An official website of the United States government.

This is not the current EPA website. To navigate to the current EPA website, please go to This website is historical material reflecting the EPA website as it existed on January 19, 2021. This website is no longer updated and links to external websites and some internal pages may not work. More information »

News Releases

News Releases from Region 05

EPA Awards $25,000 Grant to University of Cincinnati Students for Innovative Technology Project

Contact Information: 
Francisco Arcaute (
312-886-7613, 312-898-2042 cell

For Immediate Release No. 20-OPA-007

CINCINNATI--(February 20, 2020) - Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a $24,952 grant to fund a University of Cincinnati student team’s development of a sustainable design to address an important environmental or public health challenge. The team is one of 18 undergraduate or graduate student teams across the nation to receive up to $25,000 through EPA’s People, Prosperity, and the Planet (P3) Student Design Competition Program.

“The innovative ideas that these P3 teams are bringing out of the classroom and into the real world will help solve some of our nation’s most pressing environmental challenges,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “From creating a simple at-home test for consumers to detect lead in tap water to designing a system to remove toxic chemicals from landfill gas, the fresh thinking behind these projects will result in tangible products that will help Americans for generations to come.”

The goal of the University of Cincinnati team’s project, “Practical PFAS Treatment with Sawdust,” is to develop sustainable biomass-based materials to remove PFAS from drinking water or wastewater. 

"EPA is pleased to help the University of Cincinnati student team and their professor launch this ambitious effort to develop an approach to treat PFAS in water,” said EPA Region 5 Administrator Kurt Thiede. “We are eager to see their finished product.”   

“We thank EPA for supporting our research,” said University of Cincinnati Professor Dr. Maobing Tu who advises the student team. “PFAS is a serious threat to our health and environment, and we must find ways of removing it from our daily lives.”

All of the teams will showcase their projects at EPA’s National Student Design Expo on June 29-30 at the TechConnect World Innovation Conference in National Harbor, Md. Following the Expo, the P3 teams may compete for Phase II awards of up to $100,000 to further implement their designs.

To learn more about the 2019 Phase I winners, visit:

For more information on the P3 Program, visit: