On your bike

Luke Ramsay of non-profit charity Julie’s Bicycle has been announced as the winner of the 2015 Ken Dale Travel Bursary by the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers. Earlier this week, we caught up with him as he sets off on his trip, to ask him what he's working on

I'm incredibly excited and honoured to have been awarded the Ken Dale bursary this year. Data centres are predicted to surpass the aviation sector in terms of carbon emissions in the near future. This research will expose me to some of the most innovative data centres in the world who are successfully making huge reductions in their energy consumption.

Carbon emissions associated with data centres currently represent approximately 2% of global emissions. Data centres have large cooling demands and often strict thermal parameters. This can mean some data centres use up to 70% of their energy on building services alone. My research aims to understand how some low carbon cooling strategies are helping data centres to use less than 10% of their energy on building services.

My research is taking me to some challenging climates, such as Arizona and Singapore, and to a diverse range of users, from research centres such as the National Renewable Energy Lab to commercial centres such as eBay.
Data centres create an increasing percentage of the world's carbon emissions
The fund is designed to provide young people with a chance to research environmental sustainability early in their careers, and how it can benefit their employers and their profession as a whole.

As part of my work for the charity, which helps arts organisations lower their carbon footprint, I will use the £4,000 grant to travel to South East Asia and North America, with the aim of investigating how data centres can reduce their energy through innovative cooling and ventilation. The research will help arts organisations make more informed decisions when managing their digital footprint.

Luke will travel to Denver, Boulder, Phoenix, San Jose, San Francisco and Seattle in the United States, Vancouver in Canada and then Dubai, Jakarta and Singapore. Past winners of the award have studied a wide variety of topics including the potential natural ventilation in high-rise buildings across Canada, Mexico, Australia & Malaysia. More information about the award can be found here.


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