Engineering eagles continue to win

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Cydney Long

Georgia Southern University mechanical engineering students won a $90,000 grant from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to continue development of their award-winning diesel engine.

The students, under the supervision of Valentin Soloiu, Ph.D., professor of mechanical engineering and Allen E. Paulson Chair of Renewable Energy, spent three years working in the Renewable Energy and Engines Lab to produce an engine that runs on cottonseed biodiesel and butane oil, making the fuel sustainable.

Soloiu recently received a $360,000 grant from the National Science Foundation. The money will go toward the establishment of a summer research program.

The GSU team went to Washington D.C. in April where it tied for first place with Johns Hopkins University in the National P3 (People, Prosperity and the Planet) Student Design for Sustainability.

The team won $15,000 from the EPA in the first stage of the competition to further research on the project.

The students work in teams to design, build, analyze data and report, Soloiu said. Students have to do three things: listen to their advisor, find time for research and deliver information.

The $90,000 will go to the engine’s development, and the team will work toward making the product marketable.

The team would really like to have Atlanta’s support too, not just Washington’s, Soloiu said.

Soloiu said, “My goal is to raise successful engineers.”