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Last Friday (25) students, professors and personalities from academia participated in the award ceremony for Panama’s Sustainable Development Odebrecht Award (Prêmio Odebrecht para o Desenvolvimento Sustentável).

Students Jose Armando Herrera, Gabriela Rodriguez and Arantza Rivas Morales from the University of Panama were awarded first place with the Biollanti project, which prevents sewage from being spilled into rivers by creating low-cost treatment stations using second-hand tires. The project may be useful for temporary low-income homes or communities. 

“This Summer the Award stressed the entrepreneurial spirit of students in projects seeking sustainable development. The Biollanti project seeks a creative solution for sewage disposal in rivers while providing a solution for tires discarded over different roads in the country, reducing contamination of tributaries,” commented Arturo Graell, Odebrecht Director of Institutional Relations and Sustainability in Panama.

Second and third place were awarded to the projects “High-Yield Seawater Solar Desalination Plant System” by student Abraham Gabriel Villamil and “Bio-inputs for Use in the Agricultural and Livestock Activity” by students José Eduart Camarena and Juan Manuel Sánchez, with prizes of US$ 18 thousand and US$ 12 thousand respectively.

In order to acknowledge and spur young university students to consider engineering, architecture and agronomy from a sustainable viewpoint, the award seeks to encourage the creation of knowledge and to make it known to society and the academic community. In its 5th edition in Panama, the Sustainable Development Odebrecht Award has reserved a US$ 54 thousand award divided into three equal portions: one for the student or group of students, one for the adviser and the third for the university. The university’s award should be reinvested in the area of activity in which the adviser works.