Sustainability week at St. Thomas saw students contributing to many efforts, including many who spent April 26-27 at the Earth Day Innovate-a-thon building technology to address a sustainability challenge.
Sponsored by the Schulze School of Entrepreneurship and the School of Engineering, along with the Entrepreneurship Society, the Computer Science Club and the Society of Hispanic Professional Entrepreneurs, the event awarded $1,000 to first place concept “Bottle-Up” and $500 to second place “Greenies.”
Bottle-Up consisted of Erik Anderson ’22, entrepreneurship major, and Shawn Catudal ’22, electrical engineering major. “Bottle-Up is aimed toward reducing energy consumption from glass and plastic bottle production while decreasing the influx of once-used bottles into our landfills and oceans,” their concept reads. “By using strategic partners and recycling infrastructure, Anderson and Catudal can collect used bottles, sanitize them and sell them back to local bottlers. Companies with corresponding environmentally friendly goals will purchase the used, sanitized bottles, which will save them on production costs and reduce energy waste. The business model is simple and can be scaled easily to potentially have a worldwide impact.”
Greenies consisted of entrepreneurship majors Amanda Baumgart ’21 and Sebastian Lopez ’21, along with computer science major Mitchell Nelson ’20 and mechanical engineering major Sam Johnson ’21.
“Greenies reduces energy usage in universities by creating a competition where dorm floors are ranked by energy consumption,” their concept reads. “This is done by installing a sensor on each dorm floor which transmits energy usage information to our website. The website organizes the data, ranks the floors from lowest to highest energy usage, and distributes incentives to the winning floors on a monthly basis. This helps create environmental awareness and a community with the common goal of solving the climate change crisis, besides creating significant cost savings for the university.”