ConocoPhillips, Penn State Award Prize For Energy Innovation

ConocoPhillips and Penn State have awarded the first ConocoPhillips Energy Prize to David A. Gonzales II to further develop the “Layered MagWheel,” a new technology that provides magnetic acceleration and frictionless braking for vehicles and ultimately increases energy conversion and efficiency. 

This year marks the inaugural year of the ConocoPhillips Energy Prize, which recognizes new ideas and original, actionable solutions that can help improve the way the U.S. develops and uses energy, according to ConocoPhillips.

The prize focuses on innovative ideas and solutions in three areas: developing new energy sources; improving energy efficiency; and combating climate change. 

ConocoPhillips CFO and Senior Vice President of Finance Sig Cornelius said advancements in technology will be key in the development of diverse sources of sustainable and reliable energy, the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and the significant improvement of energy efficiency.

More than 300 proposals were submitted for the prize, but it was whittled down to five finalists. The proposals were judged on the basis of creativity, scalability, commercial viability and sustainability, according to ConocoPhillips. 

Each of the five finalists received an award of $25,000 to further the development of their concept. The winner received an additional $100,000; the first and second runners-up received an additional $50,000 and $25,000 respectively. 

Beyond the $125,000 prize, the first runner-up was Corban Tillemann-Dick and team for the Radial Expansion Engine, which “increases the efficiency and decreases the weight and cost of internal combustion engines by increasing the percentage of the combustion chamber reacting productively and capturing energy otherwise lost through the exhaust system.”

The second runner-up in the program developed a Micro Wind Distributive Power Generation, a small form-factor turbine that harvests power from wind at velocities of 12 mph and below by using an inverter system for direct connection to power mains.


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