UMass Amherst environmental engineering doctoral student Julie Bliss Mullen, co-founder/CEO of Aclarity LLC, has been awarded a 2019 Lemelson-MIT Student Prize from The Lemelson-MIT Program. The prize serves as a catalyst for young inventors in the fields of healthcare, transportation and mobility, food/water and agriculture and consumer devices.
The $15,000 “Eat It!” prize, rewarding technology-based inventions that involve food/water and agriculture, was awarded to Mullen for her work on her startup Aclarity, which produces a “plug and play” device that uses low levels of electricity to purify and disinfect water without using filters or chemicals. The technology disinfects pathogens, destroys organic contaminants, removes metals, and normalizes pH to produce truly clean water. It reduces maintenance, uses low energy and purifies water faster and more efficiently than conventional treatment methods in the U.S. and globally. Aclarity was co-founded in 2016 by Mullen and Barrett Mully, then an MBA student in the Isenberg School of Management.
Mullen directs business development, strategy, and technology platforms for Aclarity while continuing her Ph.D. studies in innovative water treatment solutions. As part of her studies, she completed four business courses in Isenberg School of Management focusing on entrepreneurship.
In 2018, the company was awarded $225,000 by the National Science Foundation Small Business Innovation Research grant program. The company also has won $26,000 in seed funding in the Berthiaume Center’s Innovation Challenge, $27,500 from the Valley Venture Mentors Accelerator and $65,000 from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center.
The Lemelson-MIT Student Prize recognizes young inventors who have dedicate themselves to solving global problems. The program awarded a total of $90,000 in prizes to three undergraduate teams and four individual graduate student inventors, selected from a large and highly competitive pool of applicants from across the U.S. Students were selected based on a variety of factors including the overall inventiveness of their work, the invention’s potential for commercialization or adoption, and youth mentorship experience.
More information on Mullen and her work can be found here.