CSU Mechanical Engineering Student Esteban Hincapie Awarded Top Prize at Algae Biomass Summit

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Esteban Hincapie, a PhD student in mechanical engineering at Colorado State University, received first place at the Algae Biomass Summit for his property measurements and analysis of a continuous flow algae harvesting device.

The Algae Biomass Summit, the largest conference of the Algae Biomass Organization, was held in Denver in late September. The Algae Biomass Organization is a non-profit organization dedicated to developing renewable and sustainable products suitable for commercial markets.

At the summit, Hincapie presented his findings through a poster titled “Design of an acoustic harvesting device for microalgae.” His current research could advance the process for separating microalgae from water, greatly reducing the cost of algae biofuel production. Hincapie is a fellow with IGERT, the National Science Foundation’s flagship interdisciplinary research training program, in the Multidisciplinary Approaches to Sustainable BioEnergy PhD program at CSU.

“This award is a great honor since it was based on judging from a panel of experts from the algae industry to whom Esteban had to explain his research findings,” said Anthony Marchese, associate professor of mechanical engineering. “Esteban has a bright future ahead of him and I am confident that he will be a leader in the renewable energy field.”

Hincapie was among 26 international applicants presenting individual algae research and findings in the fields of biology and engineering. The Young Algae Researcher Awards were presented to six student scientists for their research on the use of algae in creating renewable fuel and chemical products, remediating polluted water, and consuming carbon dioxide.

Outstanding research in algae awards also went to students at University of California San Diego, National Renewable Energy Lab, Arizona State University, and Utah State University.