Eighth annual EIC teams chosen

The EIC 2015 banner outside of the Seattle Center.

The EIC 2015 banner outside of the Seattle Center.

Founded in 2009, the Alaska Airlines Environmental Innovation Challenge has spent seven years tackling some of the most pressing environmental issues of our time. Over the years, the EIC has awarded more than $180,000 to teams attacking major environmental problems with real technology like thermoelectric generators, portable solar panel chargers, and insulation panels built from recycled materials salvaged from waste streams.

The 2016 EIC, which will take place on March 31, received 33 applications from college student teams across the state. The 23 chosen teams represent five schools and address a wide range of environmental issues. Read more about the winning teams from the 2015 EIC here and learn about the 2016 teams below.


Daniel Park, Moni Pal, Andy Tan, Xinyao Ding; UW Foster School of Business, UW Economics, UW Biology and ACMS, UW Civil and Environmental Engineering

Produce chitin-based biodegradable plastics for agriculture which has a niche of serving as a fertilizer after decomposing.

Bruno Ouattara, Di Sun, Adam Zhu, Jenny Wang, Mariko Howard; UW Electrical Engineering, UW Information Systems

Aquapel self-cleaning surface technology is a patented coating process to create water and oil repellent surfaces and at the same time, Aquapel can control the movement of water droplets on the surface to clean away dust particles.

Battery Informatics
Manan Pathak, Matt Murbach, Uttara Sahaym, Mushfiqur Sarker; UW Chemical Engineering, UW Electrical Engineering

Battery Informatics’ mission is to become a leader in providing systems for optimal operation of Lithium-ion batteries for electric grids and commercial buildings.

Bartholomew Olson, Eric Williams, Iziah Nixon, Michael Clark, Phillip Stepherson, Ry-Yon Nixon; Eastern Washington University Electrical Engineering, UW Physics, City University of Seattle Finance

The CO2-Quest project will recycle CO2 by feeding it in high concentrations to a fast-growing aquatic plant, duckweed, whose high starch concentration makes it an ideal ethanol production feedstock.

Decaf Style
Archana Narayan, Josh Kao,Yu-Liang Liu, Muhamad Said, Matthew Willett; UW Foster School of Business, UW Chemical Engineering

Decaf Style: Decaf On the Way to Go is currently developing new environmentally friendly materials that provide instant beverage decaffeination without affecting the taste.

Eagle R-1
Lucas Rockstrom; Eastern Washington University Mechanical Engineering

The project is to create an economical, tilting, Human-Electric hybrid vehicle capable of transporting a driver and passenger safely and efficiently at freeway speeds.

Devon Mortensen, Alex Ditter, Ryan Valenza; UW Physics

We will accelerate the discovery cycle in battery, catalysis, nuclear reactor materials, and environmental research and development by providing the first affordable, user-friendly access to advanced x-ray spectroscopies.

EC Meeseeks
Chaoyi Yuan, Zach Lerman, Robert Masse, Dan Shea, Richard Revia; UW Electrical Engineering, UW Materials Science

EC Meeseeks is building a low-cost (~$100) alternative to battery testing instrumentation, which typically runs in excess of $5000.

Ryan Ahearn, Kyle Roberts, Leila Asfari, Lukas Hillerstrom, Tessa Gomes, Jack Kamel; UW Mechanical Engineering, UW Physics

A device that converts the wasted heat energy from the engine of a car into electrical energy which in turn increases the fuel economy of the car.

Green Esters
Rishikesh Ghogare, Xiaochao Xiong, Yaojing Qiu; WSU Biological Systems Engineering

To overcome the key barriers of valorization of waste streams and high cost of biofuel production, the team will develop a synthetic biology platform to transform the negative-value or low-value waste materials into advanced biofuels and valuable chemicals.

Mahdi Ashrafi, Casey Carte, Brandon Smith, Saad Zaki; UW Mechanical Engineering

HEATEM’s technology is the first and only method that significantly cuts the cost and energy associated with bonding Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic (CFRP) composites parts, by applying the energy to where it is needed.

Ionic Windows
Ian Hochstein, Anthony Moretti; UW Chemical Engineering

Ionic Window provides low-cost, high-performance membranes for emerging grid-scale energy storage technologies.

Pedal Motive
Jason Bennett, Nickolas Hein; Pinchot University Metro MBA

Speedcase is an easy-to-use, weatherproof transmission that replaces derailleurs on existing bicycles to make them more dependable for year-round transportation, reducing cyclists’ reliance on the automobile for daily transportation needs.

Kurt Kung, Xinying Zeng, Jason Huang, Khang Lee, Kim Hua, Barbie Varghese; UW Bioengineering, UW Evans School of Public Affairs, UW Civil and Environmental Engineering, UW Electrical Engineering

Phase4 aims to provide an environmentally friendly filterless filter to multiple industrial filtration applications in a fully sustainable manner.

Protium Innovations
Bailee DePhelps, Brian Karlberg, Elijah Shoemake, Mitchell Scott; Washington State University Mechanical Engineering, WSU Materials Science, WSU Chemical Engineering

Hydrogen fuel cells require infrastructure development and the project will be building a hydrogen liquefaction unit which uses vortex tube technology to be more, efficient, cost effective, environmentally friendly, and scalable than current solutions.

Jeremy Gratz, Katelyn Stroud, Paul Riener, Weston Dotson; Eastern Washington University Mechanical Engineering, EWU Business, EWU Mechanical Engineering

Rite-Rain attaches ground moisture sensor technology to a homeowner’s garden hose sprinkler to automatically turn off the sprinkler and eliminate over-watering.

Kevin Cussen, Luiza Pompeo, Sara Brostrom, Sam Wright, Stacy Hanks; UW Foster School of Business, UW College of the Environment, UW Engineering, UW Political Science

Energy security as a service that reduces greenhouse gases.

David Ameneyro, Sameer Dawande, Shobana Vaidyanathan, Yingying Li; UW Foster School of Business, UW Mechanical Engineering

Sifinti is building a consumer appliance to grow up to 50 percent of a family’s vegetables using highly efficient, environmentally friendly, and proven aeroponic technology.

Slow Food Fast
Ian Hazard-Bill, Evan Mulvaney, Colin Stewart, Nicole Warren; The Evergreen State College Business and Sustainability Studies, ESC Agricultural Sciences

The project aims to prevent food from entering the waste stream by developing a network of mobile food-processing units that turn perishable food into shelf-stable goods, addressing the factors that lead to the problem of food waste: perishability, transport, consumer taste, cost of using food waste.

Smart Charger Pro
Nannan Jiang, Niccolo Fortes, Samson Smith, Yanbo Qi, Yutian Qian; UW Chemical Engineering

Smart Charger Pro offers customers a smarter way to charge their electronic devices; utilizing flexible charging rates powered by electrochemical model control, a longer life per charge and improved battery health can be achieved, to reduce battery waste and save energy .

Elias Baker, Lauren Mittelman, Brian Wu; Seattle University Mechanical Engineering, UW School of Public Health

Tape-It-Easy is a tool that simplifies the installation of water efficient drip irrigation, removing barriers to adoption, and ultimately contributing to global water conservation.

Matthew Fife; UW Electrical Engineering

UbiEnergy has created an easy-to-use, mobile energy harvesting system that can capture energy and store it for use with common devices needed in developing countries.

WT Environtech
Mengjie Cao, Dan Guo, Wentao Li; UW Civil & Environmental Engineering, UW Electrical Engineering

Develop a novel small, cheap and sensitive sensor using UV absorbance and fluorescence methods for frequent online measuring water quality.



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