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Two college teams from Illinois win EPA awards to develop innovative technology


U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced last night that student teams from Loyola University of Chicago and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign are among six teams nationwide to win its annual People, Prosperity and the Planet (P3) competition.

Loyola University students will build a laboratory to produce biodiesel from their cafeteria’s vegetable oil waste, and the University of Illinois students will create a sustainable water development program for rural Nigeria.

The national competition, sponsored by EPA’s Office of Research and Development, encourages college students to create sustainable solutions to environmental problems through technological innovation. These sustainable solutions must be environmentally friendly, efficiently use natural resources and be economically competitive. Each P3 award winner receives funding up to $75,000 to further develop their designs and implement them in the field or move them to the marketplace.

Honorable mention teams from EPA Region 5 are: Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, to help design a sustainable water supply and distribution system for Pignon, Haiti; Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wis., to design a sustainable water supply for La Garrucha, Guatemala; and Ohio University-Main Campus, Athens, Ohio, for a project to improve public awareness of chemical exposure through a 3-D online environmental education game.

The P3 Award competition was held at EPA’s 4th Annual National Sustainable Design Expo on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., April 20-22. The Expo showcases innovative, cutting-edge technologies designed by the P3 teams along with sustainable policies and technologies developed and implemented by government and state agencies and nonprofit organizations.

Support for the competition includes more than 40 partners in the federal government, industry and scientific and professional societies. This year’s Expo was co-sponsored by The Cloud Institute for Sustainability Education and The World Environment Center.

Video and photos of the P3 winners, exhibits and teams at the Expo: P3 award winners and their projects: More information about the P3 Award competition: EPA’s sustainability research program:


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