ME Professor Muller wins Boston Innovation Prize
The Barr Foundation, a private family foundation committed to enhancing the quality of life for all citizens in the Boston area, and InnoCentive, Inc., the global innovation marketplace, today announced the conclusion of a Challenge seeking the design of a radically energy-efficient method of cooling and dehumidifying residential and small commercial spaces.
Dr. Norbert Muller, Michigan State University Mechanical Engineering Professor, and John Barrie of John Barrie Associates Architects were awarded $30,000 for the cooling technology which they submitted. Muller and Barrie's solution was selected from 38 submissions, reviewed by a panel of national experts in the field.
Kendra Tupper, a member of the panel of judges and a Senior Consultant with the Built Environment Team at the Rocky Mountain Institute, said, "We looked at a number of impressive designs, but this one really stood out because of its potential to consume significantly less energy and reduce peak demand compared to standard air conditioners. RMI believes that this extremely promising technology can break through the cost barrier with further development and will offer cost savings for consumers in the future."
The Challenge, called the Boston Innovation Prize, was developed as a collaboration between The Barr Foundation and the Cambridge Energy Alliance (CEA), an organization that seeks to significantly reduce the City of Cambridge, Massachusetts' carbon footprint in the next five years. The Alliance is working with homeowners, businesses and institutions in the City of Cambridge to achieve energy savings and to expand clean energy sources. Muller and Barrie plan to beta test the new air conditioners in Cambridge.
Roberto Cremonini, Chief Knowledge & Learning Officer of the Barr Foundation, said, "At the Barr Foundation, it is our mission to find and utilize resources that will better serve the lives of Boston residents. This design, with the potential cost savings it offers, will do just that and offer new environmentally friendly options for all."
Dwayne Spradlin, CEO of InnoCentive, said: "This Challenge represents a commitment by The Barr Foundation and the Cambridge Energy Alliance to engage the creative potential of people everywhere in solving truly important problems that affect all of us. We at InnoCentive congratulate the Solvers for their outstanding efforts in solving this Challenge and commend Barr and CEA for their vision in this important area."