Winners of WPI’s 12th Annual Sustainability Project Competition


Office of Sustainability

The Office of Sustainability and Gordon Library are pleased to announce the winners of WPI’s 12th Annual Sustainability Project Competition.

This Competition provided a venue for WPI students to showcase their work on projects that involve sustainability.  The winning projects for the three categories of the Competition are as follows:

First Year Category:  TIE:

Undergraduate Category: Project # 19 Developing a Sustainability Plan for Hammams in Morocco, Payton Bielawski, Nathan Kaplan, Brian Preiss, Alyssa Sousa, and Rebekah Vernon, advised by Laura Roberts and Mohammed El Hamzaoui​

Graduate Category: Project # 37  Realizing a World without Waste through Catalytic Conversion of Food Waste,  Heather LeClerc, advised by Andrew Teixeira and Mike Timko


This was the 12th competition held to showcase students’ project related to research in the one or more aspects of sustainability – the environment, social justice, or economy.  The Competition was virtually due to the COVID19 crisis, and we still had a record number of student project submissions (39 submissions!).  We truly appreciate the hard work and valuable contributions from all of the students who participated in the competition – especially in this challenging time. 

We would like to thank the following members of the WPI community and regional experts who served as judges in support of this event:

  • Curtis Abel, Director, WPI Foisie Innovation Studio and Innovation & Entrepreneurship Integration
  • Kojo Asenso, ECE 2009, Energy Industry Professional, National Grid
  • Steve Bandarra, Manager of Sustainability, Worcester State University
  • Mike Barney, Director, Mass Academy
  • Eric Batista, Director, Office of Urban Innovation, City of Worcester
  • Corey Dehner,  Associate Teaching Professor, Interdisciplinary and Global Studies Division
  • Paul Gaynor, CEO, Longroad Energy
  • Rory Flinn, Assistant Dean, WPI Graduate Studies
  • Mary Beth Harrity, Assistant CIO, WPI Academic Technology and Support Services
  • Jenny Isler, Director of Sustainability, Clark University
  • Rachel LeBlanc, Assistant Vice President, WPI Corporate and Professional Education
  • Karen Pelletier, Executive Vice President, Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce
  • John Orr, Professor Emeritus, WPI Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Marc Printz, Community Manager, WorcLab, Management, 2019
  • Kerry Reed, Senior Stormwater & Environmental Engineer, City of Framingham
  • Peter Shanahan, Consulting Engineer, HydroQual, Inc.
  • Ingrid Shockey, Associate Teaching Professor, WPI Interdisciplinary and Global Studies
  • Sarah Strauss, Professor, WPI Interdisciplinary and Global Studie


Special thanks go to:

  • Liz Tomaszewski, for all of her dedication and efforts in organizing and managing the coordination of the event
  • Anna Gold, Lori Ostapowicz-Critz, and Diane Begreen, for their dedication, insight, and technical support in coordinating the event
  • Prof. Suzy Weekes, for her insights and assistance in the development of the virtual program


Please consider visiting the 12th Annual Sustainability Project website and browse the entire slate of projects here:

We all truly appreciate everyone’s interest in continuing to support this and other sustainability efforts.  Best wishes as the term wraps up. Stay well.