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EPA Awards Almost $45,000 to New England Student Teams for Sustainable Technology

Release Date: 12/12/2012
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1017

(Boston, Mass. – Dec. 12, 2012) – College teams at Dartmouth College, University of Massachusetts-Lowell and the College of the Atlantic were among 45 college teams nationwide to win approximately $15,000 each from EPA through a student design competition that promotes the design of sustainable technologies to help protect the public health and the environment while also promoting economic development.

Teams at the three schools among the teams that won a total of $675,000 nationwide in EPA’s 2012 “People, Prosperity and the Planet” (P3) annual student design competition.

“These teams include students who will be the environmental leaders of tomorrow,” said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office. “They represent the future of environmental and public health protection. These grants will help promote small businesses focused on developing innovative technologies to tackle environmental issues.”

The projects that received funding in New England were as follows:

• A team at the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth in Hanover, N.H. was awarded the funds for a project designing a small hydropower generation and distribution system that would bring electricity to rural areas of Rwanda while allowing villagers to generate a profit that can be invested back into the system.

• A team at College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, Maine, designed a process to pre-treat food waste for enhanced fermentation to produce liquid fuel and biogas, as well as recover agricultural nutrients that are currently lost during landfill or incineration.

• A team at the University of Massachusetts – Lowell is designing, synthesizing and characterizing a new class of non-toxic, renewable surfactants that are an environmentally-friendly alternative to non-ionic surfactants that are currently being used. Surfactants, also known as wetting agents, are found in many everyday items, including soap.

Other projects included: a design to harvest fog to provide clean water and reduced pollution in underdeveloped communities; a prototype system to improve building energy performance through enhancing heat transmission and solar heat gain; and a module that can improve the efficiency of solar energy collectors.

The annual P3 competition begins by awarding grants to student teams to develop and design their proposed technologies. The proposals highlight the team’s technology and its potential for improving quality of life, promoting economic development, and protecting the planet.

After eight months of work on their projects, the teams bring their designs to Washington, D.C. to participate in EPA’s National Sustainable Design Expo. During the event, a panel of scientific experts judges the projects. Winners receive a P3 award and recommendation for a second phase grant of up to $90,000 to further develop their designs and prepare them for the marketplace.

The 9th Annual National Sustainable Design Expo featuring EPA’s P3 competition is scheduled for April 20-21, 2013, on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.  The expo is open to the public and will display the 2012 P3 teams’ designs. 

More information:

- P3 2012 recipients:

- Past P3 winners: ;

- P3 Expo (April, 2013):

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