Extramural Research - People, Prosperity and the Planet
Students Win Grant for Environmental Work in Panama
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In: NewsCenter: Northwestern University News and Information
June 5, 2007
EVANSTON, Ill. --- A team representing the Northwestern University chapter of Engineers for a Sustainable World (ESW) was one of six recipients of the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) third annual P3 Awards.
Representing ESW at the competition were Robert R. McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science undergraduates Ankur Asthana, Liz Hohl, Jennifer Kessler, Eric Lai and Laura MacDonald, as well as Joseph Fitzpatrick, professor of civil and environmental engineering.
The team won the grant after competing at the EPA's National Sustainable Design Expo. There were 42 teams in the competition.
The P3 Award -- which stands for people, prosperity and the planet -- will provide $75,000 for the group to continue their work on solar energy and wastewater treatment in Panama. In the first stage of the competition last June, the group was awarded $10,000 for the research and development of the solar project.
Over the past two years more than 40 students have worked to set up solar panels in Santo Domingo, Panama, a remote cattle-ranching settlement with no electricity in the jungles of Chagres National Park. The community now has a solar-power lit school as well as access to power for rechargeable car batteries used to power electric fences on local cattle ranches.
The ESW organization is dedicated to reducing poverty and improving living conditions in communities in which basic resources of water, energy and sanitation are compromised. Students have contributed through independent projects and design courses offered through the Institute for Design Engineering and Application and ESW-sponsored trips.
The P3 Award was launched in 2004 to respond to the challenges of the developed and developing world in moving toward sustainability. This national competition enables college students to research, develop and design scientific, technical and policy solutions to sustainability challenges. Their designs will help achieve the mutual goals of economic prosperity while providing a higher quality of life and protecting the planet.