Two University of Michigan-Shanghai Jiao Tong University Joint Institute (UM-SJTU JI, JI hereafter) undergraduate student teams led by Yifei Zhang and Heeseung Han have obtained Best Oral Presentation Awards with their research papers presented in the 5th International Conference on Sustainable Development of Water and Environment (ICSDWE2022).

Award certificate of ICSDWE2022

Team of Yifei Zhang, which also include Tiantian Tang and Yuxuan Tang, presented their research on second-hand trading platforms on campus in a bid to explore how second-hand trading could affect sustainable development. Based on analysis of impacts of such platforms on the students’ mentality of consumption and environmental protection, they proposed recommendations for the improvement of current platforms. Research of Heeseung Han’s team with other two members including Zhan Xu and Yuankai Xu focuses on the use of plastic straws. By studying students’ attitudes towards consumption of plastic straws, awareness of plastic pollution and evaluation of alternatives to existing plastic straws, they worked out a list of problems and solutions.

According to Aline Chevalier, research advisor of the student teams as well as their lecturer of JI course VR368 (Architecture, Sustainability and the City), the papers were drawn from the course based on what the students learned in class and actual problems they faced in real life. In the past spring and fall semesters, a total of 11 student teams have had their papers accepted by international conferences.

Group photo of attendees

The International Conference on Sustainable Development of Water And Environment is an annual event launched in 2018, for the purpose of providing an ideal academic platform for researchers and scholars from around the world to showcase, share and exchange their latest research findings on water and the environment. ICSDWE2022 was held online from March 17 to March 18 in light of the of Omicron outbreak in the host city of Shanghai.