Design Engineering

Siemens announces Innovate for Impact design challenge finalists

By DE Staff   

General Energy

Eight teams selected for innovations that address fundamental need for clean water and adequate food supply.

Siemens announced the finalists in its Innovate for Impact: Siemens Design Challenge, a competition to address two of the UN’s sustainable development goals – zero hunger and clean water. Created in collaboration with The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and Engineering for Change (E4C), the challenge garnered 220 solutions from engineering students, practicing engineers, faculty, entrepreneurs, and global development practitioners from 34 countries.

“We received brilliant submissions from more than 30 countries, and our eight finalists exemplify Siemens’ core belief: that a combination of ingenuity nurtured with the right digital tools enables us to expand what’s humanly possible.”

The Zero Hunger Track finalists are:

EcoLife Cold Room – Hadijah Nantambi, Ian Williams, and Kyle Gaiser, Uganda and U.S.: A cold room for fresh produce that prioritizes cooperative design, affordability, sustainability, and technological innovation to benefit rural produce farmers in central and southern Uganda.


Hybrid Multi-Crop Greenhouse Dryer – Mobolaji Oluyimika Omobowale, Nigeria: Solar drying at a large scale that mitigates post-harvest loss of grains, fruit, and vegetables amongst sub-Saharan African farmers.

OnlyFresh – Chuma Asuzu, Canada: A standalone refrigerated unit for transporting fresh vegetables that will assist farmers, distributors, and retailers in Nigeria.

Solar Thermal Absorptive Refrigerator (STAR) – Angelica Errigo, Brianna Dooley, Sergio Andre Jordan Villena, Sandra Vergara Davila, and Dr. Amy Ciric, U.S. and Peru: Reliable, sustainable charcoal and ethanol refrigeration unit that increases food safety for rural farmers and consumers in Peru.

The Clean Water Track finalists are:

Apu uya Wuin – The Guardian of Water – Jhonn Aguilar, Manuel Mejia, Monica Gutierrez, Aliex Trujillo, Colombia: A ready-to-assemble device for solar water desalination augmented with an education strategy to assure social appropriation of the technology for the Parenskat-Wayuu ethnic community in the arid region of La Guajira, Colombia.

Desalination Battery for Electrochemical Brakish Water Treatment – Lukas Hackl and Bilen Akuzum, U.S. and Germany: An electrochemical desalination system with significant energy efficiency and system scalability advantages over reverse osmosis and distillation methods that help almond and cashew farmers in California’s Central Valley and globally.

Desalination for Santa Elena Communities, El Real – Francisco X. Plaza, Ecuador: Humidification and dehumidification technology that will provide a steady supply of potable water to reactivate the economy of drought impacted coastal communities in the Santa Elena province of Ecuador.

Water Water Everywhere – Daniel Hodges, United States: A wind-powered vacuum distillation system to help water-stressed coastal small families around the world.

E4C, a platform and community from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), architected the application and evaluation process, educated participants on human-centered design principles and provided a variety of other tools and resources. Siemens provided free access and training on cutting-edge technology tools for digital design and engineering from its Xcelerator portfolio, including Solid Edge software and a new co-creation platform developed with Siemens’ Mendix software.

Winners will be announced on September 15, 2020. Each winning solution will be awarded $10,000.


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