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Sep 18, 2014 03:17 AM EDT

Stanford University topped the list of best American tech colleges by Business Insider.

The Stanford Office of the Vice Provost and Dean of Research manages over 18 independent laboratories, centers, and institutes. One of the prominent research projects by the Stanford scientists was a water splitter that works on an ordinary AAA battery, which they developed last month.

The cheap and emission-free device uses a 1.5-volt battery to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. The hydrogen gas could be in turn used to power fuel cells in zero-emissions vehicles.

"Using nickel and iron, which are cheap materials, we were able to make the electrocatalysts active enough to split water at room temperature with a single 1.5-volt battery," said Hongjie Dai, a professor of chemistry, in a statement. "This is the first time anyone has used non-precious metal catalysts to split water at a voltage that low. It's quite remarkable, because normally you need expensive metals, like platinum or iridium, to achieve that voltage."

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BI surveyed more than 1,500 readers with recruiting experience to determine the country's top colleges based on their students' success after graduation. The responses were filtered to identify those related to the technology industry.

Following Stanford, is Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the second place. The private research University is home to many awards and accolades related to its tech research projects.

Colleges and Universities | FindTheBest

On Tuesday, the Lemelson-MIT Program awarded $500,000 prize to Sangeeta Bhatia - a biomedical engineer and professor - for her contributions in designing and commercializing miniaturized technologies to enhance human health.

"My husband, Jerry, always believed that it was critical to highlight and encourage inventors dedicated to improving the human condition," Dorothy Lemelson, Lemelson Foundation chair, said in a statement. "Dr. Bhatia is a wonderful example of a woman who has used her brilliance, skill and creativity to radically improve the detection and treatment of serious global health issues. We are proud to recognize her as this year's Lemelson-MIT Prize winner."

MIT researchers recently developed the "RoadRunner" device in an attempt to solve problems of congested roads. Once the in-vehicle app detects a crowded route, it generates driving directions to approaching cars that recommends alternative ways.

Top 10 American Tech Colleges

1. Stanford University

2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

3. California Institute of Technology

4. Princeton University

5. Harvard University

6. Columbia University

7. University States Naval Academy

8. United States Military Academy

9. Yale University

10. University of California - Berkeley

See Now: Facebook will use AI to detect users with suicidal thoughts and prevent suicide

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