Author Archives: Leidy

Hi, I’m Leidy Klotz. I try to help young people make a better world. The best way I know how is through teaching and research, in particular trying to find out what leads to elegant, sustainable solutions.
I live with my beautiful wife, Monica, in Clemson, SC where we don’t like to use air conditioning and the majority of our climate-changing emissions come from traveling to see family or the beach.

Pigs are fast swimmers and the 10 best things I learned from students last week

#4 - Pigs are good swimmers (Image courtesy  of cdorobek on flickr)

I’m always learning from students, especially at the beginning of every semester, when I meet individually with everyone in my classes. So that I am not hogging knowledge, here are the 10 best things I learned from about 65 meetings last week: 10. No one considers my class the highest priority in their life. 9. It can be cheaper to “donate” medical waste than dispose Read More →

A successful distance Ph.D. – by Morgan Young

A picture from hiking club was most appropriate

On May 9, Morgan Young will walk across the stage at Littlejohn Coliseum and officially receive his Ph.D., which he earned through five years of hard and smart work. I asked Morgan to write about his experience because he completed his Ph.D. without being physically located in Clemson. It seems like more students should be able to follow this path. The Ph.D. is, after all, Read More →

How soccer explains… (reading list)


There is no better (or at least more fun) way to learn about our world than through soccer. Or maybe you just want to sound like an expert when discussing this summer’s World Cup. For either case, here is my top 10 list of soccer books.   Eduardo Galeano’s Soccer in Sun and Shadow tops the list. Galeano’s book is a work of art that also manages to cover Read More →

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


Last Wednesday, I hosted a twitter chat for, 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 →