Clarkson’s integrated greenhouse/digester project receives funding from the Dominion Foundation

Posted in: Uncategorized- Feb 03, 2012 No Comments

Clarkson University is the recipient of a $40,000 Educational Partnership grant from the Dominion Foundation to support the University’s Local Energy Efficient Food Facility (LEEFF). This program aims to provide Clarkson students with opportunities to apply their engineering, science, and business skills to a project that addresses a real-world problem.

Bayard D. Clarkson Distinguished Professor Philip K. Hopke, director of Clarkson’s Institute for a Sustainable Environment; Professor Stefan Grimberg, chair of Civil & Environmental Engineering; Spence Professor in Sustainable Environmental Systems Susan E. Powers, associate director for sustainability; and Stan Ossowski and Kevin Zink of Dominion Transmission, Inc.The grant from the Dominion Foundation will be used to integrate a pilot greenhouse, using the technology of aeroponics to grow plants year round utilizing a biomass-solar thermal heating system, and an anaerobic digester into a “living laboratory” facility, LEEFF.

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Blue Sphere Industries, Inc. advances to semi-finals in Cleantech Open Business Competition

Posted in: Awards for CEHRF at Clarkson- Jul 04, 2011 No Comments

July 2011: Blue Sphere Industries, which was incorporated in January 2011 by Clarkson students Daegan Gonyer, Sean Bonnell and Sean Jones to advance the CEHRF concept, was selected as a semifinalist in the 2011 Cleantech Open.

The mission of the Cleantech Open is to find, fund, and foster the big ideas that address today’s most urgent energy, environmental, and economic challenges. This competition has established itself as the leader in developing clean technology startup entrepreneurs addressing these challenges. Since its inception in 2006, nearly 400 promising teams have availed themselves of the Cleantech Open’s one-of-a-kind hands-on workforce development, nurturing, and funding programs. For more details, see

Pilot CEHRF construction underway

Posted in: Pilot CEHRF progress- Jul 04, 2011 No Comments

September 2010: Students, faculty and staff contributed during a recent workday to raise the walls of the pilot CEHRF greenhouse facility on Clarkson’s campus. The facility was funded through an EPA P3 grant and will be used to further develop the technologies needed for cold region CEHRF facilities in cold climates.

Microgreens grown in pilot CEHRF for graduation dinner

Posted in: Pilot CEHRF progress- Jul 04, 2011 No Comments

Microgreens from pilot greenhouse garnish salad at graduation dinner.May 2011: Radish, lettuce and other microgreens were successfully grown in the pilot CEHRF for use by Clarkson Chef Kyle for the sit down dinner for more than 150 dignitaries and awardees during the May 2011 Clarkson graduation activities. The dinner featured many local foods from the Northern New York region.

Gonyer receives Entrepreneurship Award from Clarkson University

Posted in: Awards for CEHRF at Clarkson- Jul 04, 2011 No Comments

July 2011: At its first annual Entrepreneur Recognition Dinner, Clarkson University honored Left to right: Alumni Entrepreneur Hall of Fame Inductee Elmer Gates ‘50, Entrepreneurial Hero Award Recipient Leigh Rodriguez, Spirit of Entrepreneurship Award Recipient Daegan Gonyer ‘09, and Entrepreneur of the Year Award Recipient Peggy McAdam Cambridge.Daegan Gonyer with the Spirit of Entrepreneurship Award. The award is given to a student, faculty, staff member, office or organization at Clarkson that demonstrates a deep commitment to the Clarkson community and in addition demonstrates the key characteristics of successful entrepreneurs.

A 2009 Clarkson graduate, who is studying for a master’s degree in engineering science, Gonyer, along with his two partners, has created an aeroponics system for growing plants in air without the use of soil or an aggregate medium. They have established their own company — Blue Sphere Industries Inc. — and have plans for expansion.

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CEHRF developers win award in business plan competition

Posted in: Awards for CEHRF at Clarkson- Jul 04, 2011 No Comments

June 2011: Clarkson University graduate students Daegan Gonyer and Sean Bonnell recently won a $5,000, second-place prize in the Cleantech/Sustainability Track of the New Energy New York (NENY) 2011 New York Business Plan Competition in Albany, N.Y.
Their business plan for the “Controlled Environment High-rise Farm” showed the economic feasibility and environmental benefits of developing a facility in the Potsdam, N.Y., region for growing produce year-round.

The two men, along with partner Shaun Jones, have developed their ideas from the initial vision through construction and operation of a pilot facility on the Clarkson campus, and now have established their own company — Blue Sphere Industries Inc.

“We’re proud that a cross-disciplinary team of Clarkson students has again been recognized for its skills in the business plan competition,” said Matthew Draper, deputy director of Clarkson’s Shipley Center for Innovation. “The Blue Sphere Industries team continues to execute on its vision for their innovative idea and the Shipley Center is excited to be working with them. This formal recognition serves as evidence that the idea and the plan the team has in place is feasible and that through their perseverance, they will position themselves for the best possible chance for success.”

The fledgling company has been supported by Clarkson’s Shipley Center, SPEED program (Student Projects for Experiential Engineering Design) and Institute for a Sustainable Environment.

Gonyer is pursuing a master of science degree in engineering science and received his bachelor of science in physics from Clarkson in 2009.

Bonnell received his MBA in May and his bachelor of science degree in engineering & management in 2010, and is now employed by Horizon Solutions, one of the lighting partners on the greenhouse design.

Jones is pursuing his master of engineering degree in civil engineering at Clarkson and received his bachelor of science in mechanical engineering in 2010.

Their work to date has been funded primarily through grants from the EPA P3 Student Design Competition for Sustainability.

More details about the NENY competition are available at .

Clarkson Students win Phase II grant at EPA P3 Competition

Posted in: Uncategorized- Apr 28, 2011 No Comments

A team of Clarkson students competed in the EPA P3 sustainability design competition in April 2010 and brought home funding for their Phase II project. The students completed a feasibility study of a CEHRF for cold regions. Their work included technical, economic, business development and environmental impact assessments.