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EPA Awards Grant to Marshall University Student Team for Innovative Technology Project

Dec 18, 2020

PHILADELPHIA (Dec. 18, 2020) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded a grant of up to $25,000 to Marshall University, Huntington, West Virginia, through its People, Prosperity and the Planet (P3) program. The funding is part of approximately $800,000 awarded to 32 student teams nationally to develop and demonstrate projects that help address environmental and public health challenges.

“As EPA celebrates its 50th anniversary, this month, we are highlighting ways the agency supports the next generation of environmental leaders,” said Jennifer Orme-Zavaleta, EPA’s Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator for Science and EPA Science Advisor. “The P3 program helps foster environmental education among students to support the next generation of scientists and engineers working to tackle some of today’s most pressing environmental issues.”

“I’m very excited that Dr. Sukjoon Na and Dr. Sungmin Youn have been selected for an EPA ‘People, Prosperity and the Planet’ award,” said Dr. Isaac Wait, chair of the Department of Civil Engineering at Marshall.  “This is a highly competitive grant program, and Dr. Na and Dr. Youn had their proposal selected while competing against other teams from across the country. That they were successful is an important external confirmation of the quality of their proposal and the promise of the research they have planned.  The funds provided by EPA will support the involvement of a multidisciplinary student team, including undergraduate and graduate students from the Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Computer Science programs.”

This year’s winners are addressing a variety of research topics including efforts to reduce microplastics waste and food waste, creating innovative and solar-driven nanomaterials, building a stand-alone water treatment system that can provide potable water for indoor use in single family homes, and removing PFAS (polyfluoroalkyl substances) from water using liquid extractions. These teams are also eligible to compete for a Phase II grant of up to $100,000 to further implement their design in a real-world setting.

Phase I grantees from the EPA Mid-Atlantic Region include student teams from the following universities:

  • Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pa. 
    • VOC Sensors for ppb-Level Detection and Speciation
  • Marshall University, Huntington, W.Va. 
    • Nanoclay Reinforced Recycled HDPE to Replace PVC and PE Water Pipe Materials
  • Temple University, Philadelphia, Pa. 
    • Biochar Filter for Philadelphia Water Pb Removal
  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech), Blacksburg, Va. 
    • Rare Earth Elements Recovery Using Food Waste

To learn more about the P3 Phase I winners, visit: https://cfpub.epa.gov/ncer_abstracts/index.cfm/fuseaction/recipients.display/rfa_id/655/records_per_page/ALL

Background:

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The P3 program is a two-phase research grants program that challenges students to research, develop and design innovative projects addressing environmental and public health challenges. Phase I serves as a “proof of concept,” where teams are awarded a $25,000 grant to develop their idea and showcase their research in the spring at EPA’s National Student Design Expo. These teams are then eligible to compete for a Phase II grant of up to $100,000 to implement their design.

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

To learn more about EPA’s 50th anniversary, visit: https://www.epa.gov/50

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