Elegant fences

A living fence (picture from Carol Foil on flickr)

Nobody wants their donkeys to escape.   Fences like these would solve the escaped donkeys problem, but they rely on metal poles, which are not available everywhere and not particularly beautiful.   Living fences, like those shown below, are more elegant. The trees do everything a metal pole would, but the trees actually look nice and sequester climate changing emissions while they’re at it.

Podcast on “how to break into sustainability”


Here’s a podcast I did with author and Engineering Career Coach Anthony Fasano, PE. Basically, after talking about how I used to be able to play soccer, I try to answer, “how can engineers find a way to incorporate sustainability in their jobs?” It’s a question I’m asked frequently and one that I have learned quite a bit about as I watch graduates succeed at Read More →

The ESSo research group creation story

An ESSO club meat and 3 "vegetables"

I’m excited to share this guest post from Michael Dukes. Michael was a founding member of our research group and earned his Master’s degree in 2009. He has since earned his P.E. and, despite relocating to Oklahoma, remains a die-hard supporter of all things Clemson.  The ESSo research group creation story, by Michael Dukes, P.E. The Engineering Sustainable Solutions (ESSo) research group was founded during Read More →

Twitter chat for Bigbeacon.org


Last Wednesday, I hosted a twitter chat for BigBeacon.org, a “movement to transform engineering education.” Besides my forgetting to add hashtags a few times, it went pretty well, with lots of good input and shared resources from the various participants. Here’s the recap of the twitter chat. And following is how I set the stage for the chat:  As you’ve probably guessed, I’d like to discuss Read More →

Clemson Aaron Gordon vs. Arizona Aaron Gordon

Arizona's Aaron Gordon (left) and Clemson's Aaron Gordon

With March Madness approaching, I’m comparing some of the most impressive first-year college students in the country. My goal is to see who has the most potential to make the world a better place. This week, I break down Aaron Gordon who attends Clemson University and Aaron Gordon who attends the University of Arizona. Tale of the tape Arizona Aaron Gordon is 6’9″1 and 225 pounds, Read More →

My “manifesto” on Bob Dylan and climate change

leidy klotz manifesto

Please download my manifesto: “Don’t block up the hall: Bob Dylan’s advice on climate change?” recently published by Change This. If you like it, please share it with others and feel free to use it however you see fit. Change This selects manifestos to publish based on a democratic system where readers vote on proposals submitted by authors – so thanks to everyone who voted Read More →

Assignments that discourage elegance

A capstone report

Have you ever left useless information in a paper? I still do1. Maybe you just wanted the teacher to see that you did this work, even though it was no longer relevant. Maybe you were personally attached to the irrelevant work and didn’t want to write it off as a sunk cost 2. Whether it’s a school paper or an assignment at work, a complicated solution Read More →

Academic article alert! Sustainability and broadening participation in engineering

Students in Clemson Engineers for Developing Countries help people by providing clean water in Haiti, and they haven't even graduated yet.

Academic article alert! I will be giving myself a break on my weekly blog post whenever I get an academic article published. On those weeks, the blog post will be a link to the published article and my attempt at describing it for the 99.99999999% of people who could care less about the research method and just want to know what we found and what Read More →

Warren Godfrey guest post: Don’t rely on the planning “experts”

The idea for NYC's award-winning "high line" came from the community

This is the second guest post from Charlotte area engineer/planner Warren Godfrey. It builds on ideas about elegance in planning from his popular previous post cautioning against over-planning. Conversations with Warren have really broadened my thinking about sustainability in the built environment and I think you’ll see why when reading this. Don’t rely on the planning “experts”, by Warren Godfrey The time has come to do Read More →

Speed dating is way better than a normal class

speed dating

I was planning a post this week describing how to use speed dating as a class activity. I can always count on speed dating day as one of my favorite classes of the semester – the energy in the room is unbelievable. Students enjoy it and appear to learn while, at the very least, practicing their communication skills (over and over and over). As I Read More →