ANSI - American National Standards Institute
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Student Design Competition Highlights People, Prosperity and the Planet

Standards community support requested for sustainable design contest

New York, Feb 18, 2004

A partnership project between the U.S. standards community and public-sector interests combines a global focus on sustainability with the standards community’s interest in reaching out to institutions of higher learning. Launched by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in conjunction with more than 30 partners, the “P3 Award” is a national student design competition that will provide grants to teams of college students to research, develop and design sustainable solutions to environmental challenges.

“The ‘P3 Award’ competition highlights people, prosperity, and the planet – the three pillars of sustainability – as the next step beyond ‘P2’ or ‘pollution prevention’,” explains Dr. Julie Zimmerman of the EPA Office of Research and Development. Dr. Mary McKiel, EPA standards executive and vice-chairman of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) continues, “The P3 program brings together public and private sector partners to respond to the scientific and technical needs of the developed and developing world in moving toward sustainability.”

The competition was launched in January 2004 and is open to teams of undergraduate and/or graduate students attending U.S. colleges, universities and other post-secondary educational institutions. Teams submit design proposals that will progress sustainability by achieving the mutual goals of economic prosperity, protection of the natural systems of the planet, and providing a higher quality of life for its people.

As a P3 partner, ANSI will be developing an online "Standards Resource Guide" for use by the student design teams.

“By providing standards-related information and resources to these student teams and their faculty advisors, we are defining a ‘real-world’ relationship between design, standards and conformity assessment,” explained Dr. William E. Kelly, professor of civil engineering at The Catholic University of America and chairman of the ANSI committee on education.

“This project is the perfect tie-in to Goal 11 of the U.S. National Standards Strategy,” added Dr. Kelly. “and I will be asking members of the standards community – particularly the ANSI-accredited standards developers – for their commitment of support to providing the resources these student teams need to effectively complete their research and design projects.”

Challenges from a wide range of categories will be considered. These include:

  • agriculture (irrigation practices, storage and handling of food products, etc.);
  • built environment (green buildings; transportation and mobility; smart growth, etc.);
  • ecosystem (protection of ecosystem health; protection of biodiversity, etc.);
  • materials and chemicals (materials conservation; inherently benign materials and chemicals through green engineering, green chemistry, biotechnology; recovery and reuse of materials through product, process, or system design; renewable, bio-based feedstocks, etc.);
  • energy (energy production; energy distribution; energy conservation; inherently benign energy through green chemistry, green engineering, biotechnology, etc.);
  • resources (delivery of and access to educational, medical, information, etc.);
  • water (water quality, quantity, conservation, availability, and access, etc.).

Challenges related to population growth and medical care, while important, are not included in this competition (other than the delivery or distribution systems of knowledge, goods, and supplies).

Up to 50 awards will be made for a maximum of $10,000 per team in the autumn of 2004. The money will be used for research and development of the team’s sustainable design during the academic year.

P3 Award winners may apply for additional funds from EPA, who will match contributions from partner organizations to help further develop the design, implement the project in the field, and move to the marketplace.

In spring 2005, all teams will be invited to bring their designs to Washington, D.C. to compete for the P3 Award. The National Academy of Engineering will convene a panel of judges for the competition.

Application procedures and materials can be found at