Andrew Ray took his Hubbard Construction Company Chair in Technical and Engineering Programs and went on walk-about this summer. He took two students and combined them with a business program to China in July, to take a look at how China is exploring renewable energy.
Originally, they were going to Germany, but that became an impossibility, so instead of calling it quits, Ray changed his plans, and took his students to China, where just a few years previously, the Chinese—known for renewable energy in the runup to the Beijing Olympics—had blossomed with solar.
In the lead-up to the Beijing trip, they started with a trip to the UCF campus in Cocoa to look at renewable energy.
Once in China, they looked at solar, thermal, and some wind. They looked at wind energy being produced in the Gobi Desert, as well as work being done in Beijing and Shanghai. They also attended lectures at Polytechnic of Shanghai. They also discovered that the air quality is worse in Beijing (despite the cleanliness of the air at the Beijing Olympics!)
China is leading the world in manufacturing solar panels and ranks second in solar energy production, and are by far the leader in wind power. They have also been leading the movement to robotic construction technologies, and 3D printing of buildings. Despite this, they also have a leading role in pollution—a problem still to be solved!