Awards & contests

2015 R&D 100 Awards entries now open

The editors of R&D Magazine have announced the opening of the 2015 R&D 100 Awards entry process.

The R&D 100 Awards have a 50 plus year history of awarding the 100 most technologically significant products of the year. Past winners have included sophisticated testing equipment, innovative new materials, chemistry breakthroughs, biomedical products, consumer items, high-energy physics and more. The R&D 100 Awards span industry, academia and government-sponsored research.

This year we have made the entry form shorter and simpler from the last year’s already overhauled version. That means less questions and more time to enter your products.

Download/Register Entry Form

What products qualify?
Any new technical product or process that was first available for purchase or licensing between January 1, 2014, and December 31, 2014, is eligible for the 2015 awards. This includes manufacturing processes such as machining, open source software, new types of materials or chemicals and consumer-level products such as cameras. Proof-of-concepts and early-stage prototypes don’t quality, however; the submitted entry must be in working, marketable condition.

Early bird deadline
Early bird deadline for the R&D 100 Awards is January 16, 2015. Don’t miss this opportunity to get editor’s feedback early on your entry.

For more information on the 2015 R&D 100 Award entry process, please visit

Any questions: Please feel free to contact Lindsay Hock, Managing Editor, at

Submit an entry for the Best of Green Schools 2014

The end of the year is almost here, and the Center for Green Schools is excited to recognize the “Best of Green Schools” 2014 leaders: people, schools, campuses and organizations making a big difference in their communities.

If you know of significant strides made toward creating more sustainable schools in 2014, we want to hear from you! You can submit for yourself and nominate others.

Submit your nomination.

The deadline for submissions is Saturday, Nov. 22.

This year’s categories include:

  • K-12 School or District
  • Higher Ed Institution
  • Policy Maker (person)
  • Ambassador (person)
  • Community Event
  • Collaboration
  • Student Leadership
  • Business Leadership
  • Transformation
  • Moment for the Movement

Recipients will be announced in mid-December. Learn more and view last year’s recipients.

2014 GreenGov Presidential Award Winners

The GreenGov Presidential Awards celebrate extraordinary achievement in the pursuit of President Obama’s Executive Order on Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy and Economic Performance. They honor Federal civilian and military personnel, agency teams, agency projects and facilities, and agency programs that exemplify President Obama’s charge to lead by example towards a clean energy economy. The 2014 winners are listed below. See the Awards web site for winners from previous years.

2014 GreenGov Presidential Award Winners

Award Category: Building the Future Award

Project Name: Naval District Washington Comprehensive Energy Program
Agency: Department of Defense, U.S. Navy
Team Name: Naval District Washington 

In fiscal year 2013, the Department of Defense, Naval District Washington, developed a comprehensive energy and water management program that has reduced energy intensity by 25 percent relative to the 2003 baseline, reduced water intensity by 13 percent relative to the 2007 baseline, and completed 99 percent of Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) meter installation.  In addition, by employing state-of-the-art technologies such as geothermal energy and micro-wind turbines, LED lighting, and cellulose insulation, the Washington Navy Yard Visitor Center was recently certified as a net zero building.  Naval District Washington is also providing proof-of-concept for cyber-secure smart grid capabilities that have been deployed in concert with advanced metering, to allow operators to collect real-time consumption data down to the individual building level and use that information to improve building performance in real time.

Award Category: Climate Champion Award

Winner’s Name: William D. Goran
Agency: Department of Defense, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Engineer Research and Development Center

Bill Goran is universally recognized as a pioneer in helping agencies integrate consideration of the impacts and risks of climate change into their planning processes.  Mr. Goran’s work dates back to 2007 when he had the foresight to propose a technical focus area on climate change within the Center for the Advancement of Sustainability Innovations at the Engineer Research and Development Center.  In 2007 in an effort now considered ahead of its time, he co-founded with NASA the Interagency Forum on Climate Change Impacts and Adaptations that continues to provide a forum for the Federal community to discuss and share technical information and best practices related to impacts of climate change on Federal agencies resources and mission.  Mr. Goran has contributed to a number of efforts including development and implementation of climate change adaptation and response plans for organizations such as the Army Institute for Water Resources.  The effectiveness of Bill Goran’s leadership in the Interagency Forum and his success in ensuring incorporation of climate change consideration into Army climate change adaptation planning are a testament to his leadership and commitment.

Award Category: Green Dream Team Award

Project Name: DOT/DOE Federal Energy Management Program Strategic Sustainability Partnership
Agency: Department of Transportation and Department of Energy
Team Name: DOT/DOE Strategic Sustainability Partnership

In 2013, the Department of Transportation and the Department of Energy’s Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) formally agreed to create a strategic sustainability partnership.  The relationship worked for both parties; DOT received strategic assistance on sustainability and energy efforts and FEMP was able to refine its program for providing energy and sustainability assistance across the Federal community.  The partnership focused on three priority areas: 1) Energy Audits and Efficiency Improvements; 2) Vehicle Fleet Sustainability; and 3) Sustainable Buildings. Results help FEMP develop and test a new ‘desk audit’ tool which resulted in $1M in government savings and helped the Federal Aviation Administration increase facility evaluation nearly fourfold.  With FEMP assistance, DOT reduced total fuel consumption by 5 percent and increased alternative fuel consumption by 20 percent.  The partnership also allowed design of proposed airport control towers to be more energy and water efficient.  The success of this relationship is clearly a model for similar efforts across the Federal family.

Award Category: Green Innovation Award

Project Name: NIH Substances of Concern Reduction Initiative
Agency: Department of Health & Human Services, National Institutes of Health, Division of Environmental Protection
Team Name: NIH Division of Environmental Protection

Initially, the National Institutes of Health, Division of Environmental Protection established the Substances of Concern Reduction Initiative to help inform purchasing decisions for products used in its own facilities.  The initiative focused on increased emphasis on toxicity reduction and health aspects of products and services used in the Federal government and was designed to complement current Federal purchasing criteria by including consideration of direct human exposure.  The program resulted in a technology solution to inform a procurement of possible health, safety, security, and environmental impacts that may occur from general and specific uses.  The criteria in the Substances of Concern Reduction Initiative will provide examples and opportunities to improve purchasing decisions in other Federal agencies and promote healthcare cost avoidance.

Award Category: Lean, Clean, and Green Award

Project Name: Camp Lemonnier Energy Generation Reconfiguration Savings
Agency: Department of Defense, U.S. Navy
Facility Name: Camp Lemonnier

Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti, is the only U.S. military base in Africa.  It is located in an extremely challenging climatic environment and Camp power is provided solely by diesel generators on base.  The Camp Public Works Department recognized that opportunities for efficiency and improvements would support the Camp mission and they focused on improvements in machine efficiency and upgrades, operation of the base’s generators, power plants, air conditioning units, chilled water stations and water fountains, and reuse of water infrastructure. As a result, in fiscal year 2013, energy intensity was reduced by 13.5 percent relative to the 2003 baseline, and over 15 percent from 2012. The Camp successfully reduced actual energy consumption by 9 percent from 2012, resulting in a $2 million cost avoidance.  Through it sustainable water initiative, the Camp also achieved a 7 percent reduction in water intensity relative to 2012 and has eliminated the need for bottled water stations and an associated 10 million plastic water bottles annually.  Camp Lemonnier is on track to continue these improvements and looks forward to deploying other sustainable practices in the future.

Award Category: Sustainability Hero Award (TWO AWARDEES)

Winner’s Name: Joel B. Walker
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration

As Director of Center Operations for the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, Joel Walker has promoted a sustainability culture that permeates the entire organization.  Mr. Walker has developed and implemented a multifaceted sustainability management approach that has focused on areas of energy and water reduction, green purchasing, reducing the generation of hazardous waste and increased diversion from landfilling of waste through recycling initiatives.  For example, under his direction, Johnson Space Center has constructed 7 certified green buildings which use 100 percent green power and average 35-40 percent reductions in energy and water consumption of comparable facilities.  Under his leadership, Johnson Space Center has reduced potable water use by 15 percent annually or over 60 million gallons per year since 2009 and over the past two years composted over 85,000 pounds of food waste.  Clearly Mr. Walker’s leadership has set the standard for sustainability.

Winner’s Name: Anibal Negron-Rodriguez
Agency: Department of Defense, U.S. Army

As Chief of the Environmental Division of the Directorate of Public Works at Fort Buchanan in Puerto Rico, Anibal Negron-Rodriguez led the development of the Fort Buchanan Sustainability and Environmental Management System to ensure that Fort Buchanan has the best opportunity to become a Net Zero Energy and Net Zero Water Installation.  The combination of eight Environmental Management Action Plan, working groups, Energy Savings Performance Contracts (ESPCs) and education and outreach efforts, among others, have led to a long list of results including the installation of 3 wind turbines, 11 solar array sites totaling 5.4 megawatts, 11 rainwater harvesting systems collecting 14 million gallons per year, as well as the establishment of a cooking oil recycling program for seven facilities.  Mr. Negron-Rodriguez complements his sustainability achievements with education and outreach efforts for both the soldiers of Fort Buchanan and citizens of Puerto Rico, including students whom he ensures are aware of their role in making the island of Puerto Rico sustainable.

Nigerian recycling initiative proves it’s not all about hi-tech solutions

Read the full story in the Guardian.

In the spirit of focusing on what can be done, Sustainia Award, chaired by Arnold Schwarzenegger, tonight celebrated 10 leading sustainability solutions deployed in 84 countries. From food, fashion, energy, transportation, education and health, the awards showcased an alternative to the grim future scenarios we are so often presented with and made sustainability tangible to the innovators, investors, consumers and policy makers across sectors and regions.

Collegiate Wind Competition

The U.S. Department of Energy Collegiate Wind Competition challenges teams of undergraduate students to design a wind turbine based on market research, develop a business plan to market the product, build and test the turbine against set requirements, and demonstrate knowledge of current and emerging issues facing the wind industry. The Collegiate Wind Competition contests are designed to engage students from a variety of engineering, business, communications, and social science programs in a complex task with no single solution, providing real-world experience as they prepare to enter the workforce. Learn more about the competition from our video, Shaping Tomorrow’s Wind Energy Leaders.

The 2016 Competition theme is to design, construct, and develop a plan to market a wind-driven power system, which includes an off-grid load supplied by the wind-driven power generator. The load must meet the following requirements:

  • Represent useful work in an off-grid environment
  • Be transportable to the Competition
  • Pass a clean and safe test in the Competition environment
  • Provide a visual indication of the power generated by the wind-driven power system.

The Competition consists of three multi-faceted elements. The technical element requires teams to design and build a unique wind-driven power system, develop and present the technical designs to a panel of judges, and test the wind system against pre-determined criteria in an on-site wind tunnel. The second element of the Competition is the creation and presentation of a market research-supported business plan used to develop the team’s technical product into a marketable wind power system. This plan is presented formally to a panel of judges and informally pitched to a public audience. The final element of the Competition aims to familiarize students with the siting, permitting, and planning process associated with deployment of wind power systems by requiring students to identify a project site for their power system, develop a plan to install their system informed by siting constraints and expected challenges at that location, and present their well-researched deployment strategy.

View the 2016 Collegiate Wind Competition Request for Proposal.


EPA funds student bioenergy projects under P3 program

Read the full story in Biomass Magazine.

The U.S. EPA recently awarded funding to 42 student teams to pursue projects that deliver sustainable, alternative approaches to address environmental problems as part of its People, Prosperity and Plant (P3) program. Several of selected teams’ projects focus on bioenergy. Each team is eligible to receive up to $15,000.

Ag Water Management Network Honored for Innovation

Read the full story from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture has honored UNL’s Nebraska Agriculture Water Management Network with a Partnership Award for its groundbreaking water-management work and contributions in advancing agricultural science.