Tallinn University of Technology (TalTech) students won the EuroTeQaThon competition of European technical universities last week in the category of city-related projects. The Urban Mobility Hub team's winning solution consists of a modular and completely customizable dashboard for measuring and predicting both short-term and long-term GHG emissions, which additionally uses weather data, traffic cameras and geodata. Its greatest impact on cities comes in the form of real-time information, giving policymakers stronger grounds for testing out new urban solutions, legislations and campaigns to alter human behaviour aiming for CO2 reduction. Their biggest mission is to reduce the CO2 generated by city traffic (which represents 23% of global GHG emissions).
The Urban Mobility Hub project came from a research group led by Professor Sadok Ben Yahia from the Department of Software Science. The team of students continued to tackle the problem in the new open course "Green Deal Collider: Sustainable Futures” (3 ECTS), the output of which was participation in the EuroTeQaThon. The team members were Olena Chornovol (Software Sciences, PhD, open university continuing education student), Riina Eedra (Digital Transformation in Business, MSc), Helena Väinmaa (IT systems development, BSc), Chahinez Ounoughi (Information and Communication Technology, PhD) and Mervet Kägu (open university continuing education student).
The student's supervisor, Sadok Ben Yahia, said: “The goal is to help the city stakeholders and citizens to be aware of their traffic environment situation in the form of dashboards that provide real-time reports about CO2 emissions and noise levels. This wonder women team rocketed a brilliant idea developed and tested in the Data Science group. I’m very proud of their accomplishment and happy that we worked hand in hand”.
In the energy category, the TalTech team represented project MindChip with the slogan “Let the ship do the work”. The topic’s mentor was Heigo Mõlder (Department of Electrical Power Engineering and Mechatronics), who leads the autonomous robot ship project at TalTech. Rolando Antonio Gilbert Zequera (Electrical Power Engineering and Mechatronics, PhD) and Liise Marie Reinik (Energy Technology and Thermal Engineering, MSc), assisted by Monika Shrestha (Software Engineering, MSc), continued to deal with the problem statements and a possible solution within the scope of the course Green Deal Collider.
In the energy category, the winner was the team Waste Heaters from the Czech Technical University, whose slogan was New Life for Waste Heat. The aim of the project is to optimize power production in gas pressure reduction stations, where electricity is produced by using the pressure differential in an expansion turbine, which is being operated in combination with a cogeneration unit to ensure the necessary preheating of the gas, and to produce additional volumes of electricity. In the consumption category, the Eindhoven University of Technology's team Sortonics won with the slogan “Point it out”. The project aims to contribute to waste sorting companies’ sorting lines with an integrated photonic circuitry solution to create a more robust material recognition system.
A trip to Brussels awaits the winners on the 19-20th of January, where the students present the winning idea to representatives of the European Commission.
This year, the jury consisted of five specialists in the domain - Prof. Dr. -Ing Gerhard Müller (Vice President of TUM), Kaisa Hansen (TalTech Startup Center manager), Inese Podgaiska (Secretary General of the Nordic Engineers Association), Dirk van Meer (CEO CORE, Speaker and start-up coach) and Aleš Marek (CEO and founder of AED – Architecture. Engineering. Design). Kaisa Hansen said: “It was interesting that even though the teams were international and from different countries, some of the ideas came up familiar. It seems that people (also in different countries) somehow think in the same tact. I would like to especially praise all the Estonian teams who made very good presentations. Good luck to everyone in the further development of the projects!”.
The second EuroTeQaThon took place this time on 23-25 November 2022 at the Technical University of Munich, Germany. The teams had to previously solve in their home universities the challenges of companies or organizations in three areas - cities, consumption and energy. The main theme of the competition was “Leave no Waste behind”. Each university selected the top three teams, one from each category, to advance to the EuroTeQaThon finals.
EuroTeQ Collider is a challenge-based learning activity in which students are presented with challenges (incl. by research groups/businesses) in the field of sustainability, for which they then need to find solutions as a team. In order to solve real-life problems, interdisciplinarity, which is based on the knowledge of different fields and the ability to link them to the needs of society and the industry, is essential.
EuroTeQ Engineering University is a 3-year collaboration project between a number of universities across Europe, which aims to set up systematic and sustainable collaborations in teaching activities. The project will establish joint study programmes across different disciplines, sectors, and national borders.
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