WASHINGTON -- The National Academy of Engineering (NAE) announced today the winners of the 2007 Grainger Challenge Prize for Sustainability. The contest sought innovative solutions for removing arsenic from drinking water that is slowly poisoning tens of millions of people in developing countries. Three prizes will be awarded from a field of more than 70 entries.
The prize winners are recognized for the development, in-field verification, and dissemination of effective techniques for reducing arsenic levels in water. The systems must be affordable, reliable, easy to maintain, socially acceptable, and environmentally friendly. All of the winning systems meet or exceed the local government guidelines for arsenic removal and require no electricity.
The prizes will be presented at a gala dinner in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 20, 2007.
ABUL HUSSAM, an associate professor in the department of chemistry and biochemistry at George Mason University, Fairfax, Va., will receive the Grainger Challenge Gold Award of $1 million for his SONO filter, a household water treatment system.
ARUP K. SENGUPTA, JOHN E. GREENLEAF, LEE M. BLANEY, OWEN E. BOYD, ARUN K. DEB, and the nonprofit organization WATER FOR PEOPLE will share the Grainger Challenge Silver Award of $200,000 for their community water treatment system. SenGupta is P.C. Rossin Senior Professor and a professor of chemical engineering and of civil and environmental engineering at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa. Boyd is chief executive officer of SolmeteX Co. in Northborough, Mass. Deb is a retired vice president of Roy F. Weston Inc. (now Weston Solutions Inc.) in West Chester, Pa. Greenleaf is a Ph.D. candidate in civil and environmental engineering, and Blaney recently earned a bachelor's degree in environmental engineering; they performed laboratory research under SenGupta at Lehigh University.