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Wray and fellow ASU graduate students Martha Kent and Emil Puruhito have earned an Edson Student Entrepreneur Initiative grant to further their development of a business that aims to produce a sustainable organic fertilizer from algae. Edson provides funds, office space and training to teams with up-and-coming, innovative business plans.
This fall, Wray received a National Water Research Institute (NWRI) fellowship for a proposal he submitted to the institute at the beginning of the year. The NWRI helps fund research and projects centered on ensuring safe, reliable sources of water. Wray’s proposal focused on the development of a new bioreactor design for use in wastewater treatment.
“I am very excited for being chosen as an NWRI fellowship recipient," Wray said. "I was glad to see NWRI’s enthusiasm for my project."
The fellowship carries a $5,000 per-year award for two years. The award will help Wray develop new technology that will allow him to collect data in the field and in real-world conditions. This will supplement his dissertation work in the LARB, which is housed in the College of Technology and Innovation.
“I have always been a technical person and interested in learning something new, which happens every day in the LARB, but it is also important to me to have my work be directly applicable in the real world, which my Edson Venture and NWRI projects let me do,” Wray said.
Wray is excited about the birth of a new algae industry and hopes his work will contribute to its development, which likely will help create new jobs, spur economic development, and create opportunities for growth.
On a more personal level, Wray’s work is fusing his lifelong interest in biology and technology.
“I would say working for ASU’s LARB and being able to build a business through the help of the Edson Student Entrepreneurial Initiative, all while working on real-world technology for NWRI, has more than fulfilled my childhood ambitions.”
Written by Tana Ingram
Christine Lambrakis, Lambrakis">mailto:Lambrakis@asu.edu">Lambrakis@asu.edu