Five graduate student teams reach finals in Sustainability Innovation Challenge

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Five teams of graduate students have been selected as finalists in the Dow Chemical-sponsored Sustainability Innovation Student Challenge Award (SISCA) at Penn State. The program recognizes and rewards students for innovation and research of sustainable solutions to the world's most pressing social, economic and environmental problems.

The five finalist teams are:

-- “Building a Sustainable Material Information Model for Manufacturing Systems,” by Qais Hatim, Soundar Kumara and Christopher Saldan

-- “Comparison of the Potential Environmental Impacts of Phytosanitary Treatment of Wooden Pallets,” by Shirin Shahidi and Charles Ray

-- “Green Towers: Consumer Aquaponics Systems,” by Mike Zaengle, Dustin Betz, Jared Yarnall-Schane, Jon Gumble, Mike Ghen, Ken Palamara and Mark Ganon

-- “Li/S Batteries: Converting Environmentally Hazardous Industrial Byproduct Sulfur to High Performance Energy Storage Devices,” by Md Mahbubul Islam and Adri van Duin

-- “Sustainable Desalination and Water Recycling using Chemical Micropumps in Membrane Systems,” by Abhishek Kar, Rajarshi Guha, Hasin Feroz and Yuxi Meng

These teams were chosen as finalists based on criteria that included a proposal that clearly articulated a new and innovative concept; demonstrates balance of social, economic and environmental success; and has the potential for significant societal benefits and sustainability impact.

“The entries this year represent a diverse and compelling set of strategies to address serious sustainability challenges.”
-- Tom Richard, director of the Penn State Institutes of Energy and the Environment

“The entries this year represent a diverse and compelling set of strategies to address serious sustainability challenges,” said Tom Richard, director of the Penn State Institutes of Energy and the Environment and a judge for the challenge. “These students and their advisers should be commended for the exciting innovations they have proposed.”

Each team will receive a $1,000 stipend toward the development of a final entry. A panel, made up of Penn State faculty and a Dow representative, will review the final entries Nov. 26 to determine the two winning teams, to be announced at an awards presentation at University Park in December.

The grand prize is $10,000 and a runner-up is awarded $2,500. As SISCA winners, these students will have the opportunity to network with global sustainability thought-leaders and peers, join a network of SISCA alumni and showcase their work with various external sustainability media.

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Last Updated October 11, 2013