Published: April 27, 2018
Curtis Huggins

During the summer of my sophomore year my dad and I built a 20’x30’x18’ active solar greenhouse which circulates air between two plenums connected by 900 ft of perforated corrugated pipe within a 3000 cubic foot soil heatsink below the greenhouse. The system captures daytime heat and moisture, stores it in the heatsink then releases it back into the greenhouse during the cooler night.

After this project my interest in greenhouse technology was sparked and I came up with an idea for a solar shifting greenhouse film that would passively convert the solar spectrum to fit the absorption spectrum of plants by converting the green light into additional red light thus potentially enhancing plant growth and crop yield.

The following year I took this idea to my nanomaterials professor, Dr. Xiaobo Yin, and together we started the Redhouse Research Project. After three years, the project has grown to encompass multiple PhD students, collaboration with other universities, and a branch of new greenhouse film technologies that received a $2.45 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) underneath Dr. Xiaobo Yin and Dr. Ronggui Yang.

Although I will graduate in May 2018 from CU Boulder with a BS/MS in Mechanical Engineering, I plan to continue working on the project as much as I can and am confident in the very capable team I am leaving behind. While I am sad to leave, I am excited to have accepted a position with Lockheed Martin in their Engineering Leadership Development Program in Manassa, VA.

When I am not doing research or studying I take advantage of Colorado’s vast wilderness by camping, backpacking and fishing. I also recently discovered a new passion when I received my PADI Open Water Scuba certification and have since taken dive trips to the much warmer waters of Florida and Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.