» Manufacturing Technology

Composite Flywheel Energy Storage

Current research in flywheel energy storage in the Composites Manufacturing Technology Center at Penn State University is aimed at developing a cost effective manufacturing and fabrication process for advanced composite rotors. Composites are desirable materials for flywheels due to their light weight and high strength. Lightness in high speed rotors is good from two standpoints: the ultra-low friction bearing assemblies are less costly and the inertial loading which causes stress in the material at high rotational speeds is minimized. High strength is needed to achieve maximum rotational speed. Therefore, advanced composite rotors enable the storage of greater amounts of energy on a per unit weight or volume basis, in comparison with other materials. Furthermore, fiber reinforced composite rotors have been shown to fail in a less destructive manner than metallic rotors — an important factor for safety reasons. Flywheels offer the potential of higher energy and power density in comparison with conventional energy storage devices such as chemical batteries. There is much interest in flywheels for energy storage in applications as diverse as satellites, stationary diurnal storage, uninterruptable power supplies, and hybrid electric vehicles. Read More

Practical Industry Intelligence for Commercial Real Estate, “The Green Issue”

The term “green” evokes a broad range of sentiments among different people, even those under the umbrella of the real estate industry. To many, green means protecting and preserving what remains of pristine nature, often by careful urban and suburban planning. To others, the term implies a regulatory headache involving research on wetlands and costly environmental impact studies. Read More

Make It In America

The Apollo Alliance has created the roadmap for revitalizing America’s manufacturing sector. Part of The New Apollo Program, our comprehensive national strategy for building a clean energy, good jobs economy, Make It In America: The Apollo Green Manufacturing Action Plan (GreenMAP) calls for federal investment in the domestic manufacture of clean energy equipment and components, and in making manufacturing plants more energy efficient overall. Read More

Technology & Engineering

Scientific discovery and advancement affect our lives in two different ways—through new policies and regulations that provide broad national direction and through new products and processes that enhance our lives and communities. Technology and engineering translate scientific knowledge into action. At the same time, technological innovations often require further research into materials, devices, and processes. NIFA programs support engineering research and new technology development, as well as academic training and technology transfer. Together, these efforts result in safer, higher-quality foods; more efficient and environmentally sound agricultural practices; and better educated and more economically capable communities. Read More

Unbounding the Future: the Nanotechnology Revolution

The science is good, the engineering is feasible, the paths of approach are many, the consequences are revolutionary-times-revolutionary, and the schedule is: in our lifetimes. Read More


Manufactured products are made from atoms. The properties of those products depend on how those atoms are arranged. If we rearrange the atoms in coal we can make diamond. If we rearrange the atoms in sand (and add a few other trace elements) we can make computer chips. If we rearrange the atoms in dirt, water and air we can make potatoes. Todays manufacturing methods are very crude at the molecular level. Casting, grinding, milling and even lithography move atoms in great thundering statistical herds. It’s like trying to make things out of LEGO blocks with boxing gloves on your hands. Yes, you can push the LEGO blocks into great heaps and pile them up, but you can’t really snap them together the way you’d like. Read More

Nanowerk Spotlight

Behind the buzz and beyond the hype: Our daily Nanowerk-exclusive nanotechnology feature article. Some stories are more like an introduction to nanotechnology, some are about understanding current developments, and some are advanced reviews of leading edge research. Read More

What is Nanotechnology?

A KQED Multimedia Series Exploring Northern California Science, Environment and Nature. Read More

Kicking Machine

This activity will demonstrate the engineering design process. Students will consider both potential and kinetic energy while they plan, design, build, test, and redesign. (Middle school) Read More

Dance Pad Mania

This activity will demonstrate the engineering design process. Teams must work together to build a dependable, functional electric circuit. (Middle school) Read More


EERL's mission is to be the best possible online collection of environmental and energy sustainability resources for community college educators and for their students. The resources are also available for practitioners and the public.


EERL is a product of a community college-based National Science Foundation Center, the Advanced Technology Environmental and Energy Center (ATEEC), and its partners.

Contact ATEEC 563.441.4087 or by email ateec@eicc.edu