Energizing communities with sustainable systems

Photos by Chance Saechao.

Working toward bachelor’s degrees in energy systems engineering and sustainability at Oregon State University-Cascades in Bend, Dallas Bennett is dedicated to designing greener systems on a local level.

“I’m from Silverton, Oregon,” Bennett said. “Growing up in a small town, I have a tight-knit sense of community. It would be really nice to work directly with any community that I’m a part of.”

Designing sustainable outdoor products

Oskar Zehren and his classmates will be the first-ever Oregon State University students to earn a bachelor’s degree in outdoor products when they graduate this spring. 

Based at Oregon State University-Cascades in Bend, the interdisciplinary outdoor products degree program, introduced in 2019, has given Zehren the knowledge to navigate all stages of outdoor product development, including conceptualization, design, manufacturing, and marketing.

New advances in natural gas vehicles

Domestic production of natural gas is projected to increase significantly within the next decade. Chris Hagen, assistant professor in energy systems engineering, believes that this growth in natural gas production, coupled with advancements in methane-fueled vehicle, holds great promise toward relieving America’s dependence on foreign oil.

Hagen is spearheading a research program at OSU-Cascades to develop a self-contained natural gas vehicle with an engine that can compress the fuel and power the car, thus eliminating the need for fueling stations.

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