Dow student challenge fosters new ideas for sustainable solutions

RP news wires

The Dow Chemical Company is proud to announce the second annual Dow Sustainability Innovation Student Challenge Awards program. Developed in alignment with the company’s sustainability commitments, the Dow Sustainability Innovation Student Challenge recognizes and rewards students and universities for research and innovation to promote sustainable solutions to the world’s most pressing social, economic and environmental problems.

“At Dow, sustainability and innovation are key elements at the very core of our business and we believe it’s essential that we promote and cultivate fresh ideas, innovative thinking and sustainable practices that balance environmental, social and economic decisions,” said Neil Hawkins, Dow’s vice president of sustainability and environment, health & safety. “Not only does this unique award program inspire interdisciplinary collaborations at the universities; more importantly, it supports the development of the next generation of sustainability leaders.”

Dow established the program in 2009 to encourage and recognize forward thinking in social and environmental responsibility, and to acknowledge the energy, commitment and enthusiasm of the students and their professors, sponsors and facilitators who support their efforts of sustainable innovation and excellence.

Dow created partnerships with seven universities – four in the United States and three in other regions of the world – to participate in the first three years of the program. Participating universities in the 2010 program include: The University of California-Berkeley, The University of Cambridge, The University of Michigan, Northwestern University, Peking University, The University of Sao Paolo, and Tufts University.

Winning students at each university receive an award grant in recognition of research that contributes to global sustainability. University winners also will be recognized at an international awards ceremony hosted by Dow later this year.

Students worked on thesis-like projects on a sustainability-related issue of their choice, and were assessed according to their potential for solving significant world challenges, and also their alignment to Dow's 2015 Sustainability Goals. This year's projects featured a diverse range of topics, including:

  • BioLumination: brightening the future with the waste of today
  • Enhancing the efficiency of organic photovoltaic solar cells
  • Optimizing the sustainability of reactive magnesia cement-based porous blocks
  • Developing long-term improvements to drinking water supplies in South America

Winners, who have been recognized at their respective universities, include:

  • Cise Unluer – University of Cambridge in Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • Paul Davis, Colm Fay, Cynthia Koenig, Robert Levine, Jennifer McLaughlin, Christopher Mueller, Prashanth Prasad, and Imogen Taylor – The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Mich.
  • Antoine Aubeneau, Phillip Brunner, and Jonathan Servaites – Northwestern University in Chicago
  • Amanda Beal, Georgia Kayser, Karen Claire Kosinski, and Ellen Tyler –Tufts University in Medford, Mass.

For more information on this initiative or Dow's 2015 Sustainability Goals overall, visit

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