August 01, 2018

Tracking energy and water usage across campus has been a perfect blend of Ryan Carter’s commitment to the environment and interest in data crunching.

As a student sustainability coordinator, Carter ’19 helps evaluate electric, natural gas and water usage across campus. He has worked with the Office of Sustainability’s Energy Working Group and sits on the University Sustainability Committee.

“This helps campus facilities monitor utilities consumption across campus, detect overuse and accurately budget for utilities expenses,” says the earth and environmental science major, who also minors in data science and analytics and environmental studies.

He’s also helped track electric usage of mini-fridges, a project that led to replacing 23 mini-fridges in academic and administrative offices with higher efficiency models. He has performed a waste and recycling audit on two first-year student residence halls to help improve recycling, assisted with Earth Week activities and spread environmental awareness.

For his senior research project, Carter created sensors that detect small particles in the air, like dust, that pollute the environment. They allow for easier monitoring of air pollution and are less expensive than similar devices on the market.

“I was interested in performing a research project that involved aspects of environmental measurements, electrical engineering and computer coding. I have been learning and improving my skills in all three of these fields by building these sensors for my project,” he explains.

Carter has been invited to present his project at the National Conference of Undergraduate Research (NCUR) at Kennesaw State University in April 2019. Carter hopes to go into a sustainability-related career in environmental engineering.

“I am personally driven to live an environmentally friendly lifestyle, as well as be a leader at Susquehanna in the movement toward a culture of sustainability,” Carter says.