We are officially one week away from registration opening and I could not be more excited! The start is always a slow trickle (most teams wait until late in the registration period it seems to sign up?) but it is still a start! And it means we are officially underway, no turning back from here! Planning is one thing, but implementing those plans and hitting the “go-switch” that results from them is something else. It means that thousands of students across the globe will officially begin to show their interest not only in the Clean Tech Competition, but also in sustainability itself. I hope to see you join us along the way!
Hopefully by now you have received word of our theme for the 2020 Clean Tech Competition: Reducing Individual Impacts. It is a theme that all of us involved at the competition think is something that speaks deeply to all who are concerned about our environmental future. Really, the future of everything we know. I myself struggle with this daily. I want to be as sustainable as possible, use as few resources as possible, waste as little as possible. And I try, as I am sure many of you do. But I am also sure many of you struggle with finding ways daily, just as I do too. Our society has developed to a point where somehow cheap, single-use items have become easier and more convenient that something more durable and reusable. Where excessive use of anything (food, water, electricity, etc.) is more the norm than a conservative path is. So we wanted to do something about that. Wanted to try to inspire someone somewhere, really a thousand someones everywhere, to find a way to make it easier to reduce our own, personal impacts. So hopefully, someday, a billion someones can reduce their impact, to truly make that impact felt and effective.
While we recognized that most of us wish to reduce our impacts on this planet, we also recognized there are billions of humans on this planet. Each of them, is in their own unique situation, and often this unique situation makes our impacts radically different. A rural farmer in a Bolivian village does not have the same conditions as a businesswoman in a Canadian city, and their impact is forged in a much different way. Which is why we felt it prudent to establish our categories as recognizing of this fact: Limited Resources and Abundant Resources. Having a different resource base is intrinsic in how you impact the environment. Yes that farmer may use less plastic than the businesswoman, but they certainly use more land and as their nation grows, themselves and other farmers will need more land,, which needs more water which means less drinking water for more people, and so forth and so on in a million ways. And while the businesswoman may wish to use less plastic in her life, her lunch she buys comes on a styrofoam plate, the coffee shop she visits only has plastic cups, the water bottles she buys because her water line is tainted only come in plastic and she has no way to reuse them.
These scenarios may vary widely, but there is one thing in common: they both arose because for the longest time, people did not care, did not think it mattered. But now, people do care. They do think it matters. They KNOW it matters. And for our 2020 Spellman HV Clean Tech Competition, we want to help find a way to let that caring matter. So please, send us every idea you have, because we need them all. We are incredibly excited to see what everyone has to offer, and we know every single one comes from a place of caring for the environment.
In the end, is that not what really matters?
No, I am not talking about my breakfast (it was quick and bland.) But I am talking about Clean Tech news! Today we have our final meeting to nail down the last few details, and then we can announce it to the world! It is pretty amazing to have something like this sooooo close, but not quite there. A purgatory of excitement, one I simultaneously wish to be over now and never. Well, we know it will not be never, but until I am able to spill the beans it will feel like forever! Like having that secret you wish to tell your friend, but cannot because it will ruin the surprise, this excitement is only amplified by being unable to tell.
But I promise, it will come soon!
While I do not have too much to talk about, I am just too excited to not post about the 2020 Clean Tech Competition! Everyone involved is hard at work preparing for the event, and if you are just as excited as we are, you should make sure to keep your eyes peeled for this coming month of September! We will be making an announcement of the date for our next competition final, the theme of this years event, when registration opens, and maybe another bit of exciting info as well…
Regardless, keep an eye on our social media, our blog, your email, basically anywhere you keep up to date with the newest and most exciting Clean Tech news! This will be our 9th annual competition, and we hope to see you and members of your school involved as we look for the next exciting breakthrough in sustainability and green technology!
A few weeks ago, the 2019 Spellman HV Clean Tech Competition came to a close, and I am still in awe. While I had been there for the 2018 Finals, this was the first competition that I had seen from start to finish, and it was a truly incredible experience. It is so easy to get wrapped up in the doom and gloom of our current news cycles when it comes to the environment, and what they always seem to miss are things like this. I read about so many incredible projects, communicated with so many incredible people, heard from so many intelligent contestants. These simple actions helped me to revive a little bit of hope in the face of this continual onslaught of misery, and they were some days this was sorely needed.
Then I finally got the ability to meet some of these teams, put a face to these amazing people. And even though I had high expectations, I was still blown away. They were all so passionate about their projects, and they should be! They had just spent innumerable hours over many stressful days, trying to find a way to work Toward A Greener Tomorrow. And it was not just these team members, it was their support. The amazing Team Leaders that helped guide them through their research, their friends that helped keep them motivated, their parents that gave them that extra support. These projects were researched by the team members, but they were not the only people behind it. These, as with any project, are the result of a vast support network that makes them possible. And that is what in the end gives me hope. It is not just a select few that care, it is countless silent members of their community that push them and allow them to do this. Without all of them involved, innovation could not happen on the scale we need it to for our planet to heal.
This competition is a wonderful part of the movement towards sustainability, and I am honored to be a part of it. Administering the competition may have been my role, but in my opinion it was the most insignificant part. Coordination is important, but what is the point in coordinating if there is no one participating?
I am excited to see the growth of this competition into the future, to see more incredible ideas coming forth from the next generation. From the newest class of innovation and progression. 2019 was an amazing year for the Clean Tech Competition, and 2020 will be even better, of that I have no doubt.
Clean Tech Competition Administrator
Speaking of, a little bird told me that information for the 2020 competition will be coming soon..! So, please keep an eye on our social media and on your email, as we gear up to announce next years event!
Every year, teams from all over the world congregate together, vying for 1st Place in the Spellman HV Clean Tech Competition, with this year being no different. And while the primary reason they are here is to compete for the honor and achievement, we also wish to give them some world class presentations so they may see other aspects of their upcoming career they may never have thought of before! So please, read on below as we give a brief introduction of this years guests as we excitedly count down the final hours until we meet on July 17th!
Dean of the Albert Nerken School of Engineering at The Cooper Union
Barry L. Shoop became Dean of the Albert Nerken School of Engineering in January 2019 after retiring as a Brigadier General from a 38-year career in the U.S. Army. For the last 25 years, he served in a number of key leadership roles at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point including Director of the Photonics Research Center, Director of the Electrical Engineering Program and most recently as Professor and Head of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. Dr. Shoop received the B.S. degree from the Pennsylvania State University and Ph.D. from Stanford University, both in electrical engineering. His research interests include optical information processing, neural networks, image processing, disruptive innovations and educational pedagogy.
President of Cameron Engineering & Associates of New York, PLLC
Mr. Kumbatovic’s primary responsibility is the management and detailed design of mechanical, electrical and security/IT/AV engineering systems for private, commercial and municipal projects. As an electrical engineer, he is fully experienced in electrical systems including lighting, power, emergency power including generators, transfer switches, UPS systems, fire alarm systems, information systems (IT), telephone systems, site utility power, life safety systems, security systems, digital video surveillance systems, perimeter fence security systems, and all types of interior and exterior lighting systems.
He is involved in the Firm’s mechanical, electrical, security/IT/AV and structural engineering design projects for commercial, municipal, correctional, institutional, industrial, healthcare, recreational, base building and tenant services, and educational projects.
Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering at Columbia University
Dr. Urban is a computational materials chemist and is interested in materials for clean-energy applications, particularly in materials for batteries and fuel cells. He is also a core member of the Columbia Electrochemical Energy Center, and an affiliated member of the Columbia Data Science Institute, where his group investigates materials for electrochemical energy storage and conversion using a combination of atomic-scale modeling and data science techniques..
Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at NYU Tandon School of Engineering
After several academic and industry positions in Mexico and Canada, Dr. de Leon came to NYU Tandon in 2007. His main research interest has been the modeling of transformers for electromagnetic transients, and he has done much research on the integration of renewable energy to the grid and the electrification of transportation. He has published over fifty journal papers and twenty conference papers on transformer topics. Other research interests include the analysis of power phenomena under non-sinusoidal conditions, the transient and steady state analyses of power systems, the thermal rating of cables and transformers, and the calculation of electromagnetic fields applied to machine design and modeling.
As we rapidly close down on our 2019 Clean Tech Competition Finals, it would be reticent not to talk a little about the company that has made this all possible over the last few years. 2019 will be the fourth year that Spellman HV Electronics has been the title sponsor of the competition, and in these four years we have seen growth that is in no small part due to them. Their generous support has allowed us to spread the competition further and farther, fulfilling both organizations goals of increasing STEM knowledge and awareness in every corner of the earth.
Founded in 1947, this family owned company is the worlds leading independent supplier of precision DC high voltage power supplies, X-Ray generators and Monoblock® X-Ray sources for medical, industrial and scientific applications. Essentially, if you have ever been to the doctor and required an X-Ray or MRI, odds are part of it was created and built by Spellman! They are ubiquitous across medical centers and synonymous with high quality equipment, which makes perfect sense when you see how much they have grown in the last 72 years. With production and research centers across the planet, they are the perfect match to a rapidly growing competition that looks to encourage youth research and scientific development.
While they came into this role as the sponsor, they are far from having a hands off approach to the event. Involved at every point of the process, they have provided judges, insight into expansion, ideas for involvement, speakers and much more. They share our long term goal of finding sustainable solutions to our worldly problems, and they want to help solve this environmental crisis as much as we do. They believe science advocacy is a crucial step in not only this process, but in improving the world as a whole. With their advanced medical technology they have helped heal countless human beings; with their sponsorship of the competition, they are looking to help heal the earth.
The Clean Tech Competition is proud to be sponsored by Spellman HV Electronics, and it is with them we have seen some of the best years of the event. So if you get the chance, be sure to thank them for everything they have done to advance sustainable solutions to the innumerable problems we face! Check out the video below to learn even more, and maybe get a sneak peak of the facilities our finalists will be lucky enough to tour in just a couple short weeks.
On this first day of summer (if you live in the northern hemisphere at least!), we are experiencing the longest time of sunlight of the whole year. While it is sad to think that it only gets shorter from here, it is even more upsetting to think of all that wasted energy coming from those billions of photons flying through space to get here. Solar power is one of the most prominent sources of renewable energy, you experience it almost every day of the year! All it would take to power the entire planet for a full year is 43,000 square miles of solar panels. Which, while it may seem like a lot, really is not when you think of how much surface area there is on the planet. Still, it makes you hope that one day soon we will be able to fully clear ourselves of dirty and inefficient sources of fuel! And maybe, it will be an invention based on research entered into the Clean Tech Competition that makes this change possible!
This years finals competition will be held at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art. This esteemed university is a leading source of education and research in the both the engineering and architectural fields, making it an ideal fit for the location of the 2019 Spellman HV Clean Tech Competition!
Cooper Union is located in the heart of Manhattan in New York City, putting it at a cultural crossroads that is hard to beat across the world. Founded in 1859, this intersection of intellectualism helped drive its founder to make the school open to everyone, regardless of their race, religion or economic class, which was a truly radical and forward thinking idea for its time. It offered free tuition to anyone who was accepted, and even now, most of the students accepted are provided full tuition scholarships for the four year undergraduate degree.
The school is at the forefront of American ingenuity in its respective fields, and this is made more evident by the uniquely beautiful design of its buildings against the backdrop of the classical modern city design. The Cooper Union is ecstatic to host this years Clean Tech finals, and everyone involved is looking forward to bringing together the bright young minds who have made it this far to this preeminent center of engineering and architecture!
Registration is done! It has been a whirlwind year and we are incredibly happy for all the teams that registered, we could not thank you more! We had hundreds of teams from across the globe enter into the competition and it just goes to prove that caring for the environment and a sustainable future is something that holds no boundaries. So thank you, to every student, every teacher, every parent, anyone who shared a post or told a friend, supported an idea or gave a new one. Thank you for everything you do to help our planet. You are the future we have in store, not the one of ignorance of the past, but inspiration for the future. You are all the reason we are moving Toward A Greener Tomorrow, and the reason we have hope!
We are close to fully announcing our venue, but we can confirm it is in New York City! One of the worlds amazing super cities, everyone at Spellman HV Electronics, Clean Tech Competition and the Center for Science Teaching and Learning are ecstatic to be hosting the event in a location such as this one. If you wish to have your chance at making it here…make sure you submit your papers! They are due April 12th by 4:00 PM Eastern Standard Time, so do not delay in uploading those to our website!
That is all for now, you will be hearing from me again soon with more info and updates and everything Clean Tech. Talk to you soon!