Texas State Students Win Shell and Net Impact's International Competition to Design Renewable Energy Solutions

Apr 18, 2018 9:55 AM ET

OAKLAND, Calif., April 18, 2018 /3BL Media/ - A team of students from Texas State University was honored as the winner of the Net Impact Future of Energy Challenge at Shell’s Powering Progress Together event. Their research applied blockchain technology to local solar grids.

The Future of Energy Challenge, a design case competition from Shell and Net Impact, asked students and young professionals around the world to propose new ideas on how to decrease carbon emissions while meeting the energy demands of a growing global population. Participants were encouraged to design collaborative, innovative solutions that tackled challenges in a specific area of renewable energy, such as energy sourcing, transportation and storage, or final use energy.

A total of 35 teams submitted initial proposals, which ranged from thermochromic roof paint to biodigesters. Eleven teams were selected to receive individual feedback from Shell’s New Energies Research & Technologies team and build out their ideas into fully-fledged workable solutions. Over the course of two months, teams attended webinars with Shell’s researchers, and continued to revise and improve their proposals to draw out creative, implementable ways to move the needle on renewable energy. After a final round of judging, three teams were selected as finalists.

“We were excited to work with teams from colleges and universities around the world on how technology and innovation are opening doors for new forms of energy generation and storage,” said Erik Daniel from Shell’s New Energies Research & Technologies.

The five-person winning team from Texas State University is comprised of Nikita Demidov (Undergraduate in Finance), Cedrik Chavez (Undergraduate in Digital Media and Innovation), Milad Korde (Professional in Geographic Information Science and Environmental Studies), Muhammad Abdullah (Graduate in Mechanical Engineering) and Joseph Fisher (Undergraduate in Finance). They presented a comprehensive solution that used blockchain technology to increase usage and efficacy of local solar grids.

“The Future of Energy has helped me better understand the challenges and opportunities of the renewable energy sector, and I could not be more pleased with the outcome. The opportunity to compete with my fellow students and the interaction with the Shell research team has inspired me to consider a career in the energy sector,” says Nikita Demidov of the Texas State team.

Second place was awarded to Lisa Fillingame and Colin Curzi of Johns Hopkins, (MBA candidates at the Carey School of Business), who designed a financing mechanism that enables microgrids to power groups of privately-owned buildings while providing stable and low-carbon energy. A team from Duke University came in third. Its members, Lina Kahn, Ziting Huang, and Ananya Chaurey (all Graduate students in Environmental Management), put together a plan to retrofit Shell service stations as sites for electric vehicle charging and solar power generation. “The Future of Energy Challenge generated ideas so cutting edge that the technologies they rely on are evolving as the Challenge unfolds. Several interdisciplinary teams incorporated blockchain and distributed grids into their concepts, using technology to address community energy needs in exceptionally innovative ways”, said Megan Shea, Associate Program Director of Net Impact and lead on the Future of Energy Challenge.

For more information about the Future of Energy Challenge, visit the page here.


About The Future of Energy Challenge
The Future of Energy Challenge asked the next generation of thinkers, inventors, and entrepreneurs to design collaborative, innovative ideas addressing the question: How might we provide much more energy for a growing global population while finding ways to emit much less CO2? The Challenge inspires solutions around four major opportunity areas: sourcing more renewable energy, scaling novel energy carriers, increasing use of hydrogen, and transitioning to electrification. In addition, participants can submit additional creative, impactful ideas as wildcard solutions.

About Shell
Shell Oil Company is an affiliate of the Royal Dutch Shell plc, a global group of energy and petrochemical companies with operations in more than 70 countries. In the U.S., Shell operates in 50 states and employs more than 20,000 people working to help tackle the challenges of the new energy future. Shell Oil Company is a leading oil and gas producer in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico, a recognized pioneer in oil and gas exploration and production technology and one of America’s leading oil and natural gas producers, gasoline and natural gas marketers and petrochemical manufacturers.

About Make the Future & Powering Progress Together
Make the Future Festivals is Shell's global platform for conversation, collaboration and innovation around the world's energy challenges. With events hosted in countries around the globe, they aim to provide an opportunity for multiple stakeholders: including students, entrepreneurs, businesses, governments and the public, to experience, test and contribute bright energy ideas. It is comprised of different elements including Shell Eco-marathon – a global program built to offer students hands-on opportunities to develop ideas and technology, knowledge and skills, within an arena of competition; and Powering Progress Together – a series of conferences that spark new thinking on how to increase resilience in the face of growing pressure on the world’s vital resources.

About Net Impact
Net Impact is a global community of students and professionals who aspire to be effective drivers of economic, social and environmental change. Our programs—delivered from our headquarters in Oakland, CA, as well as globally through our 350+ Chapters—connect our members to the skills, experiences and people that will allow them to have the greatest impact. With over 100,000 members, Net Impact takes on social challenges, protects the environment, invents new products and orients business toward the greater good. In short, we help our members turn their passions into a lifetime of world-changing action. Visit www.netimpact.org.

Media Contacts

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For Net Impact
Catherine Muriel
+415-495-4230 x314