Team winning the Technion-hosted climate-tech hackathon will represent the Technion at international “Green Challenge” hackathon in Denmark
A hackathon focused on coping with extreme heat waves in urban areas recently took place at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology as part of the Entrepreneurship and Career Day organized by t-hub, the Technion Entrepreneurship and Innovation Center. First place went to the ‘SOLARit’ team for their initiative, which enables the supply of electricity during power outages by using heat from water in solar water heaters. The winning team was comprised of four students from the Faculty of Biotechnology and Food Engineering: Yoav Ronen, Ester Konstantinov, Andrei Serenko, Noy Winetraub, and Neta Soto. They worked on developing a Stirling engine as an add-on to existing solar water heaters, in order to utilize heat from the water to produce local energy for the home’s refrigerator and air-conditioning system during emergencies, such as when there is a power outage.
The winning team will represent the Technion at Green Challenge – an international sustainability hackathon taking place in Denmark on June 23, 2023. The Technion’s Sustainability Frontier will fund their flights and their participation in the hackathon.
The event was a collaboration between the Technion’s Sustainability Center, the Social Hub, and the Technion Student Association. More than 50 students from a variety of faculties took part, divided into 11 teams. The competition was launched two weeks before the hackathon with a lecture about mapping challenges in the event of extreme heat waves by Naama Shapira of the Technion’s Samuel Neaman Institute. Her lecture covered the environmental and social ramifications on urban residents, including the collapse of the electric system and other essential systems, fires and floods, energy poverty, and a rise in disease and violence.
The ‘Eco Shade’ team won second place with their social-environmental initiative to set up cooling systems in public transportation stations. Their cooling system is based on plants attached to manual water pumps. The team included students Tamar Klein, Dror Arie, Hadas Levy, and Omri Leshem, from the Andrew and Erna Viterbi Faculty of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Faculty of Biomedical Engineering.
Third place went to the ‘Keep it Cool’ team for their application that helps transfer disadvantaged populations to safe spaces during emergencies. The app connects the users to the Health Funds and Social Security in order to quickly reach people who require assistance. The team included Raphael Zailer, Harel Yadid, Shon Wolfson, Ofek Har Even, Fatima Abu Rabiah, and Ido Reuven from the Viterbi Faculty of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering.
The hackathon was organized by two students: Ohad Schindler of the Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Tal Fein of the Viterbi Faculty of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
The students were supervised by the following mentors: Naama Shapira of the Samuel Neaman Institute, Tali Nimrodi of the Clariter company, Yoni Haran from the company Village in the Box, Lior Kedem from Termokir Industries, Ofer Keren of Green Academy, doctoral student Naga Venkata Sai Kumar of the Faculty of Architecture and Town Planning, and guests Dr. Bela Nikitina and student Or Sharon of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.
The competition’s judges were Prof. Michelle Portman of the Faculty of Architecture and Town Planning; Dr. Yael Danin-Poleg of the Social Hub; Alona Selfin, head of industrial relations and marketing in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering; Nimrod Peleg, laboratory director at the Viterbi Faculty of Electrical and Computer Engineering; and Ariel Beeri of The Generator, which promotes entrepreneurial initiatives for coping with extreme heat waves.