Caitlin E. Ahearn ’10 (physics) will be presenting “Sustainably Charging Batteries Using Compost" at NCUR 2010

 The National Conferences on Undergraduate Research (NCUR), established in 1987, is dedicated to promoting undergraduate research, scholarship, and creative activity in all fields of study by sponsoring an annual conference for students. Unlike meetings of academic professional organizations, this gathering of young scholars welcomes presenters from all institutions of higher learning and from all corners of the academic curriculum.


This year, Ithaca College is sending a delegation of 23 students representing 25 different projects to the conference at the University of Montana, from April 14 through 18. A total of 38 students were involved with the projects.


Among those students accepted to NCUR 2010 are Caitlin E. Ahearn ’10 (physics)  will be presenting “Sustainably Charging Batteries Using Compost.”


Their sponsor Michael Rogers, Department of Physics, says of their work, “Caitlin's bachelors of science physics thesis examines the use of Seebeck modules to generate electricity from compost pile waste energy. Her work is a continuation of thesis work of IC physics alumnus Colin Howard. He used a thermistor array to map the temperature profile of the inside of a compost pile and demonstrated that the 160 degree Fahrenheit temperature of the core could be used to generate electricity. Caitlin's work is exploring the power curve of the Seebeck modules by attaching different loads and measuring the current and voltage. Understanding the power curve allows for the most efficient configuration of the modules. Caitlin is also examining how the Seebeck modules can be used to charge batteries in the most efficient way possible.”


Ithaca College is proud to be hosting the National Conferences on Undergraduate Research from March 31-April 2, 2011. For more details, please visit the NCUR 2011 website at 


School of Humanities and Sciences  ·  201 Muller Center  ·  Ithaca College  ·  Ithaca, NY 14850  ·  (607) 274-3102  ·  Full Directory Listing