Stajich Wins 2014 Alexopoulos Prize

Jason Stajich, an associate professor of plant pathology and microbiology, has been awarded the 2014 Alexopoulos Prize by the Mycological Society of America, a scientific society dedicated to advancing the science of mycology – the study of fungi of all kinds including mushrooms, molds, truffles, yeasts, lichens, plant pathogens, and medically important fungi.
The award is peer-nominated and each year recognizes an outstanding early-career mycologist. Stajich received the award last month in East Lansing, Michigan, at the annual meeting of the Mycological Society of America. The award consists of a plaque and a monetary award of $1,000.

BCOE students win EPA student design contest

A team of BCOE students has won an EPA student design contest for a device that curbs harmful pollutant emitted from lawnmowers by 93 percent.
The students developed the device – an L  shaped piece of stainless steel that attaches to the lawnmower where its muffler was – because small engine devices produce significant harmful emissions. The students’ device has also fits in with UC President Janet Napolitano’s recent announcement to make the University of California system carbon neutral by 2025. With that in mind, employees responsible for maintaining the lawns at UC Riverside have agreed to pilot the students’ device. That will likely start in the coming months.
The team, which calls itself NOx-Out, believes there is a market for the device for lawnmower manufacturers and current lawnmower owners, especially operators of landscape companies, who could retrofit their existing gasoline-powered lawnmower. The device has the added benefits of reducing noise from the lawnmower and the smell of gasoline.
The students – Timothy Chow, Brian Cruz, Jonathan Matson and Wartini Ng, all of whom just graduated – won a phase one grant of $15,000 as part of the EPA’s P3 (People, Prosperity and the Planet) competition. Next year a new group of students – Anna Almario, Priyanka Singh and Alyssa Yan – will take over the project and compete for a $90,000 phase two grant.
All the students have been advised by Kawai Tam, a lecturer at the Bourns College of Engineering, Phillip Christopher, an assistant professor of chemical and environmental engineering, and David Cocker, a professor of chemical and environmental engineering.

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