RIT Dubai Engineering students Fatma El Shemy, Vishva Palitharathna and Sharan Sadhu recently received third prize in the Intersolar Young Leaders' Innovation Challenge, beating university teams from across the region. Securing bronze, they were rewarded for their work on reducing the carbon foot print of Al Qassimi Hospital in Sharjah.
The competition encourages students to showcase their views on sustainability and retro fitting of current buildings. Participants chose a government building and were required to achieve at least a 25% reduction in the building's energy consumption. They did this through a range of innovative ideas covering areas including insulation, solar water tanks, smartgrenhousing and solar walkways.
The team received a trophy and certificate from the UAE Ministry of Energy, a 6 week Internship in a MESIA member company in the UAE, and US $900 in cash as a prize.
Supported by Professor Dr Ghalib Kahwaji and other Engineering faculty, the students said it was hard work but a fantastic experience. 'We're proud to have come up with a range of measures that could be adopted to make a real difference. Living here in the UAE we are very mindful of the need to save energy and how this can be done." said Fatma.
While most students were on vacation or working, the team continued on their project over the summer break. Vishva said: 'We put a huge amount of effort into it and particularly mindful of the impact we could have as we were working during the hottest months when temperatures outside were in the high 40s. The modelling and initiates that we did can make huge cost savings as well so it makes economic as well as environmental sense.
Dr Ghalb: "We are very proud of the team, and the fit that their hard work and detailed research has been recognised is great. It's important for students to see the impact that their work can have as engineers, and this engagement with the local community is very much what RIT Dubai is all about"
Sharan is currently studying for a year abroad at the RIT New York campus.