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News Releases from Region 08

Students from Montana State, North Dakota State, and Utah State University receive EPA grants for innovative technology projects

Contact Information: 
Richard Mylott (

DENVER-  Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded student teams from Montana State University, North Dakota State University, and Utah State University $15,000 each to develop innovative technologies to solve current environmental and public health challenges. These projects are among $463,000 EPA is providing to 31 Phase I student teams from colleges across the country through the People, Prosperity, and the Planet (P3) grants program.

“This year’s P3 teams are applying their classroom learning to create innovative and practical technologies,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “This next generation of scientists has demonstrated a commitment to designing sustainable solutions that will help protect public health and the environment and ensure America continues to lead the world in innovation and science for decades to come.”

Funding for the P3 competition is divided into two phases. Teams selected for Phase I awards receive grants of up to $15,000 to fund the proof of concept for their projects, which are then showcased at the National Sustainable Design Expo. The 2018 Expo is scheduled to be held at the USA Science and Engineering Festival in Washington, DC, April 7-8. Phase I teams are eligible to compete for Phase II awards of up to $75,000 to further develop and implement their designs. 

Student teams and projects awarded in EPA Region 8 include:

Montana State University

Project: An Evaluation of Energy and Indoor Air Quality Performance of On-Campus Buildings

Contact: Jaya Mukhopadhyay,, 406-994-6439

North Dakota State University

Project: A Novel Dual Purpose Solar Collector Design

Contact: Yao Yu,, 701-231-8822

Utah State University

Project: Sustainable Remediation of Petroleum Wastewater

Contact: Charles Miller,, 435-797-2593

These students, who represent the future workforce in diverse scientific and engineering fields, are following in the footsteps of previous P3 teams. Some of these teams have gone on to start businesses based on ideas and products developed through their P3 project. For example, Sunn began as a team of students from Cornell University that won a P3 award in 2012 to design and test a Fiber Optic Hybrid Lighting system. Sunn now creates energy-efficient LED light fixtures and apps that mimic outdoor light, inside. In 2007, a P3 team from Drexel University developed a Bubble Column Reactor which used fatty acids gathered from grease-trap waste at wastewater management plants to create biodiesel. This technology formed the foundation for Environmental Fuel Research, LLC.

Projects from this year’s P3 teams include innovative ideas like harnessing solar power to disinfect drinking water and using beetles as a way to degrade Styrofoam waste.

To learn more about the projects of the 2017 Phase I winners, visit:

For more information on the P3 Program, visit: