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Two CALS teams among winners of Wisconsin Energy and Sustainability Challenge

Two CALS-based teams took silver in the 2014 Wisconsin Energy and Sustainability Challenge.

Second place in The Dvorak Energy Innovation Prize contest – and $1,500 – went to Team Drsti.

Vitamin A deficiency is a health concern throughout the developing world that affects more than 200 million children every year. Team Drsti, made of members Chris Johnson and Mary Pitassi, both masters students in Bacteriology, have described their product as “a sustainable solution to vitamin A deficiency.” Project Drsti will develop a probiotic bacterium engineered to make a precursor of vitamin A. The strain will be inexpensive to produce, store and transport, and can be easily added to yogurt or other fermented dairy products.

Second Place in The Global Stewards Sustainability Prize – and $1,500 – went to a team called Sustainable Fertilizer Recovery from Wastewater.

The Sustainable Fertilizer Recovery from Wastewater team is made of Tyler Anderson, a soil science graduate research assistant, Rania Bashar, PhD in biological systems engineering, Cody Calkins, soil science undergraduate, Grant Herrman, biological systems engineering undergraduate, and Logan Voellinger, biological systems engineering. Their concept is to develop and incorporate an electrodialysis cell at existing wastewater treatment facilities to capture and concentrate nitrogen, which can be used in fertilizers.