The Cool Clay team was praised for its ingenuity in tackling the Self-Sustained Sen-sors System challenge, designing an economical, portable and environmentally-friendly cooling system that requires no input energy due to its use of evaporative cooling. The idea was based on using material with high thermal conductivity sand-wiched between two layers of pottery clay. The clay is sprayed with measured amounts of water, leaving a length of exposed material protruding to act as the cool-ing element inside the enclosure that needs temperature control.
The first runner-up was the Hydrotech Cleaning Solutions team from New York Uni-versity Abu Dhabi in the UAE. The team was inspired by the Namib Desert beetle, designing a wiper-like device that harvests water from the air with the help of syn-thetic material to provide a cleaning solution for dusty solar panels. The team argued their project will minimize cleaning costs for solar panels used in Abu Dhabi and help conserve scarce water resources.
Another team from the University of Sharjah was the second runner-up. The Solar Impulse team addressed the Next Generation of Grid Control challenge with a solu-tion to tackle the Gulf region’s increased electricity demand during hot summer months. The project suggests supplying cellular structures with an easily-accessible source of energy during extreme heat periods. To achieve this, solar energy powers an unconventional impulse steam turbine that feeds the grid during peak hours and stores excess energy for use during low-demand periods. The system uses the me-chanical properties of a low density foam-buoy in water tanks to store energy in its optimum form, providing an eco-friendly and cost-efficient solution.
The third runner-up was the ALTAPETE team from King Edward Medical University in Lahore, Pakistan. The students came up with an answer to the Imaging and Therapy Rooms of the Future challenge. Their Intervention and Imaging Combined: Integrated ORs idea aims to optimize multiple aspects of imaging and surgical rooms for use in developing countries. With economic constraints in mind, the students proposed a design that places highly-expensive imaging tools such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) devices and Computed Tomography (CT) scanners in a way that enables their use for indoor and outdoor patients, without compromising the sterility and functionality of operating rooms.
The EGY Tracker team won the People’s Choice Award with a project to increase the efficiency of solar power conversion. The award was voted for by the public, who were able to register as community members on the Siemens Student Award website and show their support for a particular idea by clicking the “Like” button. EGY Tracker’s idea to enhance the amount of time that a solar panel is directly perpendicular to sunlight received the most “Likes” from the public.
“All of this year’s finalists demonstrated impressive creativity with their submissions. We would like to congratulate each of the teams for their efforts to produce solutions that tackle some of the most critical issues facing the Middle East,” said Dietmar Siersdorfer, CEO of Siemens Middle East and UAE. “With this competition, Siemens is proud to contribute to social development in the region, and we look forward to further enhancing our role through education and training initiatives.”
Out of the four finalists, the frontrunner received a cash prize of USD 25,000, fol-lowed by USD 10,000 for each of the three runners-up and USD1,500 for the winner of the People’s Choice Award.
The Student Award attracted entrants from more than 120 universities, from coun-tries including Egypt, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Jordan, Oman, Kuwait, Libya, Bahrain, Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen. The competition is in its second year, following the inaugural contest in 2011.