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New York State Pollution Prevention Institute

2015-2016 Competition Results

Six undergraduate and six graduate teams from colleges and universities across New York State received funding and competed in the 5th Annual R&D Student Competition on April 22, 2016 at the Earth Day Event & Student Competition Exhibition held at Clarkson University.

The competition topics this year included Food Waste Reduction & Prevention in Grocery Stores, Community or University Energy challenge, and Smart Home Reduction in Energy Consumption.

Participating schools included: Clarkson University, Syracuse University, University of Buffalo, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, SUNY - Stony Brook University, and Vassar College.

Over $6,000 in cash prizes were awarded this year. Congratulations to the winners, and a big thank you to all the teams that participated!

Winners

Earning the top three graduate-level positions

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Automated Power Conservation and Color Temperature Control
Automated Power Conservation and Color Temperature Control
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Summary

This project seeks to reduce the total power consumption due to lighting in a commercial and residential setting through automated LED lighting intensity and color temperature adjustments. An LED lighting array is controlled by a microcontroller and I2C color sensor to obtain the RGB data needed to adjust both the brightness and temperature of its output to both conserve power and provide better lighting conditions for human activity. 

View Report »
Advisor
Robert Karlicek
Team
RPI Smart Lighting
Hayleigh Sanders and Timothy Castiglia
University of Buffalo
One-Step Facile Strategy to Enhance Membrane Antifouling Properties for Wastewater Reuse
One-Step Facile Strategy to Enhance Membrane Antifouling Properties for Wastewater Reuse
University of Buffalo
Summary

Polymeric membranes have emerged as an attractive technology for wastewater reuse due to their inherently high energy efficiency, small footprint and low cost. However, the membranes are often subjected to fouling by contaminants in the water. Our objective is to develop a facile one-step approach to modify membrane surface using dopamine and sulfobetaine methacrylate for commercial water purification membranes. We have demonstrated that nanometer-thick coating with great hydrophilicity has formed on the membrane surface, which increases the resistance to fouling and thus water permanence. 

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Advisor
N/A
Team
Anti-Fouling Membrane (AFM)
Nima Shahkaramipour, Jennifer Y. Park, and Yi-Chen Tu
Rochester Institute of Technology
Resusable Packaging System with Insulating and Ethylene-Absorbing Abilities as an Effective Tool to Eliminate Food Wastage
Resusable Packaging System with Insulating and Ethylene-Absorbing Abilities as an Effective Tool to Eliminate Food Wastage
Rochester Institute of Technology
Summary

The project focuses on providing a comparative study between the current packaging system and the proposed insulated container with or without zeolites to analyze the shelf life, temperature and relative humidity changes for fresh avocados that sit too long at the loading dock and facing improper temperatures without subjecting it to cold chain protection as they are transported from the farm, processor, and retailer. There is an ample scope for developing a futuristic container with the proper use of zeolites along with the corrugated container based on our research.

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Advisor
N/A
Team
Team Ecological
Niketa Prabhu, Prashant Paul, Tulsi Chhita, and Vignesh Aerogel

Other Participants

Rochester Institute of Technology Graduate Team
Quantifying the Components of the Mass and Energy Balance of a Black Soldier Fly Food Waste Composing System
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Graduate Team
Deep UV LED Technology for Inhibition of Mold Growth in Post-Harvest Produce Presentation
Clarkson University Graduate Team
Improving the Design of Interactive, Real-Time Energy Using Feedback
Syracuse University Graduate Team
Improving Energy Efficiency of Hot Water Supply for a Campus Residence Hall
University of Buffalo Undergraduate Team
Solar Charging Station
Rochester Institute of Technology Undergraduate Team
Alternative Uses for Waste Cooking Oil
Rochester Institute of Technology Undergraduate Team
Antimicrobial/Intelligent Packaging Systems to Fight Food Waste
State University at Stony Brook Undergraduate Team
Constructed Wetlands: Tackling Suffolk County's Wastewater System
Vassar Undergraduate Team
Reimagining Wastewater: Constructing a Closed System Greywater Model for College Campuses

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