Campus News in Brief

Prof. reappointed to CNO

Carnegie Mellon’s Kiron Skinner was recently reappointed by the United States Secretary of Defense Robert Gates to a position on the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) advisory panel. Skinner was appointed to the panel in 2004 by former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and will now serve a second term of four years.

Skinner is an associate professor of social and decision sciences, and the director of the international relations and global politics program. She is one of the country’s experts in the areas of international relations, U.S. foreign policy, and political strategy. Along with Serhiy Kudelia, Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, and Condoleezza Rice, she co-authored The Strategy of Campaigning: Lessons from Ronald Regan and Boris Yeltsin. Additionally, she wrote Turning Points in Ending the Cold War, a landmark work in international history featuring a collection of essays by leading American and Russian statesmen and scholars. She has published five other books, two of which were New York Times best sellers.

Skinner has also co-chaired the CNO task forces on the Middle East and Africa, and also serves on the board of the Atlantic Council of the United States in Washington, D.C. Skinner is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) in New York City and is a former fellow of CFR’s studies department.

Team tracks energy usage

Lucio Soibelman, H. Scott Matthews, and Jose M.F. Moura have received a three-year, $1.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) devoted to developing inexpensive methods to track energy consumption. The research team has a goal of creating a process for obtaining statistics about electricity use in homes and buildings.

“This research grant gives us a timely opportunity to begin exploring electricity consumption on a variety of levels and to eventually develop tools to track the trends and patterns of energy usage and suggest ways to conserve,” said Soibelman, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Carnegie Mellon.

The team will use a grouping of residential buildings to test their new hardware and software tools for electricity monitoring with the goal of creating inexpensive and easy-to-install devices that could carefully monitor energy consumption. After collecting this information, the device would then infer the energy usage of individual appliances and electronics. This data, specific to each appliance, will be used to provide homeowners and building managers with suggestions on how to optimize their consumption and understand the effects of their energy-related decisions.