Research Partnership Projects

OPP engages with student and faculty research to provide test beds for exploration and discovery.

LED Growth Chamber LED growth chamber

LEDPenn State researchers from theatre arts and horticulture have collaborated with OPP to fine-tune lighting for improved plant growth and energy conservation in greenhouses. The research team explored how LED technology could reduce energy consumption in plant growth chambers, which could lead to its use in greenhouses and plant-growth rooms. The team anticipated and found great potential savings for both Penn State operations and research.

Biodegradable Hydraulic Oil

BiodegradableMore than 100 elevators on the University Park campus require hydraulic fluid, traditionally petroleum-based and problematic when one springs a leak. Lysa Holland, an engineer within Environmental Health and Safety, connected with Dr. Joseph Perez, an expert on bio-based fuels, to develop a soy-based elevator fluid as an alternative to the 17,000 gallons of hydraulic fluid used.

The Living Filter

The Living FilterThe “Living Filter” is a 600-acre area near the University Park Airport that is crisscrossed with pipes and studded with giant sprinklers. Treated wastewater is piped 2.5 miles from University Park’s wastewater treatment plant to the site where it’s distributed through an irrigation system. The soil, along with the crops and trees on the land, naturally filters the remaining nutrients from about 2 million gallons of pre-treated wastewater effluent every day. The site has been used for student and faculty research for nearly 50 years.