Engineering Students Research Pollution Prevention at Midwest Companies

Thursday, July 5, 2012

This summer, five University of Iowa College of Engineering students are researching methods of reducing waste, conserving energy and preventing pollution as part of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) 2012 Pollution Prevention P2 Intern Program.

They are Ben Klaus, civil engineering, at 3M, Knoxville, IA; Darren Youngs, chemical engineering, at Green Plains Renewable Energy, Superior, IA; Chris Bondi, mechanical engineering, at Hy-Vee Distribution Center, Chariton, IA; Peter Ernzen, mechancial engineering, at Infastech LLC, Decorah, IA; and Justin McAninch, mechanical engineering, at Procter and Gamble, Iowa City, IA.

The IDNR implemented the Pollution Prevention Intern Program in 2001 as a collaboration involving government, business and academia to develop cost-effective options for preventing or minimizing waste from industrial processes.  The 12-week program places top Iowa college students with businesses, institutions, and agencies interested in cost-effective ways to cut or eliminate waste from their operations. Since the program began in 2001, 214 interns have saved 140 companies more than 62.6 million dollars, with dramatic environmental results.

To date, the program has saved more than:

  • 1,116,892,366 gallons of water
  • 124,902 tons of solid waste
  • 1.5 million gallons of hazardous waste
  • 75,146 tons of special waste
  • 310.7 million kilowatt hours of energy
  • 6.8 million therms of energy

For more information on the P2 Intern Program, go to