Bryan Tavera and his adviser Alicia Petryk, PhD

Bryan Tavera, a University of Bridgeport (UB) senior majoring in computer science, has been awarded a National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering (NACME) undergraduate research scholarship in Green Technology. Tavera, a NACME Scholar, received one of the NACME’s eight national $5,000 green technology scholarships.

As a member of the UB Chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB), he will lead a project to develop no- to low-cost geodesic domes made from recycled materials, which can be used as greenhouses in Bridgeport.

“Areas of our Bridgeport community are considered ‘food deserts’ with limited access to nutritious foods,” noted Tavera. “Part of my work will be to initiate a project plan and involve community stakeholders who can guide us on how geodesic dome greenhouses can be the most beneficial to our community. We’ll build them from materials we recycle.”

Guided by EWB faculty advisor and biomedical engineering professor Alicia Petryk, PhD, two geodesic dome prototypes will be designed and built in the next year.

“Geodesic domes are very efficient and stable structures, less susceptible to deformation and can withstand heavy loads like those created by environmental forces such as snow coverings and wind. They also can be constructed fairly quickly without heavy equipment,” said Petryk. “One project objective will be to try to utilize materials sourced from existing recycling streams based at the University of Bridgeport.”

“We’re excited about Bryan’s project and look forward to its development,” added Christopher Smith, PhD, NACME’s Vice President for Scholarships, University Relations and Research.

NACME is the largest provider of college scholarships for underrepresented minorities pursuing degrees at schools of engineering. Its mission is to enrich society with an American workforce that champions diversity in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) by increasing the number of underrepresented minorities in engineering and computer science.

Engineers Without Borders mission is to build a better world through engineering projects that empower communities to meet their basic human needs and equip leaders to solve the world’s most pressing challenges.

Media contact: Leslie Geary, (203) 576-4625, lgeary@bridgeport.edu