The Dow Sustainability Innovation Student Challenge has awarded £18,500 to four outstanding Cambridge students for their efforts to address urgent global problems.
One of those four is PhD candidate Robert Pott, from this department, who works on bacteria which generate hydrogen from the waste products of biodiesel manufacture. This could have huge implications for clean energy. If the means to produce the energy of the future rests in the hands of today's producers, the shift to sustainable fuel could be just around the corner.
Robert said, "Sustainability has been close to my heart since I was young; my father worked as an environmentalist, and we would spend most weekends in the wilderness he worked to protect. I hoped that I would also be able to contribute towards protecting our world. With Dow so generously awarding my project I believe that I can."
He and the other winners, Alison Banwell and Marcos Pelenur, will receive £6,000 ($10,000) each through the award, which is administered by the University of Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership (CPSL). Alexandra Pearson, an MPhil student, receives £500 as runner-up.
Developed alongside Dow Chemical Company's 2015 Sustainability Goals, the Student Challenge rewards innovative research and celebrates the energy, commitment and enthusiasm of those working on today's most pressing social, economic and environmental problems. This year, the scheme attracted 80 applications from 15 different schools and departments - highlighting the range of outstanding research taking place across Cambridge.
Neil Hawkins, Dow's Vice President of Sustainability and Environment, Health and Safety, said, "This programme helps foster creativity and inspires a spirit of collaboration between industry and universities, while helping to address important world challenges."