The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded a $100,000 research grant to New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) to further develop their innovative ideas to solve environmental challenges.
The award is part of EPA’s People, Prosperity, and the Planet (P3) Program, which encourages interdisciplinary collaborations across STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) disciplines to devise innovative solutions to environmental and public health challenges in the U.S., including those in small, rural, tribal and/or underserved communities.
NJIT students received the award for their research project, which aims to reduce contaminants and provide safe drinking water by developing an innovative microwave-assisted membrane filtration system to enhance the removal of per- and poly fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) from water.
PFAS are toxic substances that can persist in the environment and have been linked to various health issues, including cancer and immune system dysfunction.
The P3 program is a unique competition that offers teams of college and university students hands-on experience that brings their classroom learning to life, while also encouraging them to create tangible changes in their communities. This annual, two-phased research grants program challenges students to research, develop, and design innovative projects that address real world challenges involving all areas of environmental protection and public health.
Today’s awardees have already been awarded a one-year grant of up to $25,000 for Phase I, which served as a “proof of concept,” to develop their idea. These five teams successfully competed for a Phase II grant of up to $100,000 to implement their design in a real-world setting.
“Congratulations to our winning teams on their creative and innovative solutions to address some of our most urgent environmental problems,” said Chris Frey, Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Research and Development. “Their work is inspiring, and I look forward to seeing the final results of these projects.”
The P3 program highlights the use of scientific principles in creating innovative technology-based projects that achieve the mutual goals of improved quality of life, economic prosperity and environmental protection. It encourages students to take a holistic approach, grounded in research and innovation, to develop and demonstrate solutions to real world challenges.
The NJIT research project aligns with EPA’s mission to protect human health and the environment. By providing safe drinking water and reducing contaminants, it will help to improve the quality of life for people in communities across the country. The project also has the potential to create economic opportunities by developing a new technology that can be applied to various industries.
Overall, the P3 program is a valuable initiative that provides students with an opportunity to gain practical experience while addressing urgent environmental challenges. By supporting research and innovation, the program helps to create a healthier, more sustainable future for all.
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