Cross-Disciplinary Fun

Planning Projects

Cross-Disciplinary Fun

The Berkeley Energy Resource Collaborative hosts a poster competition with fabulous prizes each year. Last month, my dear friend (and Nature-published microbiology post doc) invited me to collaborate on a poster. Between several rounds of text messaging and emails, and one pizza and wine filled late night, we put together a plan to combine our fields of expertise and propose a really cool project.

The premise – If you had the chance to build a whole new neighborhood, with a blank slate, think of all you could do right. It would be walkable, transit-oriented, mixed use, etc. All those nice planning things. But you could also lay down some truly innovative biotech infrastructure. NASA has developed an algae that generates biofuel from wastewater. There’s solar, plus, build in the pier area, and gain tidal power. We have the technology today to make energy-neutral or energy-negative urban housing, we just need to get both sides excited about it.

We didn’t win, but we each learned enough about each other’s field to explain the basic concepts, and I haven’t had to understand how a battery worked in a long time…

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