CU-Boulder Students Challenged to Develop Environmental Solutions in $30,000 Scholarship Competition

Published: Oct. 7, 2009

Engineering juniors and seniors at the University of Colorado at Boulder have the chance to win $30,000 in scholarship awards as part of a yearlong design competition aimed at generating possible solutions to the world's energy and environmental challenges.

The second annual "Environmental Footprint Reduction Challenge" is sponsored by the Halliburton Foundation, which awarded a total of $38,000 in awards to 16 students at the conclusion of the first contest in May.

Students will again work in teams of three to four to propose solutions to the challenge of meeting the world's future energy demands while maintaining the smallest environmental footprint possible.

Student teams will work with technical consultants from Halliburton to identify the most critical needs as energy companies pursue the more difficult to access "unconventional reserves," such as oil shale, coal bed methane and tight gas sands. The Halliburton Foundation also has provided $5,000 for supplies and other support.

"It is exciting for us to see the creative minds of future energy industry employees at work," said Halliburton Northern Region Cementing Manager Jeff Coburn. "One of Halliburton's primary objectives is continuous improvement in environmental responsibility. We look forward to the results of this contest."

Angela Bielefeldt, associate professor of environmental engineering, is one of several faculty advisers working with students on the challenge.

"The Environmental Engineering Program has a new 'energy option' for our students, and this gives the students a great idea of the real-world challenges facing environmental engineers who work with the energy sectors," Bielefeldt said. "Considering environmental impacts in the broadest sense of air, water and soil pollution and sustainability from the environmental, economic and social perspectives really illustrates the complexity of these situations to students in a much more tangible way than simple homework problems or class lectures. "