Odebrecht Award for Sustainable Development Announces 2014 Finalists

Following two months of screening and deliberation, a decision has been reached for the finalists of the 2014 Odebrecht Award for Sustainable Development. The Odebrecht Award for Sustainable Development was launched in the United States in 2012 to encourage students nationwide to join the Odebrecht Organization in the search for innovative technologies and methods to promote sustainable and responsible development.

This year’s top three entries include, in alphabetical order:

“A GPS-Enabled Three-Bike Rack to Connect Communities in the Developed and Developing World”
Authors: Brian Barr, Kivani Sanchez, Max Hasbrouck
Advising Professor: Matthew Wettergreen
Rice University

“Production of Gasoline from Municipal Solid Waste by Carboxylate Fermentation”
Authors: Jeremy Seidel, Samarpita Roy, Victoria Ehlinger
Advising Professor:  Mark Holtzapple
Texas A&M University

“Sprayable Solar Panel as Sustainable Low Cost and Disaster Relief Energy Source”
Authors: James Caraballo, Sami Awad Azrak, Yonatan Rotenberg
Advising Professor: Bilal El-Zahab
Florida International University

The award ceremony, to take place at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia on September 23rd, will award $40,000* to be split amongst the winning students, their advising professor, and their university. Second place will be awarded $15,000*, while third place will receive $10,000*.

The winners will also receive a piece of sustainability of their own: a trophy produced with Braskem’s green plastic, which is made from sugarcane and 100% recyclable.

Finalists were determined by two separate groups: an Internal Committee Review composed of Odebrecht USA and Braskem America team members, and an External Judge Panel consisting of eight experts from several sustainability fields. Projects were judged based on their applicability, technical contribution, content, reasoning and depth, and clarity and presentation.

This year’s award ceremony keynote speaker will be Andrew Winston, founder of Winston Eco-Strategies, author of Green Recovery and co-author of Green to Gold, the international best-selling guide to what works, and what doesn't, when companies go green.

This is the third edition of the Odebrecht Award in the United States. The 2014 winners will join 2013’s “Using Trap Grease as the Raw Material for Biodiesel Feedstock Production” idea presented by a team from the University of Cincinnati. Second place went to the University of California Berkeley, followed by Florida International University.

It is worth noting that both Florida International University and Rice University have participated and won previous editions of the program. To read more about past winners and their ideas, visit www.odebrechtaward.com.

* All numbers herein are before taxation in accordance with state and federal law