Clarkson University to Host NYS Pollution Prevention Institute Competition on Earth Day

Clarkson University will host the fifth annual New York State Pollution Prevention Institute (NYSP2I) R&D Student Competition on Earth Day, Friday, April 22. The free event will take place between 9 a.m. and noon at Clarkson’s Student Center and the public is welcome to attend.

As part of its Research and Development Program, NYSP2I challenged teams of full-time students enrolled at any institute of higher education in New York State to identify a specific activity at their university or in their community with a large environmental footprint. Teams of graduate or undergraduate students were then required to design innovative solutions to reduce its impact,

This year’s competition marks the first time that the event will be held on Clarkson’s campus. It is being sponsored by the University’s Institute for a Sustainable Environment (ISE).

Students this year are offering their expertise and creative ideas to reduce food waste in grocery stores and develop smart homes to reduce energy consumption. Their solutions are as diverse as Rensselaer’s use of UV LED lights to reduce mold growth in produce, to the Clarkson team’s communication strategies to provide energy use feedback to motivate conservation.

“We can all look forward to meeting these students and learning about their innovative design solutions to real-world environmental challenges. In past years, the quality and creativity of student projects has been exemplary,” said Spence Professor in Sustainable Environmental Systems Susan E. Powers, interim director of Clarkson’s Institute for a Sustainable Environment.

In all, 12 student teams from seven schools — Clarkson University, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Syracuse University, SUNY Stony Brook, Vassar College and the SUNY Buffalo — will display their projects and compete for prizes at the Earth Day competition. The teams received up to $1,250 for project materials when their project proposals were accepted into the student competition, last fall.

The New York State Pollution Prevention Institute is a partnership between the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Rochester Institute of Technology and the university’s Golisano Institute for Sustainability, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the State University of New York at Buffalo, and Clarkson University, with a statewide reach. NYSP2I also works with the state’s 10 Regional Technology Development Centers to help disseminate data and strategy.

NYSP2I’s goal is to make the state more sustainable for workers, the public, the environment and the economy through pollution prevention. Pollution prevention is reducing or eliminating waste at the source by modifying production processes, promoting the use of non-toxic or less-toxic substances, implementing conservation techniques, and reusing materials rather than putting them into the waste stream. Visit to learn more about NYSP2I.

Clarkson University educates the leaders of the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as an owner, CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. With its main campus located in Potsdam, New York, and additional graduate program and research facilities in the Capital Region and Beacon, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university with signature areas of academic excellence and research directed toward the world’s pressing issues. Through more than 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, education, sciences and the health professions, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo and connect discovery and innovation with enterprise.