REA's 3 current projects are the Circular Waste Team, Learn & Teach Team, and Wind Team.

Project descriptions

Circular waste team

The Circular Waste Project of REA was recently created to develop a holistic approach to finding waste diversion and energy extraction solutions on campus. The project’s mission is to minimize the environmental impact of waste through the generation of soap and biodiesel and the analysis of students’ waste patterns. Simultaneously, the project looks to develop a community that fosters the skills and network necessary for students to work in the sustainable waste management field. There are three interdisciplinary subteams working hard to propel the project toward our goals: Biodiesel, Saponification, and Waste Processing.

The Biodiesel subteam's goal is to form an experimental biodiesel production procedure. Currently, Biodiesel is working to determine the most effective pretreatment for processing waste frying oil to avoid using large amounts of methanol, a toxic chemical for the environment, as standard in industry.

The Saponification subteam's main objective is to obtain waste frying oil from the UCLA dining halls and convert it to usable soap. The team will perform experiments using the pretreatment and saponification processes to demonstrate how waste could be converted into a useful product.

The Waste Processing subteam aims to finish physically tagging waste bins with unique labels that match a digital map (uploaded on of waste bin locations throughout UCLA’s campus. Additionally, the team plans to conduct a campus-wide waste audit to gather more information about UCLA students’ waste habits.

By leveraging partnerships with other student organizations and campus departments, Circular Waste hopes to develop a more closed-loop waste and energy management system at UCLA. With COVID-19 presenting abnormal obstacles for the project, we are eager to continue our work in the fall!


  • Finish physically bin tagging all the UCLA bins on campus, thus updating our map on, oversaw by Facilities Management

  • Emphasize the significance of turning waste products (such as restaurant grease) into useable products (such as biodiesel or soap)

  • Conduct visual waste audits to analyze students' waste habits and patterns

  • Finalize biodiesel pretreatment and saponification procedures and SOPs

  • Educate members on lab safety


‣ Executed UCLA’s first campus-wide waste audit, which involved sorting garbage and collecting data from over 200 bags of landfill waste, and completed 3 more audits after three-stream bins were installed to assess waste diversion rates

Finished geotagging all the bins on the UCLA campus and uploading them onto, and began physically bin tagging them

Secured lab space in Professor Sanjay Mohanty's Environmental and Civil Engineering Lab


The first one is on October 3, 2022! Please feel free to join us and learn more about our project and what we have to offer! Everyone is welcome :)

Mondays, 6:00 - 7:00 PM

Kerckhoff 131



As an organization at one of the country’s top research universities, REA believes that education forms the foundation for students to develop a passion for renewable energy. Learn & Teach was therefore created to teach young students in the LA area about environmental issues and motivate them to learn about renewable energy as a solution.

For Learn & Teach, UCLA students volunteer to visit elementary, middle, and high schools and local educational centers. They talk about pollution and climate change through presentations while discussing green roofing and solar power through hands-on demonstrations. Since its creation, the project has successfully collaborated with the UCLA Lab School, WorldSpeak School, and Sotomayor Learning Academy as well as LA Family Housing.

Learn & Teach also attends outreach events at UCLA. This includes Engineering Kids Day, Engineering Week, and the annual Exploring Your Universe fair to provide free renewable energy education to over 1,000 students.

For the upcoming year, Learn & Teach will continue its involvement in the LA community while following COVID-19 guidelines. It plans to expand its on-campus advocacy through strengthening student partnerships, attending remote conferences, and hosting virtual information sessions.


  • Partner with new schools to provide renewable with more students, particularly in underserved communities

  • Expand the renewable energy curriculum for interdisciplinary, on-campus UCLA events


  • Presented at the UCLA Lab School, WorldSpeak School, LA Family Housing, and Sotomayor Learning Academy

  • Presented at Engineering Kids Day, Engineering Week, and the Explore Your Universe fair for 3 consecutive years


Date, time, and location vary

Contact Daniel (


Introduced in Fall 2020, the Wind Project aims to compete in the annual Collegiate Wind Competition hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy. In preparation, members will design, construct, and test a functional wind turbine system, as well as design and financially analyze a utility-scale wind farm. The project provides an opportunity for students to merge academic coursework with hands-on technical experiences while gaining skills that will allow them to excel in the renewable energy industry. The project will combine the expertise of students from various engineering disciplines to develop solutions to our energy issues.

The project will have three teams. The Mechanical Design team will account for manufacturability, budget, competition safety, and load requirements to develop an overall prototype. The Electrical Controls team will utilize both software programs and hardware to engineer a control system that optimizes turbine performance. The Blade Design team will design optimal blade geometries to fit the specified design criteria and develop a yaw mechanism for wind turbine orientation.

Although in-person meetings have been put on hold due to COVID-19, the Wind Project aims to complete the initial design and construction of a functional wind turbine prototype by the end of the year. In addition, they will begin preparing the written application to the highly selective Collegiate Wind Competition and work on securing funding for the construction of the turbine.


  • Develop a basic mechanical and electrical wind turbine system prototype

  • Construct a dynamometer used to test turbine motor and drivetrain

  • Secure funding, sponsors, and partners

  • Prepare written proposals to compete in Collegiate Wind Competition


Tuesdays, 6:00 - 7:00 PM

Boelter 5514

Contact Zack (