Monday, December 14, 2009

Tech Awards 2009 – The Intel Environment Award Laureates

DSC03177 tech award trophy

In my November 20th post I promised I would tell you about the Tech Awards Laureates. Travel and a very bad cold that kept my head in a fog prevented me from making good on my promise until now.

The Tech Awards were granted in five categories: environment, economic development, education, equality, and health. Each of the Tech Award Laureates received a beautiful trophy: a crystal globe on a silicon ingot and one winner in each category received a $50,000 cash award from the sponsors.

Today I will tell you about the winners of the Intel Environment Award.

Cows to Kilowatts

DSC03213 Dr Joseph Adelegan - Cows to Kilowatts

The top award in this category went to Dr. Joseph Adelegan’s ingenious Cows to Kilowatts project in Nigeria. Adelegan deviced a means to transform slaughterhouse wastewater into energy ranging from electricity to cooking gas.

Not only does the project prevent air pollution and diseases borne by untreated wastewaters, the technology uses a zero-emissions method to produce organic fertilizer and clean-burning methane for low-income farmers and families.

LeafView: An Electronic Field Guide

DSC03188 Dr Sean M White - LeafView

Dr. Sean White enthusiastically demonstrated the LeafView gadget that can take a picture of any leaf and then automatically identify it by using computer vision algorithms and its extensive electronic field guide database. White developed the human-to-computer interface together with Columbia University, University of Maryland, and Smithsonian Institution.

The tool then records the leaf and its contextual data, like GPS coordinates, to the living record of the world’s plants. Botanists are in a hurry to populate this database because the world is loosing species faster than it can record them.

White hopes to recruit more volunteers so that he can complete development of the iPhone application. The ubiquitous availability of this tool can contribute to the world’s digital herbaria more accurately and exponentially faster than ever before.

GRUPEDSAC: Ecotechniques Toolkits for Self-Sufficiency

DSC03189 Lilly Wolfensberger

I had the great pleasure of meeting Lilly Wolfensberger who accepted the award for GRUPEDSAC, the organization in Mexico who dispenses eco-friendly toolkits to rural families who live below the poverty line. The toolkits include, cisterns for collecting rain water, prickly pear natural paint and waterproofing resin, a solar dehydrator, a solar water heater, a wood-saving stove, a wind/solar generator, a rope pump, an electricity-generator bicycle, and a solar oven. The recipients of these toolkits also receive training and guidance to ensure that the communities can become self-sufficient while preserving the environment.

I hope to tell you about the other laureates as soon as possible.


Pretty Zesty said...

SO interesting and wonderful! I wish MORE people were like THESE people!!

rochambeau said...

This is fascinating. Thank you for featuring these important winners!!!
We all can win because of there research.
Glad you are feeling better!

melissashook said...

Thank you for this post...

Yoli said...

I am happy you are feeling better. This post is breathtaking to me! I love all that it represents. The globe trophy is lovely. 50,000.00 will be well spent in the winner's hands.

Relyn Lawson said...

Cows to kilowatts is genius. Just amazing. I love it when people use their great minds, their influence, their skills, to create great good in the world.

Dutchbaby said...

Dear Kris,
I wish the same thing! These winners are so inspiring.

Dear rochambeau,
The impact that these few ingenious people have is immense. Thank you, Constance, for cheering me along my road to recovery.

Dear melissashook,
My pleasure!

Dear Yoli,
Thank you for your well wishes. I hope to tell you about more of these $50,000 winners in the next few weeks.

Dear Relyn,
I agree, total genius! I hope that the slaughterhouse managers in the US learn from Dr. Adelegan.

Ruth said...

I find Copenhagen so depressing, that I took their hopeful logo off my sidebar. Bleh. But these are completely inspiring, all three. This is the kind of news I need, real people doing real things that really help real people, especially those below the poverty line who always bear the brunt of the worst of bad environmental policies and practices.

I'm glad you are feeling better, but take it easy, ok?

Joie Moring said...

The gifted few putting their minds in balance with their hearts are incredible examples of what is good in the world...and making it a better place. Thank you for this post and reminder.

A Cuban In London said...

This is one of those inspiring posts that convinces me that when there's a will there's a way. Many thanks and I hope you feel better now.

Greetings from London.

Dutchbaby said...

Dear Ruth,
It's a shame that our leaders don't have the political will or clout to make long-term decisions. I'm curious to see just how watered down the Copenhagen conference will be at the end of it all.

These winners were so inspiring and I look forward to writing about the others. So many of these solutions are so simple and intuitive, it makes you wonder why it wasn't done before.

Dear Joie Moring,
Well put! I always walk away with a spring in my step at the end of these award ceremonies.

Dear Cuban,
So true! Passion overcomes many obstacles. Thank you, I'm feeling close to 100% now.

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