Two UCF CECE student teams were selected for the 15th Annual P3 Award (Phase I): A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

One project is entitled “A Biopolymer-based Simple Lead Check in Tap Water”. This project aims to detect trace levels of lead in water sources in situ and on-time, while utilizing one of the most abundant natural polymers, chitosan, as opposed to established fabrications using mercury. It is intended to be a sensitive and rapid design optimized to prevent consumption of lead in drinking water, noted as primarily contaminated through plumbing materials. Dr. Woo Hyoung Lee, P.E. (CECE) will direct the project as a PI. Dr. Hyoung Jin Cho (Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering) and Dr. Jae-Hoon Hwang (CECE) are co-PIs of the project. An interdisciplinary student team consists of three undergraduate students: Kelsey Rodriguez Doran (CECE), John Bal (MAE), and Rebekah Davis (Biology).

(Left to right) Dr. Woo Hyoung Lee, P.E. (PI), Dr. Jae-Hoon Hwang (co-PI), and Kelsey Rodriguez (Student Team Leader)

The project entitled “OSMOsis-Driven ReclAmation of Water (OSMODRAW)” will investigate an integrated approach to treat an impaired quality water, urban runoff while utilizing another impaired quality water, brackish water desalination concentrate using a novel polyelectrolyte-zero valent iron nanoparticle (nZVI) functionalized forward osmosis (FO) membrane. Dr. Anwar Sadmani, P.Eng. (CECE) will direct the project as the PI. The student team comprises undergraduate and graduate students with backgrounds from Environmental Engineering, Biology, and Psychology: Angel Villarruel-Moore (CECE, Team Leader) Johnci Tanelus (CECE), Susanna Smith (Biology and Psychology), Kunal Olimattel (Graduate student, CECE).

(Left to right) Dr. Anwar Sadmani, P.Eng. (PI), Angel Villarruel-Moore (Student Team Leader), and Kunal Olimattel (Graduate Student)

The selected UCF teams will bring the design to the P3 National Sustainable Design Expo in Spring, 2019 (

The P3 competition highlights the use of scientific principle in creating innovative projects focused on sustainability. The P3 Award program was developed to foster progress toward sustainability by achieving the mutual goals of improved quality of life, economic prosperity and protection of the planet – people, prosperity, and the planet. More details about the P3 Program can be found on the P3 website ( ).