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Creators/Authors contains: "Duan, Q."

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  1. Many researchers have studied the roles of building envelope materials on UHI, such as roofs, and walls, but few of them have explored the impacts of the emergence of the solar-reflective coatings, films, and panels but well-visible transmittance that is increasingly applied to glazed building facades, especially in hot climates, for outdoor thermal environments. The question then arises: Despite the positive effects of these strong solar-reflective facades on building heating and cooling energy savings, do they have the same positive effects on the adjacent outdoor area, especially in a dense urban context? This research aims to quantify the potential UHI effects of the solar-reflective facades relative to the non-reflective ones in a dense urban context, along with the heating and cooling energy performance analysis. As such, a simulation method in terms of a series of tools including LBNL Radiance, EnergyPlus, and WINDOW software was adopted in this work to analyze the solar radiation interactions between the façade surface and the surrounding urban structures and potential temperature rise under solar-reflective and non-reflective facades. The result shows that the annual cooling energy savings by using the solar-reflective facades are about 33.8% relative to the typical double-pane clear glazed façade because of the substantial reduction of U-factor and solar heat gains; But, this preliminary work also unveils the potential adverse effects of using such materials at the urban scale, leading nearly 2 times greater solar irradiation and UHI effects than the ones by the solar-non-reflective building surfaces in an urban area. Future optimization studies on the trade-off between the building cooling energy savings and UHI effects by the solar-reflective façades need to be conducted. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 1, 2024
  2. Graduate training often takes a monodisciplinary approach that is not informed by best practices, ignores the needs and preferences of students, and overlooks the increasingly interdisciplinary and international nature of research. This is unfortunate, particularly since graduate education that is fully integrated with interdisciplinary research can help students become part of a trained and diverse workforce equipped to meet society’s many challenges. Against this backdrop, a National Science Foundation Research Traineeship (NRT) program is being established at the University of Kentucky leveraging the most effective instruments for the training of STEM professionals, such as network-based graduate student mentoring and career preparation encompassing both technical and professional skillsets. Briefly, the training graduate students will receive – in a way that is fully integrated with the research they perform – includes: 1) tools such as individual development plans and developmental network maps; 2) a multi-departmental and interdisciplinary course on research-related content; 3) a seminar course on transferrable skills (ethics, research, communication, teaching, mentoring, entrepreneurship, teamwork, management, leadership, outreach, etc.); 4) a certificate to be awarded once students complete the two courses above and garner additional credits from an interdisciplinary curriculum of research-related courses; 5) summer internships at other departments and at external institutions (other universities, industry, national laboratories) nationwide or abroad; 6) an annual research-related symposium including all elements of a scientific conference; 7) internal collaborative research grants for participants to fund and pursue their own ideas; 8) fields trips to facilities related to the research; and 9) coaching on job hunting as well as résumé, motivation letter and interview preparation. Since a workforce equipped to meet society’s challenges must be both well trained and diverse, multiple initiatives will ensure that this NRT will broaden participation in STEM. Recruitment-wise, close collaboration with a number of entities will provide this NRT with a broad recruitment pool of talented and diverse students. Moreover, collaboration with these entities will provide trainees with ample opportunities to acquire, practice and refine their professional skills, as trainees present their results and recruit in conferences, meetings and outreach events organized by these entities, become members and/or join their leadership, and expand their professional and mentoring network in the process. In addition, minority trainees will be surveyed periodically to probe their feelings of well-being, preparation, acceptance, belonging and distress, as well as their perception of how well structured their departments and programs are. According to recent literature, these factors determine whether or not they perform (i.e., publish) at rates comparable to their male majority peers. Saliently, the evaluation of the educational model employed will afford a comprehensive understanding not only of the academy components that were more utilized and impactful, but will reveal the individual mentoring and skill-building facets of the program driving its successful implementation. The evaluation plan includes outcomes, performance measures, an evaluation timetable, benchmarks and a description of how formative evaluation will improve practice, the evaluation process also extending to research activities. 
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