University of Tennessee - Knoxville, 2007 - $49,914
Lead batteries store power from environmentally preferable energy sources, but pollution during manufacturing and recycling of the batteries is a major cause of lead poisoning around the world. The rise in electric vehicles, telecommunications equipment, and computers is fueling rapid growth in battery production, with over three-fourths of all lead going into batteries. With the increase in recycling lead batteries comes and increase in small-scale smelting operations that are extremely inefficient, poison workers, pollute the environment, and contribute to high rates of childhood lead poisoning. This team will partner with Occupational Knowledge International (OK International), which has developed the Better Environmental Sustainability Targets (BEST) certification standards for lead battery manufacturers in India. The team will expand the program to Vietnam, developing policy initiatives on battery collection systems and examining how such efforts could be integrated with the goals of the BEST Certification. They will identify successful battery recycling policies and management programs employed in other countries, examine broader impacts of improved lead recycling and production processes in the context of the expanding motorization in Vietnam, and further articulate the case for controlling exposures from battery manufacturing with eco-labeling incentive programs.
University of Tennessee, Knoxville, 2001 - $13,500
The IdentiChem E-Team formed in a course called "Technopreneurial Leadership" taught by Dr. Lee Martin at the University of Tennessee. While researching a proposal for the US Food and Drug Administration, the team determined that polyamines, istamine, putrescine, and cadaverine are all indicators of tissue breakdown and can be monitored using Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy. Their device provided near-time results for a problem that has been estimated to cause as many as 33,000 annual cases of illness from seafood in the US.
The E-Team consisted of four MBA students with backgrounds in engineering and medicine. They targeted sales to the seafood industry as a faster and more cost effective measurement tool.