2011 Ford C3 Winners

Carnegie Mellon University: PURIFLUME

Students at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) used C3 funding to create and install a mobile urban water re-use system. This system employs a series of holding cisterns, utilizing slow sand filtration, and integrating UV Sterilization technologies to demonstrate the conversion of light sewage water into a potable water source.

Mounted on a mobile platform and designed as a playful water feature for children, this prototype urban water filtration system is still being used to help educate public officials and the public about the value of these systems in supporting overall urban water sustainability policy.

Read: CMU students design eco-friendly water feature

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  • Carnegie Mellon University was a 2011 winner of the Ford College Community Challenge.

  • Carnegie Mellon students developed the PURIFLUME, a mobile, water re-use system that demonstrates how light sewage water can be converted into a potable water source.

  • The PURIFLUME is designed to be playful and interactive, with a goal of informing the public and local government about urban water sustainability.

Georgia Institute of Technology: Green Phoenix

Students from used the Ford C3 award to build an energy-independent urban farm in an area of Downtown Atlanta that had been designated as an urban "Food Desert." This farm produces fresh food for inner-city residents and also cultivates "food fiber fuel" (biomass) to be used as a renewable energy producer and an economic development engine for the community.

The project goal is to create the nation’s first net-zero energy use urban farm. The community partner is the Truly Living Well Center for Natural Urban Agriculture, and the farm site is located across the street from the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church where Dr. Martin Luther King once preached.

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  • Georgia Institute of Technology was a 2011 winner of the Ford College Community Challenge.

Kettering University: Application of Rainwater Collection and Irrigation for Urban Farming

Kettering University students teamed up with a former partner, Harvesting Earth Educational Farm (a 2010 Ford C3 project), to provide the non-profit's greenhouse with an irrigation solution using solar energy, rain collection, and ground/well water.

The project utilized natural resources in a sustainable way and also provided hands-on learning for students in a very public, urban agricultural project in downtown Flint. The successful application of sustainable water strategies has great potential for replication in cities around the world struggling with the issues of fresh food and water shortages.

Read: $50,000 from Ford C3

Read: Kettering University Meets Sustainability Challenge, Awarded Ford Fund Grant

  • As an extension of their 2010 winning proposal, Kettering once again partnered with the Harvesting Earth Educational Farm to implement an irrigation system in their Flint greenhouse.

  • The irrigation system utilized solar energy, rain collection and ground/well water, providing a sustainable and replicable solution for implementing an agricultural project in an urban setting.

Michigan Technological University: Sustainable Transportation Partnership

Michigan Technological University students worked to develop and implement a sustainable bus transit action plan for the Houghton and Hancock metro area. This project brought Michigan Tech Enterprise students together with the cities of Houghton and Hancock, and the Western Upper Peninsula Planning & Development Region (WUPPDR) office to critically analyze the current transit system operations. The data collection was used to develop a Transit Sustainability Model (TSM) to characterize the economic, social, and environmental sustainability components of the local transit systems.

The plan also included a promotional strategy to reintroduce area residents to the transit system and increase ridership. Specific GPS and other wireless communication technologies were designed, built, and utilized to help better inform riders. Finally, the transit model was used to analyze the effects of using alternative fuels for the buses, including the possibility of electrification of the bus fleet.

Read: Ford College Grant Helps Spark Ideas for Sustainable Transportation feature

Read: Ford and Michigan Tech Team Up to Imagine a Better Bus System

  • Along with developing a sustainable bus transit action plan, the students also developed a promotions plan to reintroduce residents to the transit system and to increase ridership.

  • Along with developing a sustainable bus transit action plan, the students also developed a promotions plan to reintroduce residents to the transit system and to increase ridership.


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