One of last year's Phase I recipients, the University of Tennessee-Knoxville team, poses in front of their sustainable home. (EPA)
The EPA has awarded 43 grants to teams of university students who will design technologies addressing sustainability challenges in the developed and developing world. The People, Prosperity, and the Planet (P3) competition asks students to design and build technologies that improve quality of life, promote economic development, and protect the environment.

The 2009-2010 competition begins in Phase I with the award of $10,000 grants to student teams who submit applications that focus on a wide range of categories, including water, energy, agriculture, built environment, materials and chemicals, and information technology.

After working on the project for eight months, the teams will bring their designs to the 6th Annual National Sustainable Design Expo on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. At the Expo, the projects will be judged by a panel of judges selected by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Only a few will be awarded P3 Awards and Phase II grants up to $75,000 to further their designs, implement them in the field, or move them to the marketplace.

A Jacksonville University team is among the select Phase I recipients. They are developing a design and implementation plan for collecting rainwater runoff from roofs, wastewater from laundry machines, and condensation from air conditioners.

An Oklahoma State University team is designing LED lighting for home and office use, and assessing its impact on potential consumers.

Pennsylvania State University students are building and monitoring a wind turbine along Interstate 81.

A recyclable heterogeneous catalyst is being developed by South Dakota University students - for continuous biodiesel production using local waste grease, recycled oil, and potentially algae.

Wellesley College, Harvard, MIT, and Qinghai Normal University students comprise a team that is developing a 3-in-1 solar cooker, heater, and electricity generator to help bring clean energy to the rural Himalayas.

To find out who more of the Phase I recipients are, and view their innovative project ideas, click here .