|ESE students awarded EPA sustainable technologies grant|
|November 20, 2011|
A student team from the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health's Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering is among those at 45 schools nationwide to receive a $15,000 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to help design sustainable technologies.
Team members are recipients of the EPA's People, Prosperity and the Planet Phase I grants, which challenge students, working together on interdisciplinary teams, to design and build sustainable technologies that improve quality of life, promote economic development and protect the environment.
Those involved in the project are graduate students Alyson Malone and Abhinav Komandur (preceptors), KC Friedman and Johnny Kim, and undergraduates Kelly Mitchell, Tucker Witsil, Emily Bailey, Syem Barakzai, Michael Clear, Mehrin Islam, Niranjani Radhakrishnan, Kathleen Rothwell, Erin Schaberg, Hannah Leker, Prianca Reddi and Hunter Motte.
Team members are developing and implementing a point-of-use disinfectant for drinking water that is cheap, non-toxic and effective in reducing waterborne illness in developing nations. They will bring their designs to the 8th Annual National Sustainable Design Expo on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., around Earth Day 2012. The projects will be judged, and teams will be selected for Phase II grants up to $90,000, which would allow students to improve their designs, implement them in the field or move them to the marketplace.
"I am very gratified and excited that this project has been funded because it is truly a student-led effort," said Mark Sobsey, PhD, Kenan Distinguished Professor of environmental sciences and engineering and the team's adviser. "Although some of the students who started this work have graduated and moved on, there is a legacy of enthusiasm, energy and keen interest in those students now taking the project forward. They are enthusiastic and dedicated and are making great progress in the lab."
"The uniqueness of this project lies in its potential applicability," Komandur said. "If our theory translates to practice, an important gap in the provision of safe drinking water to the poor could be filled, and a great many lives around the world could be saved."
The only other student team from North Carolina is from Appalachian State University. That team is developing an artificial wetland suitable for recycling graywater from small businesses for immediate use.
More information on the P3 Phase 1 grant awards is available online. Students interested in applying for Phase 1 grants for the 2012-2013 academic year may apply through Dec. 22.
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UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health contact: Ramona DuBose, director of communications, (919) 966-7467 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Last updated November 20, 2011|