• LED lighting is regarded as more environmentally friendly as fixture for fixture they use far less power than other lighting.
    LED lighting is regarded as more environmentally friendly as fixture for fixture they use far less power than other lighting.

You are invited to the SU-LED group’s design presentation on May 10th from 1pm to 2pm in Heather Hall.

After eight months of research and study, we will introduce our design plan for transforming the Heather Jean McGaughey Rehearsal Hall into a sustainable space.

This design project is authored by students whose major fields of study include economics, environmental studies and theatre; a staff electrician and staff secretary and professors from physics and theatre.

We will showcase the latest in technology from the future of energy sustainability including light-emitting diode illumination, solarvoltaic generation and wind turbine generation.


Bill O’Brien, associate professor of physics, and John Ore, professor of theatre, have received a $7,168 grant from the Associated Colleges of the South (ACS) to work with a colleague at Trinity University to develop a course that will be cross-listed between Environmental Studies, Theatre and Physics. The course will focus on energy conservation strategies for the theater, particularly the replacement of incandescent lighting fixtures with systems that use light-emitting diodes (LEDs).

The grant proposal stems from a project Ore began last September to design LED technology for Heather Hall, a small theater on the second floor of the Fine Arts Building. Ore and O’Brien have been working on the project along with four students and two staff members. Ore is working on designing the LED system during his sabbatical this spring and senior physics major Santos Reyes is doing an energy audit of the current incandescent lighting system in Heather Hall as part of his Capstone project, which will be presented in April.

The project’s ultimate goal is to install a renewable energy system on the roof of the Fine Arts Building that will generate electrical energy equal to the needs of the LED lighting system.

The ACS grant money will be used to help pay the students who are working on the project. It also will be used to purchase a solar panel and a wind turbine that can be used as teaching tools. Ore is seeking additional funds to complete the Heather Hall project, which is expected to cost between between $50,000 and $75,000.

Ore said he hopes the project will serve as a model for other colleges that are interested in energy conservation. He and O’Brien will be working on the project with Tim Francis, a member of the Department of Speech and Drama at Trinity. Ore and O’Brien hope to offer their first class in the summer of 2011.