Oregon State University
Skip navigation

Ingenium

College of Engineering Blog

Engineering Alumnus Uses Solar Power to Address Drought in Iraq

April 8th, 2012

Cory Cunningham graduated from OSU with a degree in construction engineering management. While serving two tours of combat in Iraq with the United States Marines, Cory saw the devastation of the country’s infrastructure firsthand and correlating clean water problems plaguing the Iraqi people. In 2009, he combined his passion, drive, and determination to start a company that is helping millions of people gain access to much-needed resources.

Cory Cunningham building a demo filtration system.

The OSU alumnus is President and Founder of Sustainable Industries, a company focused on integrated water filtration, energy and fuel systems.  Sustainable Industries worked with SPX Global, Iraq Global, and the Iraqi Ministry of Municipalities and Public Works to make clean, sustainable water in Iraq a reality for more than 2.1 million people.

Clean water is an ever-growing problem across the globe, even within the last five years.  Cholera and other waterborne diseases afflict more than 2 billion people globally. Sustainable Industries, led by Cory Cunningham, is creating and delivering water filtration and pumping solutions to address these issues.

Sustainable Industries has completed multiple water filtration projects to combat drought in Iraq, and so far, solar power water filtration is one of the most viable options for those in need of clean water. These filtration systems are remarkable because they can filter unsafe, brackish or bacteria-infested water exclusively by solar energy, overcoming the challenges of unreliable or non-existent electrical power sources. These energy-independent systems provide an important solution in countries such as Iraq where the energy and clean water infrastructure has been neglected or destroyed, or is non-existent. They systems also provide a relatively inexpensive solution, deployable within days versus multi-million dollar, multi-year infrastructure projects.

To date, more than 700 solar powered water filtration systems have been manufactured in the United States and exported to Iraq.  These systems can filter more than 4 million gallons of water daily to provide a clean, potable resource for adequate hydration of over 2 million people. By employing a combination of proven technologies, these off-the-grid water filtration solutions have had a tremendous impact on Iraq, as well as potential to help other countries address the challenges of providing clean, potable water to their people.

–Chelsi Rayford

Leave a Reply

*

  • Welcome to Ingenium!

    Sponsored by the Oregon State University College of Engineering, Ingenium is an informal platform designed to encourage discussion about relevant engineering topics, and to inform and connect interested individuals and eclectic engineers everywhere. More...
  • Categories

  • Recent Posts