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News Releases from Region 06

Univ. of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State awarded EPA grants for innovative technology projects

Schools are among 31 nationwide receiving more than $463,000 in funding

03/22/2018
Contact Information: 
Jennah Durant or Joe Hubbard (R6Press@epa.gov)
214 665-2200

DALLAS – (March 22, 2018) Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced student teams from the University of Oklahoma (OU) and Oklahoma State University (OSU) are among those receiving over $463,000 in Phase I grants the People, Prosperity, and the Planet (P3) grants program. Thirty-one teams of college students from across the country are developing sustainable technologies to solve current environmental and public health challenges.

“Oklahoma’s flagship universities have well-earned reputations as leaders in science and applied research,” said Regional Administrator Anne Idsal. “EPA is proud to recognize and support these teams with P3 grants as they carry on this tradition of excellence.”

The OU project involves developing a prototype well to capture geothermal energy underground, which could result in more efficient recovery of this clean-burning energy source. The OSU project aims to develop a low-cost way to enhance efficiency of wastewater treatment plants by controlling amounts of aeration during the treatment process. The projects will receive $15,000 each.

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. 

Grantees include student teams from the following universities:

  • Case Western Reserve University – Cleveland, Ohio
  • Cornell University – Ithaca, N.Y.
  • Georgia Technology Research Corporation – Atlanta, Ga.
  • Kansas State University – Manhattan, Kan.
  • Kennesaw State University – Kennesaw, Ga.
  • Loyola University of Chicago – Chicago, Ill.
  • Mercer University – Macon, Ga.
  • Michigan Technological University – Houghton, Mich.
  • Montana State University, Bozeman – Bozeman, Mont.
  • North Dakota State University – Fargo, N.D.
  • Oklahoma State University – Stillwater, Okla.
  • Old Dominion University Research Foundation – Norfolk, Va.
  • Purdue University – West Lafayette, Ind.
  • The Sage Colleges – Albany, N.Y.
  • University of Alabama – Tuscaloosa, Ala.
  • University of California, Davis – Davis, Calif.
  • University of California, Riverside – Riverside, Calif.
  • University of Central Florida – Orlando, Fla.
  • University of Delaware – Newark, Del. 
  • University of Kentucky – Lexington, Ky.
  • University of Maryland, Baltimore County – Baltimore, Md.
  • University of Massachusetts, Lowell – Lowell, Mass.
  • University of Miami – Coral Gables, Fla.
  • University of Michigan, Ann Arbor – Ann Arbor, Mich.
  • University of Oklahoma – Norman, Okla.
  • University of Southern California – Los Angeles, Calif.
  • University of Texas at Arlington – Arlington, Texas
  • University of Washington – Seattle, Wash.
  • Utah State University – Logan, Utah
  • Wayne State University – Detroit, Mich.

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: https://www.epa.gov/P3/20172018-p3-grant-recipients 

For more information on the P3 Program, visit: http://www.epa.gov/P3

For more about EPA’s work in Oklahoma: https://www.epa.gov/ok

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Activities in EPA Region 6: http://www.epa.gov/aboutepa/region6.htm 

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