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News Releases from HeadquartersResearch and Development (ORD)

Chapel Hill High School Student Receives Prestigious Award for Developing a Low-Cost Method to Reduce Water Pollution/Award presented at world's largest high school science competition

Contact Information: 
Cathy Milbourn (Milbourn.cathy@epa.gov)
202-564-7849, 202-564-4355

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the winner of its Patrick H. Hurd Sustainability Award to Joshua Zhou of Chapel Hill, N.C. for his work to develop a sustainable, affordable solution to improve water quality and reduce pollution.

Zhou, a sophomore at East Chapel Hill High School in Chapel Hill, N.C., created a low cost semiconductor using natural light to reduce pollutants from combustion that enter waterways, which are often drinking water sources.

"Through EPA's Patrick H. Hurd Sustainability award, the agency is encouraging the next generation of scientists and engineers to put their passion for innovation to work to help us tackle our most pressing global challenges," said Tom Burke, deputy assistant administrator for research in EPA's Office of Research and Development and the Agency's science advisor. "EPA is proud to recognize and encourage students who are working to protect public health and our environment for generations to come."

Zhou was selected from 1,702 student scientists and engineers competing in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Pittsburgh, PA. for his project, "Low-cost Heteronanostructure Semiconductor Uses Visible Light Energy to Efficiently Degrade Toxins Threatening Aquatic Life." By receiving the EPA's Hurd Sustainability Award, Zhou will participate in the National Sustainable Design Expo in 2016.

The award funds the student winner and a chaperone to participate in and display the student's project at the EPA's National Sustainable Design Expo.

More information about EPA's participation in the Intel ISEF:

More information about the Intel ISEF: http://www.societyforscience.org/ISEF/