Invent for the Planet

Invent for the Planet

Invent for the Planet is an Intensive Design Experience which engages students at different universities around the world and tasks them with solving some of the world’s most pressing problems in just 48 hours.

Run by Texas A&M University, students work in local teams to develop and present possible solutions to challenges such as food security, waste management, energy consumption, and flooding.

In 2018 Swansea was one of just 14 universities worldwide invited to participate in the inaugural Invent for the Planet. 25 students from across the College of Engineering worked in four teams to develop ideas, prototypes and elevator pitches which were presented to a panel of expert judges. Read about their ideas below.

Smart Technicians

Team: Smart Technicians

Needs Statement: At the end of 2006, the European Union pledged to cut its annual consumption of primary energy by 20% by 2020. Many individuals around the world are interested in reducing their energy consumption but lack the tools or motivation to do so. We need an inexpensive system that will help inform households on their energy consumption so as to incentivize reduction of energy use

Product: ElecSave

This solution uses smart plugs, sensors and an app to transmit electricity usage back to consumers, allowing them to track and compare their energy use. It is anticipated that this will help to change consumer habits, reducing energy consumption which will both save consumers money and help the environment.

Team members: Ben Butler (Aerospace Engineering), Joan Ignasi Fontova Saladrigues (Aerospace Engineering), Panos Chatziangelakis (Mechanical Engineering), Houlin Chen ( Sc), Christine Entwistle (Chemical Engineering), Aseel Al-Riyami (Chemical Engineering)

35 Watts

Team: 35 Watts

Needs Statement: It is widely acknowledged that education is one of the most effective solutions to poverty.  It is also a fact that access to electricity cannot be assumed for many people across the globe. We need a creative, inexpensive environment where multiple (5+) children can study in the evenings when the sun has gone down.  What can be designed to allow education to continue at night in areas where electricity is not always readily available?

Product: Lighthouse 

A mutli-functional environment created using locally-available materials and designed to maximise light created by a human-powered dynamo. 

Team members: Aleksadrs Jefimovs (Mechanical Engineering), Szymon Grzyb (Aerospace Engineering), Rachael Olatunji (Medical Engineering), George Omonuwa (Medical Engineering), Olawaseyitan Oluwatosin (Mechanical Engineering), Gaurab Rawal (MSc), Luke Cook (Civil Engineering)

Team Storm

Team: Storm

Needs Statement: In many areas that experience flooding due to an unusual natural disaster (hurricane, typhoon, tsunami, etc), tracking where the floodwater is accumulating in real time can be a difficult task. One possible solution would be to design an inexpensive object that would use sensors and report when it starts to float when queried using IOT techniques. A map of floodwater could then be created. These should be able to be deployed in the hundreds or thousands vie airdrop or ground release.   

Product: Flood's Eye

A network of devices which sense water accumlation using piezoelectric pressure sensors and communicate the location of floodwater to allow a real-time map of flooding and floodwater movement to be created.

Team members: Adriana Kulikova (Mechanical Engineering), James Charles (Electrical Engineering), Rytis Vitenas (Aerospace Enginering), Michael Coe (Mechanical Engineering), Mahmoud Elshenawy (Materials Engineering), Romano Agostini (Electrical Engineering)

Oscar's Trash

Team: Oscar's Trash

Needs Statement: In many areas where recycling bins are located, there is still a lot of waste which ends up in the wrong bins. If the recycling bins can be designed to quickly identify whether the waste about to be thrown in the bins is correct or not and notifies the person, then it may improve the efficiency of the sorting process. These smart bins could also gather data on recycling amount and recycling participation rate so that these data can be analyzed to develop waste recycling awareness campaigns

Product: Bin I.T.

A modular smart bin that requires users to select the type of recycling they are depositing and senses the material type to correctly sort deposits. Users are given feeback to reinforce or correct recycling behaviour.

Team members: Josephine Leong (Mechanical Engineering), Ines Molina Ramirez (Mechanical Engineering), Arjin Pishdary (Medical Engineering), Suraj Ramchand (Mechanical Engineering), Martin Bernat (Aerospace Engineering), Mutaz Alwakil (Aerospace Engineering)

Aseel Al-Riyami

Aseel Al-Riyami, Smart Technicians

''The 48 hour Invent for the Planet weekend at Swansea was an unforgettable experience!

Our team consisted of students from different engineering disciplines and together we were able to draw on our diverse knowledge to develop our concept."

Christine Entwisle

Christine Entwisle, Smart Technicians

"Invent for the planet was an amazing weekend! I learnt so much from having the chance to work as an interdisciplinary team, mastering how to pitch a concept we designed in just 48 hours.

Everyone in the team had their own skills to bring to the project and made sure they helped where they could, motivating each other and persevering when we were knocked back."