Honeywell & Partners Donate $250,000 XPRIZE Award to University of Washington Foundation for Ocean Acidification Research


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In July 2015, Honeywell and its Team DuraFET partners received $250,000 as second place winners in the 2015 Wendy Schmidt Ocean Health XPRIZE, a global competition that challenges teams of engineers, scientists and innovators to create pH sensor technology that can affordably, accurately and efficiently measure ocean chemistry. The team developed advanced pH sensors, which are based on Honeywell’s solid-state Ion Sensitive Field Effect Transistor, allowing scientists and oceanographers to accurately and easily observe ocean acidification, address potential threats to global marine ecosystems and provide precise pH measurements over year long periods while remaining affordable and sustainable.

In an effort to help broaden the program’s observation of ocean acidification, the team has chosen to now donate its cash prize to the University of Washington (UW) Foundation and its Argo Profiling Float Laboratory. There are currently thousands of Argo profiling floats operating that measure the temperature and salinity of the ocean allowing continuous monitoring of the temperature, salinity, and velocity of the upper ocean, with all data being relayed and made publicly available within hours after collection.

“Our recognition in the Wendy Schmidt Ocean Health XPRIZE speaks to the world-class accuracy of our advanced pH sensor technologies,” said Bob Carlson, Sr. Technical Manager of Advanced Technology at Honeywell Aerospace in Plymouth, Minn. “The University of Washington has been instrumental in integrating and testing our sensor technology as part of its larger ocean observation efforts, and we hope this donation helps directly impact the awareness and research on the effects of ocean acidification.”

Honeywell’s partners on Team DuraFET include Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute in California, the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego, and Sea-Bird Scientific in Washington State.