A team of students at the Cullen College of Engineering are among 17 nationwide competing in the U. S. Department of Energy 2022 Marine Energy Collegiate Competition, which challenges them to propose unique solutions to the burgeoning marine energy industry.
This is the third installment of the competition, and the first time UH has been involved. This year's teams have been given the four goals to guide their entries:
- Develop a market-research-supported business plan and conceptual-level technical design of a system that could be commercialized to address power needs for a chosen sector of the blue economy.
- Pitch their plan to a panel of judges and hypothetical investors.
- Design, build and test a device to achieve energy production. (Optional.)
- Engage with their community through outreach and educational activities.
The student leader of the UH team is Sameera Rednam, who earlier this year, was one of two scholarship award winners from the Society for Underwater Technology. The other winner, Damilola Abe, is also involved with the MECC effort.
“As a Subsea student, we study marine engineering closely. Specifically, carbon capture was a topic I wanted to look up more into and I thought this platform would be perfect for me,” Rednam said. “My main motivation is the collaboration of different students from varied backgrounds, where I learn so much every day. Our project can have a positive impact, and that drives me to perform my best.”
Shilpa Ghurye, Ph.D., J.D., Industrial Relations and IP Manager, is mentoring the team, with Hanadi Rifai, Moores Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Associate Dean of Research and Facilities, serving as the team's Faculty Advisor. Other members of the UH MECC effort include: Teja Akula, '23; Akash Doshi, '22; Harrison Ngo, '24; Cydnee Willingham, '23; and William Ritchie, '23.
As part of the competition, the team will have to produce a 20 to 30-page market research supported business plan; a 20-minute public pitch to present to a panel of judges, followed by a public 15-minute Q&A session; and a poster summarizing the entire technical and business plan. The presentations will be done in-person or virtually as part of Waterpower Week in Washington 2022, from April 5 to April 7, 2022.