LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sustainability and renewable energy projects developed by students at Los Angeles’ Otis College of Art & Design and the University of California, Riverside claimed the top awards at Metropolitan Water District’s third annual ECO Innovators Showcase competition.
The contest was part of Metropolitan’s 8th annual Spring Green Expo, an educational event showcasing more than 60 exhibits of sustainable products and initiatives by college students, businesses and public agencies Thursday (April 30) at Metropolitan’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters building. The competition attracted projects from 13 universities and community colleges throughout Southern California in individual and team categories.
“In dealing with the four-year statewide drought, Metropolitan is focused on how to best manage our resources today,” said General Manager Jeffrey Kightlinger. “We, however, also are deeply invested in future technologies that will help us sustain our natural resources for generations to come.
“Today’s ECO Innovators Showcase provided a glimpse at some of the technologies that may someday allow us to extend and manage our limited resources,” he said.
Jasmin Druffner’s Otis College of Art & Design project—featuring a moveable garden bed that can be used indoors and outdoors—captured the top individual award. Made of water resistant redwood with drainage holes for ease of watering plants, Druffner’s Garden on Wheels makes an edible garden a possibility for anyone, even those who do not have a backyard or enough space for a big planter on their balcony.
First place in the team category went to a three-student team from UC Riverside whose project showcased a device that can make small off-road engines environmentally and occupationally safer.
The “NOx-Out” device—developed by students Anna Almario, Priyanka Singh and Alyssa Yan—employs Selective Catalytic Reduction technology to convert pollutant chemicals from engine emissions into nitrogen and water, while a mesh filter and an absorption muffler reduce particulate matter and noise pollution by 10 decibels.
Second and third place honors in the individual category both went to students from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena and the Newschool of Architecture and Design in San Diego, respectively. Second place in the team category was won by students from Fullerton College, followed by another team of students from UC Riverside.
In addition to the school teams earning the top awards, other universities and colleges participating in the ECO Innovators Showcase competition included California State Polytechnic University, Pomona; California State Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo; California State University, Fullerton; California State University, Long Beach; University of California, Riverside; University of California, San Diego; University of Southern California; and Chapman University.
The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is a cooperative of 26 cities and water agencies serving nearly 19 million people in six counties. The district imports water from the Colorado River and Northern California to supplement local supplies, and helps its members to develop increased water conservation, recycling, storage and other resource-management programs.