needed to build a photovoltaic array for an in-class solar energy demonstration.
  • A $75 budget and a commercial solar water heating kettle for each of eight teams of 3-4 students to either improve the efficiency of the kettles, or design and built their own solar hot water heaters.

Judging from student comments, Wadsworth Sykes would be proud indeed. 

First-year student Julia Kubes says the class “has made me really excited to learn more about what I can do with my degree. One of my interests going into college was to go into a field that helps the environment and CHE 150 has taught me a lot about different energy sources and a look into reducing CO2 emissions.” “ChE 150 is the best possible introductory class for the subject,” concurs Szymon Kuzniar. And Justin Landis says he would recommend the class to any prospective engineering student “or any UR student in general. This course combines physics, math, and chemistry to quantify and understand sustainable energy and its uses.” Well done Marc, Levi and Peri! Read more.