SunHydro founder awards $400,000 in sci-tech scholarships

May 22nd, 2011 | By | Category: Top Story

Tom Sullivan Awards $100,000 Each to Four High School Seniors Via the Proton Energy Scholarship Program For Demonstrating Outstanding Achievement and Pursuing Higher Education Degrees in Science or Technology

Tom Sullivan, founder of Lumber Liquidators and SunHydro, and owner of Proton OnSite, has awarded four winners the Proton Energy Scholarship to pursue degrees in the fields of science or technology. Each recipient has earned the $100,000 scholarship to go toward a four-year undergraduate degree.

“We received applications from 49 out of 50 states and our winners are truly talented and outstanding individuals,” said Tom Sullivan, founder and benefactor of the Proton Energy Scholarship. “These students represent the future of innovation in the fields of science and technology. I’m continually impressed by the level of work ethic and commitment our scholarship winners show.”

Tom Sullivan fills a hydrogen-powered vehicle at his SunHydro hydrogen filling station in Wallingford, Connecticut (cjzurcher)

Sponsored by global gas generation leader Proton OnSite (formerly Proton Energy Systems), the Proton Energy Scholarship is in its second year. It recognizes and awards high school seniors who demonstrate outstanding achievement, excellence and promise in the fields of science or technology, and who plan to pursue higher education in these areas. The Proton Energy Scholarship finalists were evaluated on academic performance, strength of application, commitment to further education in a science- or technology-related field, financial need and demonstrated leadership, work ethic and community involvement. The scholarship winners, and their broad accomplishments are listed here:

Octavio Viramontes, Earlimart, CA:

Octavio attends Delano High School in Delano, California. He boasts more than 25 medals from math and engineering competitions. He founded a tutoring program at his school and is co-founder of the math club. Octavio is treasurer of the California Scholarship Federation and works as an attorney clerk. He hopes to become an engineer and a doctor.

Yajit Jain, Oak Ridge, TN:

Yajit attends Oak Ridge High School in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. He has been awarded numerous academic awards, including winning first place at the 2010 Tennessee Junior Science and Humanities Symposium. Yajit has volunteered at the American Museum of Science and Energy for four years, hiked the Himalayas and has run a small fluorescent bulb business, which promotes energy awareness. He hopes to pursue a PhD in physics, computer science or math.

Christine Quan, Sacramento, CA:

Christine attends Pleasant Grove High School in Elk Grove, California. She has competed in Wushu Kung Fu and varsity cross-country for her school, and achieved the highest varsity GPA in her school district. Christine has been involved with the national Science Olympiad and is also a member of the California Scholarship Federation. She hopes to study chemical engineering or bioengineering and pursue a career in clean energy technology.

Viola (Zi) Wu, Fresh Meadows, NY:

Viola attends Francis Lewis High School in Fresh Meadows, New York. As well as being captain of the school’s fencing team, Viola is vice president of her school’s pre-med club, experience that she supplemented by working as a lab assistant at Stony Brook University’s pharmacology lab. She was also a designer in the 2010 national FIRST Robotics Competition. Viola hopes to pursue an education/career in chemical engineering.

For more information about Proton OnSite and the Proton Energy Scholarship, please visit or

About Tom Sullivan

Tom Sullivan is a successful entrepreneur who founded Lumber Liquidators, the largest retailer of hardwood floors, and SunHydro, the world’s first chain of privately funded fueling stations that provide hydrogen to fuel cell cars. Sullivan also is the owner of Proton OnSite, the world’s leading supplier of on-site gas generators utilizing proton exchange membrane (PEM) technology.

About Proton OnSite

Proton OnSite is a global leader in the design and manufacture of hydrogen energy and innovative gas solutions. Since 1996, it has been developing and applying hydrogen technology in creative and practical ways that best meet the diverse requirements of its customers. More recently, it has expanded its product offerings to include nitrogen, air and oxygen generators. It has also expanded its services to include packaged solutions incorporating tanks, compressors and other ancillary equipment. Its advanced proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolysis systems coupled with its uncompromising attention to excellence and quality enables Proton OnSite to deliver, install and support gas generation units on every continent. For more, visit

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