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Drexel Students among Environmental Protection Agencys P3 Award Winners

April 28, 2008

Drexel Students among Environmental  Protection Agency’s P3 Award Winners
Drexel University students are among the winners of the Environmental Protection Agency’s People, Prosperity and the Planet (P3) competition. The annual competition plants the seeds for future technologies that are both environmentally-friendly and profitable.

The winners were announced following the P3 Award competition held at EPA’s 4th Annual National Sustainable Design Expo on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., April 20-22. The Expo showcased innovative, cutting-edge technologies designed by the P3 teams along with sustainable policies and technologies developed and implemented by government and state agencies and nonprofit organizations. The Drexel team presented a method of producing biodiesel from high free-fatty-acid oils. Team members include: Richard Cairncross, associate professor of chemical and biological engineering; Nicholas Cernansky, professor of mechanical engineering and mechanics; chemical engineering students Chad Cavan, David Cochran, Lisa Leone, Jared Lucchesi, Cory Melick, Joshua Okpalanne, Matthew Shustack, Timothy Wilson and Minhazuddin (Roman) Mohammed; and mechanical engineering students Africa Ruiz, Michael Serina, Joshua Temple, Nicholas Vena and Brittany Wilson.

This national competition, sponsored by EPA's Office of Research and Development, encourages college students to create sustainable solutions to environmental problems through technological innovation. These sustainable solutions must be environmentally friendly, efficiently use natural resources and be economically competitive. Each P3 award winner receives funding up to $75,000 to further develop their designs and implement them in the field or move them to the marketplace.

“EPA’s National Sustainable Design Expo and People, Prosperity and the Planet competition provide a window into tomorrow,” said Dr. George Gray, assistant administrator for the Office of Research and Development. “These innovative student teams not only show technologies for a greener future, but demonstrate the passion and innovative thinking that will lead us there.”

The winners of this year’s awards include students from Loyola University of Chicago, University of California-Berkeley, University of California-Davis, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of Iowa.

Support for the competition includes more than 40 partners in the federal government, industry and scientific and professional societies. This year’s Expo was co-sponsored by The Cloud Institute for Sustainability Education and The World Environment Center. ###

News Media Contacts: Niki Gianakaris, Drexel News Bureau 215-895-6741, 215-778-7752 (cell) or

Suzanne Ackerman, Environmental Protection Agency, 202-564-4355 or

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