We’re in! USEPA’s P3 Student Design Competition for Sustainability

It has gone from disbelief to a feeling of being overwhelmed to a sure spike in excitement as the fall semester is up and running and our official “award” document is now in hand. We made it! We’ve made it through Phase I of the P3: People, Prosperity and the Planet Student Design Competition for Sustainability for the year 2015.

It started off with a simple conversation with Susan Limberg on her idea of working on researching “pervious concrete filters” for her Honors thesis work and possibly building something along these lines for her senior Capstone project, and her yearning to want to do something to improve water sustainability in under developed and developing areas of the world. I heard her words, saw the light in her eyes, and with everything I think I know about Susan, knew that this would be the right research project to submit a P3 proposal for.

Since this submission requires a faculty PI, I was happy to write the proposal, and got started right away. We used some content from Susan’s summer research on pervious concrete with Dr. Ed Schmeckpeper, whose support and encouragement is a HUGE reason, why everything worked as well as it did. With Dr. Wendy Fuller willing to support the “social” aspects of our sustainability mission and Dr. Najiba Benabes willing to come aboard as our “economics” advisor, a first draft of the proposal was ready.

Dr. Karen Andresen and Dr. Dave Westerman asked the most thoughtful and pertinent questions as always, which helped make the proposal that much stronger.  After many other requests for collaboration and permissions and such and amidst all the craziness of classes, exams, and grading, the draft was finalized.

I’m hoping many of our Norwich students regardless of majors and years will join in and help us get to Phase 2. In any case, the campus should be hearing a number of conversations on sustainability and we will reaching out to a whole bunch of K-12 kiddos in the area as well as girl scout troupes with the message of water sustainability, so stay tuned for more on this.

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