Jump to main content or area navigation.

Contact Us

Extramural Research - People, Prosperity and the Planet


Important Links
P3 Research Project Search
Enter Search Term:

Advanced Search


Sustainability Designs Will Help People, Prosperity and the Planet

Washington, D.C. – E. Timothy Oppelt, Acting Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Research and Development, today announced the winners of EPA’s first Annual P3 Awards – People, Prosperity, and the Planet. Seven student teams from Oberlin College, Rochester Institute of Technology, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, University of Colorado at Denver, University of California-Berkeley, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and University of Michigan were honored Monday evening at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C., for their innovative designs for a sustainable tomorrow. Out of a group of 65 teams composed of more than 400 university students and advisors, these seven teams were chosen for the creativity and utility of their sustainability designs.

"The originality and breadth of these projects demonstrates the high degree of innovation and environmental interest that exists on college campuses today,” said Oppelt. “These young students represent the scientific leadership of tomorrow.”

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.

Support for the competition includes more than 40 partners in the federal government, industry and scientific and professional societies.

The P3 Award Competition was held on May 16 and continues today on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. To win, a team had to successfully describe how their project related to P3: People, prosperity and the planet – the cornerstones of sustainability. The teams also needed to prove the relevance, significance, and impact of its designs on furthering the goal of sustainability in the developed or developing world. A panel convened by the National Academy of Sciences, advisors to the nation on science, engineering and medicine, judged the competition.

More information about the P3 Awards and competition can be found on the Internet at www.epa.gov/P3. Additional information about the EPA’s sustainability research program can be found at: www.epa.gov/sustainability.

The P3 Awards were presented to the following university teams:

Award Winners and Honorable Mentions

Oberlin College – Oberlin, OH
Visual Feedback System for Improving the Environmental Performance of Buildings and Institutions

Researchers designed and tested a relatively low-cost system that enables easy observation and interpretation of total energy and water consumption for individual dormitory floors or an entire college campus. View Project Abstract

Rochester Institute of Technology – Rochester, NY
Development of a Low Cost, Multifunctional Solar Oven for Developing Countries in Latin America

The objective of this study is to design and develop a series of solar ovens that can be mass-produced at low cost using the capital, labor and materials that are typically available in Latin American nations. The widespread adoption of such ovens can also reduce wood consumption in these nations, alleviating the deforestation and soil erosion that arise from the overharvesting of this resource. Finally, by designing such ovens from locally available materials using local labor and capital, a positive economic impact is made in the community. View Project Abstract

University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill – Chapel Hill, NC
Analyzing Three, Sustainable, Drinking Water Treatment Technologies for Developing Nations

This research project is determining and comparing the costs, health and economic benefits, and performance effectiveness of three drinking-water treatment technologies intended for the developing world. The project is measuring the effectiveness of these three technologies for improving water quality and is comparing the cost-effectiveness of the three systems. View Project Abstract

University of Colorado at Denver – Denver, CO
Sustainable Energy Systems Design for a Tribal Village in India

The objective of this P3 project is to sustainably meet the energy needs of Trishul, a tribal village in Maharashtra, India, by using locally available materials, integrating different renewable energy systems, and designing environmentally benign, and locally appropriate, energy-storage options. The energy technologies designed through this effort (i.e., small wind turbines, anaerobic digesters, solar cookers, and efficient stoves) will be applicable to developing communities that lack electrical services. View Project Abstract

University of California-Berkeley – Berkeley, CA
Using Ultraviolet Light to Disinfect Drinking Water at the Tap or Neighborhood Well

P3 students are helping to disinfect drinking water at the point of use—the household tap or neighborhood well. This project is testing two designs in the field using ultraviolet tubes. The researchers are performing monthly biological tests; conducting user preference, health, and willingness to pay surveys; and collecting user feedback on the designs. View Project Abstract

Massachusetts Institute of Technology – Cambridge, MA
Encouraging Toxic Use Reduction in Academic Laboratories

P3 researchers are developing a management model for research labs that allows them to select less toxic and less polluting green chemical alternatives using the purchasing process. The system will inventory types and volumes of chemicals used by labs and link to alternative green chemical databases. The system will also promote strategies for use, identify barriers to adopting these alternatives, and will be used in MIT’s student training modules. View Project Abstract

University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, MI
AWARE@Home: Profitably Integrating Environmental Conservation Into the American Home

This P3 project developed an information gathering and reporting tool that will allow households to monitor their own resource consumption patterns in real time and on-demand, and to measure the costs and impacts of specific energy conservation actions. Given the existence of metering technology in the homes already, researchers focused on developing very inexpensive electronics and wireless technology to bring this metering information to a personal computer in real time. Real-time costs and environmental impacts are delivered to allow conservation actions taken at any point in time to be instantly reflected in dollars saved and emissions reduced. View Project Abstract

EPA relies on quality science as the basis for sound policy and decision-making. EPA’s laboratories and research centers, and EPA's research grantees, are building the scientific foundation needed to support the Agency’s mission to safeguard human health and the environment.

Jump to main content.