2010 Prairie View A&M University FOCUSS Idea Competition Sponsored by Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM)

Click here to watch competition video.

The presidios campus of Prairie View A&M University was the site of the FOCUSS (Framework for Opportunity Convergence and the Utilization of Sustainable Solutions) Idea Competition, which took place on 29 April 2010.

Created to stimulate constructive thought surrounding concepts of innovation and discovery, the FOCUSS Idea Competition provided students a unique opportunity to share and cultivate solutions to "real world" problem statements presented by sponsoring institutions. Competition was open to all current Prairie View A&M University students. The corporate Sponsor of the Prairie View competition was Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM).

For the Idea Competition, Prairie View A&M students were given the opportunity to address ONE of the following problem statements submitted by ADM:

  • A new process for cellulosic biofuel production is currently under development. This process will be required to produce less overall CO2 emissions than produced per unit mass when starting from crude oil. Note, the process must have a competitive capital investment.
    • Which process developments should be prioritized and which ones delayed?

    • How should biomass feedback be selected to maximize overall profits and minimize environmental impact?

    • Considering that a number of biofuel options are possible, with different levels of oxygen content, what kind of biofuels should be targeted to have a firm footprint into the market?

  • Ethanol production is rising, but at the same time, a need exists to lower operating costs.
    • Which areas in ethanol production should be targeted for cost reduction and environmental impact?

  • Biodiesel production through transesterification produces glycerol as a co-product.
    • How can this material value be improved through further chemical processing by means other than the most conventional ones?

The initial idea submissions were evaluated by a group of qualified individuals representing both the public and private sectors. Each submission was judged on the following criteria:

  • Statement of the idea (solution) to resolve the problem. (Are the answers to the submission questions well written and clearly thought out?)

  • How innovative/original is the idea?

  • Does the idea provide a solution to a problem?
  • The first-, second- and third-place winners will have the opportunity to participate in a National FOCUSS Business Plan Competition.

    First Place WinnersSecond Place WinnersThird Place WinnersFourth Place Winners





     

Founded in 1876, Prairie View A&M University (PVAMU) is the second oldest public instruction of higher learning in the state of Texas. With an established reputation for producing engineers, nurses and educators, PVAMU offers baccalaureate degrees in fifty academic majors, thirty-seven Master's degrees and four doctoral degree programs through nine colleges and schools. A member of the Texas A&M University (TAMU) System, the University is dedicated to fulfilling its land-grant mission of achieving excellence in teaching, research and service.

Prairie View A&M University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools as comprehensive public instruction of higher education authorized to award Bachelor's, Master's and Doctoral degrees, and is a member of the Texas A&M University System. It is a land-grant university authorized under the Morrill Acts of 1862 and 1890

The University offers a broad range of academic programs through the following administrative units:

  • The College of Agriculture and Human Sciences
  • The School of Architecture
  • The College of Business
  • The Roy G. Perry College of Engineering
  • The College of Juvenile Justice and Psychology
  • The College of Nursing
  • The Graduate School
  • The Marvin D. and June Samuel Brailsford College of Arts and Sciences
  • Whitlowe R. Green College of Education

 

Leading the Idea effort at Prairie View A&M is A. Anil Kumar, Ph.D. Dr. Kumar heads the Department of Physics and is a professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Since he joined PVAMU in 1985, Dr. Kumar has received and managed research during 1989-2008 from federal, state and private agencies. Dr. Kumar has contributed extensively to college-level and university-level research by authoring proposals in a variety of disciplines including education, manufacturing, radiation, and community economic development with specific emphasis on workforce development: education, training and retraining.

His educational experience spans teaching, mentoring and advising freshman to doctoral level students. He affected major changes in the physics curriculum and degree program making it more relevant to today's world. As a member of the Academy for Educator Development (Texas A&M University System's Regents' Initiative for Excellent in Education), he worked with several high schools on curricular alignment, teacher training and collaborative proposal development. For this effort he was one of five faculty members in the TAMU System to have received the Distinguished Achievement Award from the Board of Regents. In March 2009, he was a recipient of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund's Outstanding Achievement Award for School Reform.

Incorporated in 1923, Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) is one of the world’s leading processors and distributors of agricultural products for food and animal feed, with additional operations in transportation and storage of such products. Its principal operations are in the processing of soybeans, corn and wheat, the three largest crops in the United States. ADM also products cocoa beans, milo, oats, barley, and peanuts. The company’s feed products are sold to farmers, feed dealers, and live stock producers, while its food products are sold to food and beverage manufacturers.

Incorporated in 1923, Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) is one of the world’s leading processors and distributors of agricultural products for food and animal feed, with additional operations in transportation and storage of such products. Its principal operations are in the processing of soybeans, corn and wheat, the three largest crops in the United States. ADM also products cocoa beans, milo, oats, barley, and peanuts. The company’s feed products are sold to farmers, feed dealers, and live stock producers, while its food products are sold to food and beverage manufacturers.

Among ADM’s better-known products are NutriSoy, a soy protein; Navasoy Isoflavones, an ingredient used in dietary supplements; xanthan gum, a thickening agent used in food products such as salad dressings; citric acid and lactic acid, both used as food additives in food and beverage products to increase their acidity; natural vitamin E; and ethanol, an additive made from corm that is added to gasoline to improve the fuel efficiency of vehicles.

ADM has 247 processing plants (including those owned, leased or operated in joint ventures) in the United States and 121 overseas.

Idea Competition leadership from ADM has been provided by John Taylor, Director Corporate and Supplier Diversity.John Taylor joined ADM in 1998. In his current role he is responsible for developing and administering the company’s diversity strategies and initiatives. John began with ADM as a grain merchandiser.

He most recently served as director of supplier diversity and was named director of corporate supplier diversity in 2002. Prior to joining ADM, he served as marketing director for two environmental firms. John received a Bachelor of Science degree in agribusiness from Ohio State University and a Master of Business Administration from Millikin University. He earned a diversity professional certification from Cornell University. John serves as a board member for Community Investment Corporation of Decatur, Diversity Information Resources, Millikin University Alumni Association, and ORC Worldwide. In 2007, he received the Eagle Award for Leadership from the National Eagle Leadership Institute.