Students to Study Smog-Eating Tile

A group of former engineering students received a $15,000 grant from the EPA to study roofing tiles in an effort to improve air quality

Smog-eating tile team stands next to railing

From left, William Lichtenberg, Calvin Cao, Duc Nguyen, Vincent Chen and Carlos Espinoza.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. ( — Recent graduates of the Bourns College of Engineering received a $15,000 grant from the Environmental Protection Agency to develop a testing protocol for smog eating roof tiles.

The former students are William Lichtenberg, Duc Nguyen, Carlos Espinoza, Calvin Cao and Vincent Chen. They all graduated in June.

They were advised by David Cocker, a professor of chemical and environmental engineering, and Kawai Tam, a lecturer at the Bourns College of Engineering.

The research, which will be carried on by a new group of students, will focus on promoting air pollution control alternatives and strategies by using ceramic roof titles coated with titanium dioxide.

The grant comes from the EPA’s P3 (People, Prosperity and the Planet) completion. College students from across the nation represent their respective universities design solutions that focus on a sustainable future.

This program is a two-phase team contest. Students receive $15,000 grants for the first phase. They use the money to research and develop their design project and then compete for the larger phase two grants.

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