Three Students Awarded $200,000 For Clean Energy Innovations

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Long Island twins, who turned soybeans into clean energy, feel like they’re “on cloud nine” after the award announcement; Florida student winner says he’s won “the science lottery”.

Scholarship winners Shweta (left) and Shilpa (right) Iyer in the lab where they created an organic catalyst made from soybeans.

When I heard I got the scholarship, it was like winning the science lottery.

Three talented high school seniors have won scholarships for designing renewable energy solutions that could solve a real-world problem, thanks to the Proton OnSite Scholarship and Innovation Program and its entrepreneur benefactor Tom Sullivan.

“My sister and I feel like we’re on cloud nine every time we think of the moment Mr. Sullivan told us we’d won,” said winner Shilpa Iyer of Port Jefferson Station, N.Y. “Now, every time I think about college, I only think of the opportunities, not the financial portion anymore. This scholarship motivates me to work harder because it shows there are people out there who recognize the importance and necessity of what you're doing.”

The national scholarship program challenges individuals to find a new, creative way to produce or use hydrogen energy via renewable sources. Long Island twin sisters Shilpa and Shweta Iyer both won $50,000 for their clean energy breakthrough that uses soybeans, while Kyle Saleeby of Destin, Fla. won $100,000 for his flywheel that harnesses energy from waves to create hydrogen gas.

“Winning this scholarship makes it a reality for Kyle to go to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It's where he needs to be, and will open up doors for him,” explained Kyle’s mother, Nancy Saleeby. “When I heard I got the scholarship, it was like winning the science lottery,” Kyle added.

“Clean energy is critical to the future of our country and our planet. I’m committed to fueling future progress by rewarding future science and technology leaders like Kyle, Shilpa and Shweta,” said Tom Sullivan, founder and chairman for Lumber Liquidators and chairman of Proton OnSite, the global leader in hydrogen gas generation from electrolysis. “These young innovators are passionate about finding a cleaner way to produce green energy, and are using their scientific know-how and DIY initiative to make that dream a reality.”

Sullivan has awarded nearly $2 million to 20 high school students over the past four years through the scholarship program, which is devoted to fueling the next generation of scientific innovation.

The scholarship winners and their numerous accomplishments are:

Kyle Saleeby from Destin, Florida
Kyle is part of Niceville High School’s Class of 2013. He’s won several international, national and state awards, including Florida Sunshine State STEM Scholar of the Year Award in 2012 and AP Scholar with Distinction 2012. Kyle has interned at the U.S. Eglin Air Force Base Research Lab. This fall, he will be attending the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he plans to pursue an undergraduate degree in biomedical engineering.

Shilpa Iyer from Port Jefferson Station, N.Y.
As a high school student at Comsewogue High School, Shilpa was a member of National Honor Society, Women In Science & Engineering, F.I.R.S.T. Robotics Club and numerous other organizations. The AP Scholar with Distinction award winner also worked as an intern and student collaborator at Brookhaven National Laboratory. This fall, Shilpa plans to attend Cornell.

Shweta Iyer from Port Jefferson Station, N.Y.
Shweta attended Comsewogue High School, where she was a member of National Honor Society, Women In Science & Engineering, F.I.R.S.T. Robotics Club and several other organizations. She won an AP Scholar award and has worked as an intern and a student collaborator at Brookhaven National Laboratory. Shweta plans to attend Stony Brook University this fall.

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About Proton OnSite
Proton OnSite is a global leader in the design and manufacture of hydrogen energy and innovative gas solutions. Since 1996, it has been developing and applying hydrogen technology in creative and practical ways that best meet the diverse requirements of its customers. More recently, it has expanded its product offerings to include nitrogen, air and oxygen generators. It has also expanded its services to include packaged solutions incorporating tanks, compressors and other ancillary equipment. Its advanced proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolysis systems coupled with its uncompromising attention to excellence and quality enables Proton OnSite to deliver, install and support gas generation units on every continent. For more information visit http://www.protononsite.com.

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Michelle Hoedeman
One Simple Plan
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