Chemical Engineering Professor Michael Timko delivered a virtual “United Nations Summer Academy Trend Talk” in July 2022. The talk was titled “Ocean Clean-Up: Converting Plastics into Fuel.” It focused on Professor Timko’s research on using plastic recovered from ocean waste sites such as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch to power the ships that are cleaning the ocean and removing the plastic. Timko published this research in a paper in November 2021 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS), and it was funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF).
The UN Summer Academy five-day online program is a part of the United Nations System Staff College, and participants are current college students from Germany, Ghana, Israel, Poland, Canada, China, the UK, and the US. Instruction is tied to the Paris Agreement – an international climate change treaty signed in 2016, and the UN Sustainable Development Goals – goals which the WPI community is making significant contributions towards achieving.