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2020 Global Competition Winners

Invent for the Planet award recipients smiling over a Zoom call with Don Bailey.

First Place: Corais - Centro Federal de Educação Tecnológica Celso Suckow da Fonseca and Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: Roughly 37% of microplastics found in the world’s oceans are derived from personal care products and synthetic textiles like clothing, expelled in the wastewater from washing machines. Team Corais developed an easy-to-use filter containing magnetite, a recyclable metal, which attracts microplastics and prevents them from being released into waterways.

Second Place: ECOtory - Texas A&M: ECOtory created a sustainable inventory app that allows airlines to better gauge passenger needs in advance. This would then integrate with their inventory systems, reducing excess weight and airline waste, and thus reducing fuel consumption and the contribution to greenhouse gases. Passengers are incentivized with the ability to exchange unwanted meals and amenities for airline miles.

Third Place: Hya Bioplastics - Makerere University, Uganda: The Hya Bioplastics team aimed to solve two environmental issues at once. Their innovation would eliminate single-use, oil-derived plastics through a biodegradable alternative made from water hyacinths, an invasive aquatic weed in the waterways of Uganda. By clearing the lakes of these invasive aquatic weeds to produce the packaging, this design would address multiple local and global problems.

Read the story here!

Texas A&M - First Round Winners

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First-Place: Team Ecotory

The first-place team from Texas A&M, developed an app that allows airline passengers to exchange unwanted meals and amenities for airline miles. It also allows airlines to better gauge passenger needs that integrate with their inventory systems.

Members: Emily Gonzalez, biomedical engineering senior; Claire Gregoire, mechanical engineering Ph.D. candidate; Noble Gutierrez, mechanical engineering sophomore; Sven Lohse, mechanical engineering junior; Ruiyu Qu, computer and electronics engineering junior; Teresa Valdez, computer and electronics engineering junior

Second Place: Aero-Stainable

The second-place team, Aero-Stainable, created a web-based interface that would allow airline passengers to select their food choices when purchasing their tickets.

Members: Sungjae An, mechanical engineering junior; Bella Arenas, general engineering freshman; Nick McDonough, general engineering freshman; Emma Ramirez, general engineering freshman; John Weber, aerospace engineering junior

Third Place: CITY SEEDS

Third-place team CITY SEEDS worked to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions in densely populated areas by using hydroponic plants and kinetic energy from footsteps to power LEDs simulating sunlight.

Members: Weicheng Gan, computer science and computer engineering Masters candidate; Amanda Gibbens, biomedical engineering Masters candidate; Matthew Holland, mechanical engineering senior; Kaushal Joshi, mechanical engineering Masters candidate; Ameya Kulkarni, industrial and systems engineering Masters candidate; Beatrice Nguyen, electrical engineering junior

Read the story about the Feb. 14-16, 2020 Invent for the Planet.