Two Master’s students from Masdar Institute are taking part in the final round of the 6th annual “Go Green in the City” competition held by global energy management specialist Schneider Electric, currently taking place in Paris, France.
Microsystems Engineering students Hiba Riaz and Arslan Anjum represent one of the 12 finalist teams selected from 1,184 teams that competed in the first round of the competition. Their idea for building sidewalks with solar panels, which they called “SolarWay”, was then pitted against another 100 teams in the semi-final round of the competition. They beat out 78 teams to be selected for the finals.
“SolarWay is not only an innovative way of generating clean energy within the bounds of modern cities, it is also technically and financially feasible. We are mainly using heavy duty floor glass and solar cells – technology that has been tried and tested over the years. Financially, our costs are on par with average solar projects and will go down as we customize and scale the solution,” Anjum explained.
Riaz and Anjum have been preparing for their final presentation of SolarWay, to be delivered to a jury panel of Schneider Electric experts and managers, with support from a Schneider Electric employee who has served as the team’s mentor since they won the regional semi-finals in July. The winning team will get a chance to visit Schneider Electric offices in two countries and receive a career opportunity with the company, which was recognized this year by LinkedIn as one of the world’s top talent attractors.
The 11 other finalist teams come from high-ranking universities in Brazil, Indonesia, India, Kenya, China, Azerbaijan, Canada and Germany.
Go Green in the City is a competition that challenges university-level engineering or business students to develop energy solutions for smart and sustainable cities. This year, Schneider Electric received more than 16,400 applications from students around the world – a 4,000 increase from last year – signifying the competition’s growing popularity and success.
A second team of Master’s students from Masdar Institute – Sustainable Critical Infrastructure students Luís Guilherme Resende Santos and Fernanda Schuch – also competed in Go Green in the City 2016 and made it through to the semi-finals. Resende Santos and Schuch conducted a feasibility study on the impact of green roofs for water consumption.
Commenting on the experience, Resende Santos said: “Being involved in a worldwide project to promote sustainable cities was an excellent experience. We competed with very qualified people. We will certainly compete again next year, and we will try to develop more commercial solutions.”
The Master’s students credit Masdar Institute’s specialized courses on sustainability and engineering management, as well as the supportive faculty, for helping them earn semi-finalist and finalist positions in the extremely competitive event.
News and Features Writer
19 September 2016