The 2008 Royal Award for Sustainable Technology Transfer, protected by HRH Crown Prince Felipe of Spain and HRH Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark, was awarded last week to Colorado State University’s Engines and Energy Conversion Laboratory. The honor was bestowed at COPENMIND, an exhibiton and conference dedicated to research, innovation, and technology through university/industry partnerhsips, .
In 2002, students at the Laboratory entered a cleaner-burning 2–stroke snowmobile engine into a contest sponsored by the Society of Automotive Engineers. The snowmobile engines, intended for use in Yellowstone National Park, won the prize and led laboratory director and professor Bryan Wilson to helping his graduate students and CSU’s College of Business form the non-profit Envirofit to commercialize the idea.
Envirofit was founded in 2003 and helped bring to market a retrofit kit for 2–stroke engines in the Philippines and and other developing nations. The ubiquitous 2–stroke engine in these countries are an enormous contributor to air pollution and health problems. According to an article in Discover magazine, one 2–stroke engine produces the same pollution as 30 to 50 4–stroke engines.
Envirofit and the Engines and Energy Conversion Lab was just getting started.
Cookstoves and algae
Fellow TriplePundit writer Ashwin Seshagiri wrote an excellent article last July about Envirofit’s project to bring clean burning biomass cookstoves to India.
Another project recognized in the award was from CSU mechanical and chemical engineers developing technology that converts algae to oil-based biofuel. Wilson was also instrumental in forming Solix Biofuels, based in Boulder, Colorado, helping bring technology to market.
The Royal Award for Sustainable Technology Transfer goes to universities that successfully demonstrate technology transfer improving “operational in transferring technology that improves operation performance, productivity, or efficiency while reducing costs, the use of natural resources, and waste production.
What that means is people in San Fernando can breath easier, Indian villagers have a clean and sustainable way of cooking food for their families, and a new fuel gets all of us closer to a new energy economy.
Says director Wilson:
“We believe in a proactive approach to technology transfer; an approach to ensure the maximum benefit to society is achieved. We are honored to receive the Royal Award for Sustainable Technology Transfer here at COPENMIND”
An honor well deserved.
Note: For anyone in Fort Collins or nearby, a series of Climate Change lectures begins on September 11th at 7PM