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Innovate for Impact: Siemens Design Challenge

Driving solutions for zero hunger and clean water

Join a global movement to prepare, adapt and respond to the most pressing challenges in food and water. Nurture breakthrough ideas, apply human-centered design to engineer innovative hardware solutions that help achieve the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

Tracks

Zero Hunger Track

Design a postharvest off-grid preservation technology

Problem definition:
A way to reduce the farm-to-table food loss in lower resource settings that lack electricity

Background:
Roughly one third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year — approximately 1.3 billion tons — is lost or wasted at a cost of roughly US $680 billion in industrialized countries and US $310 billion in developing countries. In developing countries, 40% of losses occur during the post-harvest and processing phases of food production. Food waste contributes up to 70 gigatons of greenhouse gases, or 11 percent of total emissions, therefore directly contributing to Climate Change.

Example of Applications:

  1. Storage
  2. Refrigeration

Prize:
One winner/winning team will be selected for the track. The winner will receive $10,000 USD and the opportunity to meet Siemens USA CEO in person. The winner will be promoted across Siemens USA and Engineering for Change platforms and receive exclusive invitations to industry events.



Clean Water Track

Design a very low-cost, energy-efficient, scalable technology for desalinating brackish water

Problem definition:
A way to remove salt contamination from water that is low-cost and energy-efficient.

Background:
97.5% of water on the Earth contains a high-concentration of salt, making it unsuitable for drinking or farming. By 2030, nearly 35% of the world’s human population will be living in water-stressed countries. Most water that is used for drinking and farming comes from low-salt or salt-free underground sources or surface water. However, due to increasing droughts and saltwater intrusion by rising sea levels brought on by climate change, these water sources are becoming more and more unreliable. Worldwide, engineers and scientists race to develop innovative methods to remove salt from water, but current solutions are extremely energy-intensive and high-cost.

Example of Applications:

  1. Drinking water
  2. Irrigation for farming

Prize:
One winner/winning team will be selected for the track. The winner will receive $10,000 USD and the opportunity to meet Siemens USA CEO in person. The winner will be promoted across Siemens USA and Engineering for Change platforms and receive exclusive invitations to industry events.


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Criteria

Throughout the challenge, you will be asked to:

  • Submit a text based application, explaining the problem area you are addressing and your proposed solution
  • Submit a short (60 seconds maximum) video introducing your team and product concept
  • Research and explore the needs of your end user
  • Design your concept in 3D CAD
  • Iterate your design based on the research you have conducted and provide justification for your decisions
  • Simulate how your product works
  • Submit a video pitch of your proposed solution

Applications are now closed. Thank you for your interest in the Innovate for Impact: Siemens Design Challenge 2020
Sign-up as an E4C Member for updates!

Design Challenge Submission Checklist

  • Sign-up as a member on the Engineering for Change (E4C) website. It's free!
  • Familiarize yourself with the Resources section, in particular —
    • SDGs and 50 Breakthroughs
    • Tools provided by E4C and Siemens
  • Identify a problem, or opportunity, within one of the two stated challenge tracks above. Consider prior-art and how access, efficiency and/or usability might be improved through design, engineering or manufacturing.
  • Review the Design Parameters document for your selected track. (below)
  • Assemble a team. While individuals may participate by themselves, it is highly beneficial to leverage diverse backgrounds. Team composition will be considered during the judging process.
  • Draft an initial solution concept. Note that you will refine this concept over the course of the challenge. Solutions should address one of the two challenges posted. (At the planning & concept phase, concepts may be explorative, but should start to answer the questions listed in the Design Parameters.)
  • Log in to your Engineering for Change account and download your free license of Siemens Solid Edge 3D CAD software here.

Zero Hunger Track

E4C Membership is required for application. Sign-up for free here.

Only E4C members will gain access to the Innovate for Impact collaboration platform, hosted by Siemens, where they will be able to submit their concepts, collaborate with team members, and get feedback from experts.

E4C Membership is required for application. Sign-up for free here.

Only E4C members will gain access to the Innovate for Impact collaboration platform, hosted by Siemens, where they will be able to submit their concepts, collaborate with team members, and get feedback from experts.


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Judges

Plan and Learn Phase

Akshay Roongta

Akshay Roongta

Ooloi Labs, Co-founder

Akshay is a design researcher and strategist, and has worked in the areas of renewable ...
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Akshay is a design researcher and strategist, and has worked in the areas of renewable energy, sanitation, maternal health and education amongst others. He prefers working on projects which lie at the intersection of technology, operations, and design within the realm of social impact. He previously started up Amrutdhara, a social enterprise focused on building IoT based water ATMs to tackle the issue of access to safe drinking water in urban India. He is currently working on systems for involving grassroots workers in development planning using ICT and researching how organisations working in development planning build and share knowledge with his team at Ooloi Labs.

Bob Rabatsky

Bob Rabatsky

Fintrac, Inc. Senior Vice President (retired)

Specialist in agribusiness, project design, management, and evaluation with over 30 years...
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Specialist in agribusiness, project design, management, and evaluation with over 30 years of experience managing and implementing complex USAID and multilateral development bank projects in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America.

Danielle Nierenberg

Danielle Nierenberg

Food Tank, President

Danielle Nierenberg is a world-renowned researcher, speaker, and advocate ...
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Danielle Nierenberg is a world-renowned researcher, speaker, and advocate, on all issues relating to our food system and agriculture. She is the co-founder and president of Food Tank, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization focused on building a global community for safe, healthy, nourished eaters. Danielle has an M.S. in Agriculture, Food, and Environment from the Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy and spent two years volunteering for the Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic.

Iana Aranda

Iana Aranda

ASME, Director, Engineering for Global Development

Iana Aranda is the Director of the Engineering for Global Development Department at ...
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Iana Aranda is the Director of the Engineering for Global Development Department at the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) where she sets the business strategy of a portfolio of programs and platforms that advance knowledge, workforce and hardware-led social innovation to improve the quality of life of underserved communities. Iana also serves as the President of Engineering for Change, LLC (E4C) - a knowledge organization and global community of over 1 million individuals dedicated to design and delivery of essential technologies advancing sustainable development. In both roles, Iana is driving an agenda for a multidisciplinary and human-centered approach to international development enabled by technology, cross-sector partnerships, innovation ecosystems and engineering workforce development. Iana has 15 years of experience in academic, research and nonprofit sectors focusing on the intersection of engineering design, business strategy and social impact.

Julie Korak

Julie Korak

University of Colorado, Boulder, Assistant Professor

Julie Korak is an assistant professor of the Environmental Engineering Program at...
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Julie Korak is an assistant professor of the Environmental Engineering Program at the University of Colorado Boulder. She has an interdisciplinary background in Chemical and Environmental Engineering and is a licensed Professional Engineer in the State of Colorado. Prior to joining CU, she worked in the Water Treatment Group at the Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Department of the Interior in Denver, CO. Dr. Korak’s research interests are broadly focused on water treatment engineering and her recent projects include developing holistic water treatment and waste brine management processes.

Laura MacDonald

Laura MacDonald

Mortenson Center in Global Engineering, University of Colorado Boulder, Managing Director

Dr. Laura MacDonald is the Managing Director of the Mortensen Center in...
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Dr. Laura MacDonald is the Managing Director of the Mortensen Center in Global Engineering. She has a PhD and MSE in Geography and Environmental Engineering from the Johns Hopkins University and a BS in Environmental Engineering from Northwestern University. In her role as Managing Director, Laura provides administrative and financial oversight of the Center's graduate certificate and Professional Master's programs. Additionally, she manages several research projects in Rwanda and provides support to the Mortenson Center's broader research portfolio in sub-Saharan Africa.

Prior to joining the Mortenson Center, Laura was Knowledge and Research Advisor at the Centre for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology (CAWST). There, she worked to build CAWST's reputation and credibility as a global leader in capacity development and technical support for non-networked water and sanitation. During her time at CAWST, Johns Hopkins and Northwestern, Laura's research spanned a range of topics, including household water treatment and water-vending kiosks in Ghana, capacity development of sanitation practitioners, and the geochemistry of arsenic in the Atacama Desert. This work has taken her to Panama, Colombia, Chile, Ghana, Kenya and Nepal. Throughout her studies, Laura was engaged with student groups focused on engineering and environmental education and outreach, including leadership roles in the Society of Women Engineers and Engineers for a Sustainable World.

Mark Burhop

Mark Burhop

Siemens, Principal Investigator, Product Development and Simulation

Mark Burhop is a research engineer and project manager at Siemens Corporate...
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Mark Burhop is a research engineer and project manager at Siemens Corporate Technology. He has made a career of bringing scientifically advanced software technologies in simulation, CAD, and manufacturing to a useable point for scientists, engineers, and designers. A mechanical engineer from the University of Florida, he holds current or upcoming patents in additive manufacturing, generative design, and robotics. At home, he maintains a serious “maker” lab with multiple 3D printers, a wide variety of Raspberry Pi and Arduino electronics, robot named Andy, and a PC rig perfect for running both Solid Edge and compiling hi-performance C++ code.

Natasha Wright

Natasha Wright

University of Minnesota, Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering

Natasha Wright is an incoming Assistant Professor in Mechanical Engineering (ME) at ...
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Natasha Wright is an incoming Assistant Professor in Mechanical Engineering (ME) at the University of Minnesota. She received her PhD in the Global Engineering and Research Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Her research and teaching is focused at the intersection of the technical and socioeconomic sides of design, as relevant to designing solutions in developing and emerging markets. Natasha is passionate about helping students contextualize problems in the complex social, economic, and political landscape in which they exist, working together in multi-disciplinary teams, and utilizing design theory to develop potential solutions to those problems.

Natasha’s experience in India includes implementing the use of electrodialysis (ED) desalination as a means of treating salty groundwater in rural areas. Her research has shown how to reduce capital and lifetime cost of village-scale ED systems by up to 40%. She has since installed pilot systems currently operating in India, Gaza, and New Mexico. Natasha’s work in water-energy systems led her inclusion in Forbes Magazine’s “30 Under 30” in 2016. She has served as an instructor at Tufts University and first led Acara’s Design for Sustainable Development – India course in May 2019.


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