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Clean Tech Challenge 2016

Wednesday, August 17th, 2016


The PSU Cleantech Challenge presented by Wells Fargo has selected 10 student teams from universities around Oregon to receive $2,500 to develop prototypes of environmentally friendly inventions and compete for a grand prize of $10,000 to help bring their innovations to market.

In addition to the prototype funding, each team will be matched with a business development mentor and provided with work space to refine their ideas and further develop their product pitches over the summer in preparation for the final competition in September. A panel of judges from the cleantech sector selected the 10 semifinalists after seeing pitches from 22 competing teams, nearly double the number that made it to the semifinal round last year.

“We had a fantastic semifinal round with inventive students from universities all across the state,” said Juan Barraza, PSU Cleantech Challenge program manager. “All the teams were excited to participate in a program that provides an opportunity to test their innovative ideas and assumptions and get actionable feedback.”

This is the first year the competition opened to schools statewide. The semifinalist teams come from seven Oregon colleges and universities: Oregon Institute of Technology, University of Oregon, Oregon State University, Portland Community College, Lewis and Clark, University of Portland, and Portland State University.

The 10 semifinalist teams are:

  • Infinity Homes is developing a sustainable small home design and construction process that sources all building materials from the waste stream and adheres to the Passive House energy efficiency standards. Infinity Homes is led by Amanda Stowe, a finance and entrepreneurship student at the University of Portland.
  • Kale Teck will create a water resistant spray from the waxy surface of kale leaves. Kale Teck is led by Joshua Proto, a biochemistry student at Lewis & Clark.
  • Cricket Oils will explore the development of cricket oil as a way to alleviate pressure on oceans and to reduce the impact of fish farming. Cricket Oils is led by Charles Wilson, a recent law school graduate of the University of Oregon.
  • Metal Gel will develop a highly conductive thermal interface material that could allow for heat harvesting. Metal Gel is led by Mark Ronay, an electrical and computer engineering graduate student at Portland State University.
  • Ocean Hexapod aims to radically improve the cost and efficiency of wave power generators by using a robot that can move along six different axes. Ocean Hexapod is led by Jonathan Bird, an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at Portland State University.
  • Penthouse Protozoa is developing a living filtration system for farming that’s designed to improve both nutrient capture and the water quality of agricultural runoff. Penthouse Protozoa is led by Alison Lewis, a landscape architecture graduate student at the University of Oregon.
  • Plantalytics will develop a network of temperature and humidity sensors to provide vineyard managers a detailed, real-time map of their vineyards. Plantalytics is led by Ben Nahir, a business graduate student at Portland State University.
  • Transposition is developing a system that increases the efficiency of the electrical grid by interfering with losses that occur as electricity transfers between power lines. Transposition is led by Autumn Engh, a renewable energy engineering graduate student at the Oregon Institute of Technology.
  • Tree Dog is designing a safe tree-cutting system that holds a cut tree in place and directs its fall to a desired location when the cutter is ready. Tree Dog is led by Dylan Gould, a business student at Oregon State University.
  • Water Boys will develop an on-site treatment system to both remove pollutants and recover resources from landfill leachate. Water Boys is led by Steve White, a chemical engineering student from Oregon State University.

The PSU Cleantech Challenge began at Portland State University in 2013 and last year opened up to all Portland-area school. Additional funding from Wells Fargo allowed the competition this year to expand statewide and include all Oregon colleges and universities.

“At Wells Fargo, we foster entrepreneurial ideas for emerging clean technologies with leading universities and incubator programs across the nation,” said Oregon Regional President Tracy Curtis of Portland. “We’re proud to support PSU’s Cleantech Challenge for the fourth straight year.”

The semifinal teams will display their prototypes at the 2016 Oregon BEST Fest cleantech conference September 8-9. Each team will make their final pitch for their chance to win the $10,000 grand prize. Awards for second place ($5,000), people’s choice ($2,500), and best pitch ($2,500) will also be granted.

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Earth Day 2016 at Oregon Garden Free Admission

Friday, April 22nd, 2016

Earth Day


Admission is free to the Garden on April 23, 2016. We encourage you to make a $5 donation when you bring your family to enjoy this day of free education and entertainment.


Parking on site is $5. Free shuttles will be available from:

Presentations & Activities

  • The Mushroomery: Growing Gourmet Mushrooms In The Home Garden
  • Oregon Department of Energy: Are Vampires sucking your home dry? Dr. Energy has tips on lights, loads, leaks, and freaks.
  • How to do backyard composting
  • Face Painting by Mary Ferguson

For More Information Click Here

CLS Panel of Professionals, Jul 14

Tuesday, July 14th, 2015


Today from 4-6pm in Room 106 on the Wilsonville Campus

Have questions about externship sites and experiences? Curious about how to best prep for the boards? Want the inside scoop on some local labs and how to get a job there? Techs in Training is hosting an informal Q & A with local CLS professionals/alumni, to shed more light on what the future holds.

The guest speakers are as follows:
Caroline Doty, Peace Health;
Jen Miller, Legacy Central;
Ryan Howey and Rachel Barrett, Adventist Portland;
Shannon Anthony, W. Washington (did her externship in Reno).

We hope to see you there!

Snacks and beverages provided by TNT.