Earth Artist & Environmental Engineer
Image from act.mit.edu
Today, Geothermal Engineer and Sculptor Robert Dell resides with his wife in New York. Dell began his career as an artist and has created over 100 art installations around the world. Dell began his career in engineering by recirculating waste steam and COGEN heat to warm the soil of green roofs. This accelerated plant growth, extended the growing season, and enabled the survival of cultivars that normally grow in warmer climates. This included a small cotton harvest in New York City, with an oregano and tomato harvest in Iceland. Substantial amounts of drinking water, traditionally used to cool the waste fluid before it is discharged into the sewers, are now preserved.
“The Lindbergh Foundation grant was the first engineering-related grant I received,” said Robert Dell, “This enabled me to establish credibility in the engineering research community and enabled my career in the field of environmental engineering.”
Prof. Dell has taught numerous college courses in engineering and has given open lectures at Harvard, MIT, Columbia University, and many other venues. He was recently elected a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). He was the Founding Director of the Center for Innovation and Applied Technology at The Cooper Union, where he is an Adjunct Professor in Mechanical Engineering and the Founding Director of the Laboratory for Energy Reclamation and Innovation. He has authored numerous award-winning, peer-reviewed papers on his heated soil research. He was awarded two Permanent Archives, The Robert Dell Papers at the Smithsonian Archives of American Art, for his contributions as a “progenitor of sustainable art”, and The Robert Dell Collection at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Prof. Dell is the First Inventor on eleven registered patents.
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