The Charles A. and Anne Morrow Lindbergh Foundation has awarded grants for two University of Colorado at Boulder engineering projects exploring technological solutions to environmental challenges.
One of the grants was awarded to John Zhai, an assistant professor in the Building Systems Program, and the other was awarded to environmental engineering professors Angela Bielefeldt and Scott Summers. The Lindbergh Foundation awarded 14 grants this year from a pool of 150 applications.
Zhai will evaluate ancient building technologies for clues to reducing energy costs in modern buildings. He plans to conduct a qualitative study of typical passive traditional building characteristics and technologies in various climates around the world and to use computer modeling to quantify the potential energy savings for each.
Zhai will compare the results to energy use in modern buildings and develop a computerized conceptual building design tool focused on passive building technologies.
Bielefeldt and Summers with use their grant to evaluate the effectiveness and lifespan of Filtrón home water filters, which employ a colloidal silver coating for improved pathogen control. Such simple, low-cost methods of removing disease-causing microorganisms from water are critically needed in the developing world, yet their effectiveness and lifespan is unknown.
Bielefeldt and Summers will determine the filter's lifespan and effectiveness, and hope to make recommendations enabling the removal of a wider range of contaminants.
The Lindbergh Foundation grants are awarded in amounts up to $10,580, a symbolic amount representing the cost of building Charles Lindbergh's plane, the Spirit of St. Louis, in 1927. To date, the foundation has awarded more than $2.7 million to 284 researchers.