Colorado State University Professor Bryan Willson to Receive Maury Albertson Award on Friday

Note to Reporters: A photo of Professor Bryan Willson is available with this news release at

Village Earth will honor Colorado State University Professor Bryan Willson with the Maurice L. Albertson Medal in Sustainable Development on Friday, Aug. 28 at the Lory Student Center.

Under Willson’s leadership over the last 18 years, the CSU Engines and Energy Conversion Laboratory has developed into one of the nation’s premier engine laboratories. The lab is generally acknowledged as a world leader in its four primary specializations: natural gas engines, two-stroke engines, hazardous air pollutants and alternative fuels.

Willson became interested in global environmental problems in 2002. He helped develop two-stroke engine retrofit technology for the 50 million to 100 million two-stroke engines used for transportation in Asia – work that directly addresses the source of the Asian brown cloud. The retrofit technology is a direct outgrowth of the direct injection technology developed at the lab for large bore natural gas pipeline engines.

Willson co-founded a non-profit company – Envirofit International – in 2003 to commercialize this technology. Envirofit continues to work with the engines lab on developing cleaner burning cookstoves for the developing world. Stoves are now being sold in India.

In 2006, he co-founded Solix Biofuels to commercialize technology to produce oil from algae and turn it into biodiesel – an environmentally friendly solution to high gas prices, greenhouse gas emissions and volatile energy markets. This summer, the company expanded to a four-acre site on the Southern Ute Indian Reservation. Willson now serves as director of CSU’s Clean Energy Supercluster, applying the Envirofit/Solix approach to maximize the impact of energy solutions developed in laboratories across campus.

Those efforts earned Willson the distinction of being in the first "Scientific American 10" honor roll for innovations that benefit humanity along with President Barack Obama, Microsoft mogul Bill Gates and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

The Village Earth award is named after the late Professor Maurice “Maury” Albertson, a long-time professor of civil engineering at Colorado State whose work in the 1960s led to the creation of the Peace Corps. Albertson was director of the CSU Research Foundation and influenced a wide variety of CSU endeavors, including the Office of International Programs.

Albertson and Ed and Mimi Shinn co-founded Village Earth, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting sustainable community-based development around the world.

The public is welcome to attend the Maury Albertson Annual Birthday Benefit for Village Earth. To purchase tickets, go to