STOCKHOLM, Sweden, Aug. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Robert Franke, a high school
student of the Beethoven Gymnasium in Berlin, was announced the winner of the
International Stockholm Junior Water Prize, the world's most prestigious water
science prize for youth, during a ceremony today at the Stockholm Concert
Hall, Sweden. The Prize, Presented by Princess Christina Mrs. Magnuson, was
awarded to Franke for his design of Aquakat, a solar driven reactor for the
decontamination of industrial waste water.
Franke competed during the Stockholm Water Symposium against students from
nine other countries, including Finland, Great Britain, Latvia, The
Netherlands, Norway, Poland, South Africa, Sweden and the United States.
Sponsored globally by ITT Industries, the International Stockholm Junior
Water Prize was established to engage and support the interests of young
people in water environment issues at the regional, national and international
levels. The international Prize, now in its second year, is awarded annually
to high school students who have contributed to water conservation and
improvement through outstanding research.
"Robert's project represents the highest objectives of the Stockholm
Junior Water Prize," said Thomas R. Martin, vice president and director of
corporate relations for ITT Industries. "Young inventors like Robert will
help lead tomorrow's engineers as they find solutions to the many challenges
we face in protecting the earth's water."
Franke's invention, Aquakat, uses the photocatalytic properties of
semiconductors to degrade persistent chemicals. Persistent chemicals are
those that cannot be degraded by microbial or physico-chemical processes --
methods employed in typical wastewater treatment facilities. The proposed
procedure is claimed to be cost-efficient, environmentally sustainable and of
particular relevance for Third World countries and wherever solar power could
be used as an energy source.
"With each year, the Prize attracts more and more high quality projects,
making the competition tougher each year," said Anna Lindberg, who directs the
Stockholm Junior Water Prize for the International Stockholm Water Institute.
"All of this year's projects were outstanding, however, our judges found
Robert's to be exemplary."
HRH Crown Princess Victoria is Patron of the International Junior Water
Prize, which includes a US$5,000 award and crystal water sculpture.
America's Brett De Poister was given the "honorable mention" distinction
at the prize ceremony for his study of the effects of zinc and diazinon on the
embryonic development of the African clawed frog.
The projects were judged by an international nominating committee of
distinguished scientists. The committee performed a thorough evaluation of
each project along with in-depth interviews with the contestants before
choosing a winner.
The Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) is a scientific,
technical, and educational organization that contributes to international
efforts to combat the escalating global water crisis by facilitating research,
raising awareness, and stimulating action on world water issues. SIWI
administers the Stockholm Water Prize, Stockholm Junior Water Prize, Stockholm
Water Symposium and Stockholm Water Initiative.
ITT Industries, Inc. (http://www.ittind.com) is a diversified, global
manufacturing company and world market leader in the fluid technology,
defense, electrical connectors, and automotive industries. With headquarters
in White Plains, New York, USA, the company employs approximately
58,000 people around the world. The company reported 1997 revenues of
US$8.8 billion. ITT Industries currently has fluid technology, electrical
connectors and automotive operations in Germany.
Under the symbol "IIN," ITT Industries is listed on the New York Stock
Exchange the Midwest, Pacific, London, Frankfurt and Paris exchanges.
SOURCE Stockholm International Water Institute
Web site: http://www.ittind.com
CONTACT: Dave Trouba of Stockholm International Water Institute,
46-8-736-20-78, or mobile, 46-707-362-078; or Andy Hilton of
Ketchum Public Relations, mobile - Stockholm, 46-709-163-012, or
office - New York, 212-448-4227, for Stockholm International