The 4 recipients of this year's Ricoh Sustainable Development Award are Roshan Palli and Joseph Corbett Ferguson, both of Paul Laurence Dunbar High School in Lexington, Kentucky and Ryan C. Erickson and Holly C. Erickson of Los Alamos High School, Los Alamos, New Mexico.
Roshan and Joseph's winning project was in Cellular and Molecular Biology (RNAi as a Safe Method of Insect Population Control). With the premise that most insects are controlled using pesticides that both contaminate the environment and have deleterious effects in humans…their study proved that RNA interference (RNAi) is a method that used double-stranded RNA to knock-down the expression of target genes having a significant impact on the survival of the Colorado Potato Beetle, CPB. Their results proved RNAi can be used as a safe, potentially less expensive alternative to pesticides currently utilized by farmers around the world to protect their potatoes, eggplants and tomatoes from CPB damage.
Ryan and Holly Erickson's winning project was in Electrical and Mechanical Engineering (Beat the Heat-A Reversible One Way Heat Panel). Their project proved that a linear heat pipe can be adapted into a flat transverse panel, able to function as a reversible heat conductor/insulator. Such panels could provide walls which insulate or conduct heat as needed, and have potential applications from naturally heated or cooled homes to heat transfer on space stations.
This passive, controllable, adaptable thermal diode has tremendous potential to impact clean energy research, as it provides a method of controlling the flow of heat in many systems, improving efficiency.
"Ricoh has a continued commitment to innovation and education that underscores the importance of environmentally conscious and sustainable technology," stated Robert Whitehouse, Director, Environmental Management and Product Compliance, Ricoh Americas Corporation. "We are proud to present this award to 4 well-deserving students who both demonstrated the understanding and need for efficient technology development in today's business community."
The Intel ISEF provides a forum each May for high school students (grades 9-12) from more than 50 countries the opportunity to showcase their independent research. Each year, millions of students worldwide compete in local and school-sponsored science fairs. The winners of these events go on to participate in Intel ISEF-affiliated regional and state fairs from which the best win the opportunity to attend the Intel ISEF. A team of judges from academia and business selected the winners of the Ricoh Sustainable Development Award.
Ricoh Americas Corporation, headquartered in West Caldwell, N.J., is a subsidiary of Ricoh Company, Ltd., the 74-year-old leading provider of advanced office technology and innovative document imaging products, services and software, with fiscal year 2009 sales in excess of $21 billion.
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Ricoh Americas Corporation
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Intel International Science and Engineering Fair
Linda Montefusco, Ricoh Americas Corporation
Nicole Mudloff, Peppercom