Students shine in pollution challenge

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A DURHAM University student has been crowned undergraduate winner of the Environment Agency’s Pollution Challenge competition.

Edward McEwan wowed judges with his bold and innovative vision to tackle pollution. He was presented with a cheque from EA chairman Lord Chris Smith at Manchester’s Lowry Hotel, after an attention-grabbing presentation focused on the removal of mine-water induced iron loading in the River Gaunless.

Among the 18 final projects were three other entrants from Durham University. Undergraduate twins Victoria and Rebecca Smith impressed the judges with their vision of using a tracking tool to improve public awareness of diffuse pollution. Geography undergraduate Aaron Neill looked at ways of getting the public to change their behaviour to reduce littering as a source of urban diffuse pollution. Postgraduates Elizabeth Ferns and Grace Martin showcased a combined two-part concept, focused on first identifying the source of diffuse urban pollution and then communicating and engaging with the public to change people’s behaviour.