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News & Events

04-13-2005

Clarkson Environmental Design Team Wins First Place At National Competition

[A photograph for newspaper use is available at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/werc2005.jpg]

A team of Clarkson University students took home top awards at the 15th Annual Environmental Design Contest held April 3-7 on the campus of New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, N.M. The Clarkson University Remediation Engineering (CURE) team won first place and $2,500 for the economical process they developed to sequester carbon dioxide from coal-fired power plant flue gas. The team was also the co-recipient of the USDA Award given to student teams that exhibit excellent team performance.

The annual competition, sponsored by WERC: A Consortium for Environmental Education and Technology Development, challenges student teams to provide solutions to environmental problems that have been submitted by private industry and government agencies. Clarkson was one of 33 teams participating in this year’s events. werc2005

“In order for a team to be successful at the competition it must be well-rounded,” said team advisor Stefan Grimberg, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering. “Scientific, environmental, labor, health, safety and economic considerations must be addressed. The Clarkson team did a great job incorporating each of these factors into their process design.”

The Clarkson team is composed of graduate student William Guerra of Potsdam, N.Y., and seniors Chase Gerbig of Honeoye Falls, N.Y.; Christopher Kennedy of Pittsford, N.Y.; Brian Malone of Underhill, Vt.; Brian Murray of Victoria, British Columbia; Jordan Winkler of Colchester, Vt.; and Andrew Zamurs of Slingerlands, N.Y.

The CURE team’s process utilizes steel slag from the steel manufacturing industry that can be implemented into an already functioning coal-fired power plant. At the competition, the students demonstrated their solution with a bench-scale model removing carbon dioxide from a synthetic gas stream, and made formal presentations to the judges from government, industry and academia.

“The students did an excellent job devising a solution that uses waste products and produces only value-added products,” added Grimberg. “One hundred percent of the materials to be used are by-products from steel manufacturing and no waste is generated in the process. Instead, the process produces value-added products that could be sold to the cement and pulp and paper industries.”

CURE is one of Clarkson University's SPEED (Student Projects for Engineering Experience and Design) programs, which promote multidisciplinary, project-based learning opportunities. SPEED projects involve more than 250 undergraduates annually in engineering design and analysis, fabrication and the enhancement of professional competencies such as budget management, effective teamwork, and communication skills. The SPEED program is one of the Wallace H. Coulter School of Engineering hallmark initiatives promoting the "Vision of a Clarkson Education" through experiential learning by hands-on application of academic theory to real-world problems.

SPEED receives its primary financial support from Alcoa, Corning, Eastman Kodak, the General Electric Fund, and Procter & Gamble. SPEED was recognized with the 2001 Boeing Outstanding Educator Award and the 2002 Corporate and Foundation Alliance Award for its exceptional contributions to improving undergraduate engineering education.

PHOTO CAPTION: The Clarkson University Remediation Engineering team won first place and $2,500 at the 15th Annual Environmental Design Contest held last week on the campus of New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, N.M. The Clarkson students demonstrated an economical process they developed to sequester carbon dioxide from coal-fired power plant flue gas. Here, Clarkson senior Andrew Zamurs explains the process to competition judges and participants.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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