Engineering Students Compete for a $75,000 EPA Grant

A team of Manhattan College engineering students will travel to Washington, D.C., in one week to compete for a $75,000 grant from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Manhattan College’s team hopes to win this grant with their proposal for sustainable concrete.

The EPA’s program is called P3 and stands for people, prosperity and the planet with the goal of designing solutions for a sustainable future.

According to the competition’s website, P3 offers students a, “quality hands-on experience that brings their classroom learning to life.”

Umar Miah, civil engineer major, said that he began exploring the possibilities for this research project in the fall 2015 semester.

“At first, I was skeptical about my potential to have an impact on such a research so I started off slow,” Miah said.

Miah was introduced to this opportunity by Goli Nossoni, Ph.D who also recruited Feksi Basha and Daniel Hussey, two other MC students.

“I began shadowing my partner, Feksi, as he introduced me to the research, its objectives and how we were going about accomplishing them.”

Miah said that he started to contribute to the research log after he familiarized himself with the team’s goals.

The group, led by Nossoni, proposed the use of, “hazardous byproduct of mining industry as a corrosion inhibitor.”

Miah said that Nossoni helped with every step of the research and application process.

“Dr. Nossoni has provided just about everything for the project from the methods by which we gather data to how we should go about moving forward with the project,” Miah said.

“[Nossoni] is an incredible leader with much knowledge and experience in the lab.”

According to the proposal, this concrete aims to, “improve the health and welfare of people, especially in the three states of Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma.”

Miah said the beginning of the process involved finding a source for the hazardous waste byproduct and correctly combining the byproduct with the concrete.

The team then tested the corrosion rate of steel reinforcements with the new concrete mixture.

According to the proposal, this new material, “has the potential to result in corrosion resistant infrastructure that can save up to $5.2 billion annually in the cost of maintaining our ageing infrastructure.”

The team applied for the first phase of the P3 grant and was recently awarded $15,000 to continue research for phase two of the process.

Miah and his colleagues will travel to Washington, D.C., to present their idea to professionals with the goal of being awarded the top prize of $75,000, which will help them move their product to the marketplace.

Hussey is a graduate student who helped with the initial research for the project and said that he is most excited to present his team’s work to professional in the industry.

“It means a lot to be part of a project that in working to provide an environmentally friendly solution to real problems,” Hussey said.