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ESW Biofuels team wins design competition

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Cornell Engineering’s Engineers for a Sustainable World (ESW) Biofuels Team recently took first place in a design competition held as part of the 2015 ESW National Conference in Rochester, NY. The Inter-Chapter Design Challenge required student teams to present a plan for integrating already-established technologies to improve the social, technological, and ecological quality of life in Rochester.

The Cornell team’s winning plan involved the construction of a High Tunnel that would be attached to each home and used to grow food year-round. The tunnel would include compost areas and worm bins to produce fertilizer. Their plan also included an educational component that would involve a MOOC, an app, and community outreach.

The competition was unusual in that the teams did not know what the specific challenge was going to be until they arrived at the conference. Also, members of the Rochester community were on-hand to provide information and immediate feedback on aspects of each team’s design.

The competition was judged by industry partners and Rochester Institute of Technology faculty members and students. Cornell’s Engineers for a Sustainable World team is a multi-disciplinary group of students with the goal of fostering the growth of a more diverse and networked community of engineers by collaborating on sustainable energy projects. The team is advised by Professor Ruth Richardson of Cornell’s School of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

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