Ricoh Americas Corporation, a leading provider of digital office equipment and advanced document management solutions, presented two high school students with the Ricoh Sustainable Development Award. Ricoh presented the award at the 2011 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF), the world’s largest pre-college science competition showcasing over 1,600 of the world’s leading young talent and their independent scientific research projects. The winning students each received a $12,500 scholarship from Ricoh for their impressive technical innovations in Generating Clean Electrical Tidal Power and Solar Energy.
The two recipients of this year’s Ricoh Sustainable Development Award are Kyle Scott Saleeby, age 16, from Niceville High School in Niceville, FL, and Yinshuo Zhang, age 16, from Mankato West High School in Mankato, MN.
Using an original waterwheel design, Kyle Saleeby produced usable quantities of clean electrical power from tidal water flow. He created his waterwheel out of recycled materials and optimized its operation through years of testing and the creation of a computer program for testing. Even in its prototype design, Kyle’s one meter squared waterwheel is said to be able to produce enough energy to power LED streetlights over a 1,000 meter bridge in his hometown. The waterwheel’s application goes well beyond tidal zones and can be used in areas with flowing water and, due to its small size, has limited interference with the surrounding environment.
Yinshuo Zhang set out to design a low-cost solar energy system suitable to power a typical North American house. His unique design approximates the performance of parabolic concentrators using a series of much less expensive flat mirrors. Based on Yinshuo’s prototype design, a 1.3 x 2.1 meter array could be the first residential concentrator photovoltaic system to achieve the observed levels of economy, versatility and environmental sustainability.
“This award is representative of Ricoh’s continued commitment to education and innovation,” stated Robert F. Whitehouse, Director, Environmental Management and Product Compliance, Ricoh Americas Corporation. “This year, we are proud to present this award to two well-deserving students who have successfully demonstrated the importance and feasibility of environmentally conscious and sustainable technology in today’s society.”
The Intel ISEF provides a forum each May for high school students (grades 9-12) from more than 65 countries, regions and territories to showcase their independent research. Each year, millions of students worldwide compete in local and school-sponsored science fairs. The winners of these events go on to participate in Intel ISEF-affiliated regional and state fairs from which the best win the opportunity to attend the Intel ISEF. A team of judges from academia and business selected the winners of the Ricoh Sustainable Development Award.
2011 marks the seventh consecutive year that Ricoh Americas Corporation has been providing scholarships to students whose projects best reflect the Triple Bottom Line (TBL) values of sustainability for organizational and societal success: economic, social, and environmental.
The awards were presented on May 12, 2011 at the Los Angeles Convention Center in California.