Two CWRU student teams advance to regionals of Clean Energy Challenge

NanoHarv team members Justin Isaacs and Aditya Rengaswamy  
Ecospinners team members: technical advisor Chris Daroux, technical advisor Bob Pizzola, student leader Jean Zhao, and M.E.M. student Justin Einstein   

Two Case Western Reserve student teams advanced to the Midwest Regionals of the Clean Energy Challenge, sponsored by the Department of Energy.

The group NanoHarv is developing a micro-algae-harvesting device to clean water and create biofuel, and the group Ecospinners is designing an electric fuel-cell-powered bicycle with a 100-mile range. Both teams—made up of students from engineering, management and arts and sciences—head to the regional competition in Chicago on April 4. CWRU is the only university in the Midwest to have two teams move on to regionals. The winner of that competition is awarded $100,000 by the Department of Energy and advances to nationals in Washington, D.C.

The interdisciplinary teams helped advance their innovations by collaborating with CWRU alumni who served as mentors. They also utilized think[box], the university's inventor's studio, to produce some of their materials for the state competition on Jan. 29. The teams were sponsored by the Great Lakes Energy Institute. 

Two other CWRU teams also participated in the Ohio competition: FlyDrive and Smartility. FlyDrive designed a flywheel regenerative braking system that offers a viable technology to save money and provide better performance than current battery systems in hybrid vehicles. Smartility developed technology that gathers energy consumption data from outlets, transmits the data to a consumer's account and generates customized energy reports.

Learn more about the Midwest regional competition in Chicago on April 4