Skip to Content
MIT News magazine

Green Light

Energy Night is electric

On the evening of October 10, students, locals, and faculty lined up outside the MIT Museum, where they had time to admire a solar-powered car and another that runs on hydrogen. When the doors opened, the crowd flooded into the building to examine the displays tucked into every available corner by more than 40 MIT research groups and related startups. The fourth annual Energy Night had begun.

A cluster of people–plates of gourmet pizza and cups in hand–gathered around graduate student Chris Kempes, one of the leaders of the Generator, a student-­run group that encourages energy-related projects. As live jazz floated in the background, Kempes explained the purpose of the group: to gather members of the MIT community once a semester to share ideas for making the campus more sustainable. About 150 people attend the meetings, and Kempes says the effort has proved so successful that companies now contact the Generator, and the groups it brings together, to exchange ideas about new technologies.

Nearby, Jeremy Johnson, PhD ‘06, held forth on his company, Agrivida, which genetically modifies crops to produce enzymes that make them more biodegradable. Activated after food harvesting, the enzymes help break down the leaves and waste into sugar for use in biofuel. “The connection to MIT has been very valuable, and we want to give back and take advantage of the networking here,” said Johnson.

Unsurprisingly, Joshua E. Siegel ‘11 and graduate student Irene Berry, the presidents of the Electric Vehicle Team, drew one of the larger crowds. They were there to explain their contribution to environmentally friendly engineering: the transformation of a donated 1976 Porsche 914 into an electric vehicle.

Keep Reading

Most Popular

still from Embodied Intelligence video
still from Embodied Intelligence video

These weird virtual creatures evolve their bodies to solve problems

They show how intelligence and body plans are closely linked—and could unlock AI for robots.

pig kidney transplant surgery
pig kidney transplant surgery

Surgeons have successfully tested a pig’s kidney in a human patient

The test, in a brain-dead patient, was very short but represents a milestone in the long quest to use animal organs in human transplants.

conceptual illustration showing various women's faces being scanned
conceptual illustration showing various women's faces being scanned

A horrifying new AI app swaps women into porn videos with a click

Deepfake researchers have long feared the day this would arrive.

thermal image of young woman wearing mask
thermal image of young woman wearing mask

The covid tech that is intimately tied to China’s surveillance state

Heat-sensing cameras and face recognition systems may help fight covid-19—but they also make us complicit in the high-tech oppression of Uyghurs.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose WongIllustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.