Dartmouth Engineering Students Awarded Almost $15,000 in EPA’s Sustainable Technology Competition

December 17, 2012

Dartmouth engineering students Joseph Anthony and Theodore Sumers—both B.E. candidates— are among the 45 college teams awarded grants by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for phase I of its People, Prosperity and the Planet (P3) annual student design competition. Each grant, totaling up to $15,000 per team, is applied toward designing and developing sustainable technologies to help protect people’s health and the environment while promoting economic development.

The Dartmouth team project—called “Small-Scale Hydropower Generation And Distribution System For Rural Electrification”—states two main goals: “1) implement a hydropower system in Rugote, Rwanda that transmits power to the village center; and 2) establish a battery box-based distribution model, in partnership with community members, that generates a profit that is invested back into the system.”

The project is an extension of Dartmouth Humanitarian Engineering’s (DHE) ongoing effort to implement pico-scale hydropower systems in rural Rwanda. DHE has already successfully installed two small (less than 1 kW) hydropower sites there and have identified a third site at Rugote where they plan to scale their system up to generate 3-5kW of power and install a transmission system that will bring electricity to the heart of the village.

DHE in Rwanda Part One: An Introduction

DHE in Rwanda Part Two: Technology Explained

About the Competition

EPA’s annual P3 competition begins by awarding grants to student teams to develop and design their proposed technologies. The proposals highlight the team’s technology and its potential for improving quality of life, promoting economic development, and protecting the planet.

“This year’s P3 teams are made up of emerging environmental leaders who are part of the future of environmental and public health protection,” said Lek Kadeli, principal deputy assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Research and Development. “These P3 grants encourage the growth of small businesses focused on developing innovative technologies to combat environmental issues.”

After eight months of work on their projects, the teams bring their designs to Washington, D.C., to participate in EPA’s National Sustainable Design Expo. During the event, a panel of scientific experts judges the projects. Winners receive a P3 award and recommendation for a second phase grant of up to $90,000 to further develop their designs and prepare them for the marketplace.

The 9th Annual National Sustainable Design Expo featuring EPA’s P3 competition is scheduled for April 20-21, 2013, on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The expo is open to the public and will display the 2012 P3 teams’ designs.