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USF Undergraduate Student is Project Lead for Two Green Installations Coming to Campus

USF Senior John Pilz is the creator of two project proposals that were accepted by the Student Green Energy Fund.

TAMPA, Fla. (Mar. 29, 2016) –USF undergraduate senior John Pilz is the project leader for two upcoming installations on the USF Tampa campus, and it will be feasible thanks to the Student Green Energy Fund.

Launched in 2011, the Student Green Energy Fund is used to aid USF’s commitment to reducing it green house gas emissions. The goal is to eventually eliminate these emissions altogether, as documented by USF President Judy Genshaft’s signature in the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment.

Students are encouraged to submit proposals for eco-friendly undertakings they believe are most important to implement on campus. The students may be from any discipline, and can expect to receive guidance on the execution of their project if it is accepted, along with the funding from the SGEF.

“It’s a no-brainer,” Pilz, an environmental science and policy major, said of his motivation to create green energy solutions and submit his proposals to the SGEF. “I can put my skills to the test, and learn as I go along.”

Pilz tried for several years to submit SGEF proposals, but kept persistent until his ideas were accepted. Now, both of his projects are anticipated to be complete before final exams in Fall 2016.

His Marshall Student Center Solar Panel Installation project calls for 1,176 solar panels to be installed on the north and south MSC roofs, estimated to produce 634,995 kilowatts per year and $50,803 in annual energy cost savings. His other project, Tree Planting in Commemoration of Arbor Day, will result in the planting of 73 trees on campus. Pilz said he thought of the idea during his daily walks to class in the Florida sun, and decided that the extra shade and oxygen production (his proposal explains that a tree can produce 260 pounds of oxygen per year and absorb 48 pounds of carbon dioxide at the same time) would be beneficial for anyone setting foot on campus.

Pilz credited MSC Administration Director Sujit Chemburkar and Assistant Director for Facilities Management Nainan Desai for their guidance through the proposal process, as well as in helping him to figure out the logistics that will make his ideas possible.

“It all comes down to communication and understanding,” Pilz said as he spoke on the biggest obstacle in the proposal process. Once he established his contacts and paired them with strong ideas, his drive is being rewarded as he sees his projects come to life.


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