An investment fund advisor with a doctoral degree in physical chemistry is this year’s winner of a $10,000 award in a contest to come up with ideas about what to do with all those old cathode ray tube (CRT) televisions and monitors. Thomas Engelhardt took the top prize in the second CRT Challenge for his proposal to use recycled CRT glass as a component for vitrifying nuclear waste. Vitrification involves melting nuclear waste materials with glass-forming additives so the final product incorporates the waste contaminants. Vitrification essentially locks dangerous materials into a stable glass that can be stored without harming air or groundwater. Engelhardt, a senior executive advisor to a major international investment fund, did his graduate and post-graduate studies at various international research facilities with a focus on the characterization of molecular liquids with X-ray, neutron and EXAFS spectroscopy. Mariano Velez, a senior research engineer at Mo-Sci Corp., is the runner-up in this year’s CRT Challenge. He was awarded $5,000 for a two-step proposal that also involves nuclear waste. He suggests conducting an extensive literature review on manufacturing processes for using CRT-related waste glass and then finding a way to develop a property or composition model for using CRT glass waste forms to treat nuclear wastes by making chemical durable borosilicate glasses geologically stable. Velez holds a Ph.D. in ceramic engineering and has spent more than 30 years conducting glass research, particularly glasses with very high chemical durability and glass-reinforced polymer composites, materials manufacturing, design and properties optimization, use of nanoparticles and nanofibers, and evaluation of recycled and waste materials. More than 100 innovative and diverse entries were submitted to the CRT Challenge sponsored by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries and InnoCentive. Walter Alcorn, CEA vice president for environmental affairs and industry sustainability, said the trade association continues to explore emerging solutions for old CRTs as it works with government agencies, manufacturers, retailers and recyclers. “These award-winning ideas are the latest step in determining how to responsibly recycle billions of pounds of lead-heavy CRT glass as consumers switch from CRT electronics to liquid crystal, light-emitting diode (LED) and plasma displays,” Alcorn said in a statement.