University students create innovative solutions at SPARK Competition in Pennsylvania

6 December 2019

Ramboll's SPARK Innovation Competition creates innovative solutions to real-time challenges facing industry today.

SPARK Innovation Competition

SPARK Innovation Competition

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Jamie Newtown

Jamie Newtown

T: +1 585 295 7715

Students from the University of Pennsylvania, Haverford College, Temple University, Drexel University and Villanova University recently came together for an innovation competition that aims to add some spark to the fields of advanced manufacturing, energy, environment and water.

As part of the 16th SPARK Innovation Competition, more than 60 university students worked with Ramboll experts and industry partners – including Comcast, the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia Energy Action Team, Honeywell, Merck and the University of Pennsylvania – to solve real-time problems facing industry today. In this 24-hour, think-tank style event, teams worked to brainstorm, problem solve and find innovative solutions to various challenges.

The competition's winning team came up with an innovative solution for making Philadelphia the epicenter of the biotechnology industry. Other topics included data platforms to support energy reduction, pathways for energy policy, integrating beneficial reuse of sediments into remediation projects, and sustained reduction of utility consumption and carbon footprint on campus. 

Ideas were evaluated by a panel of judges, including Merck Director of Global Facilities Management Nancy Bednarik, Ballard Spahr Manufacturing Group Leader and Environment & Natural Resources Partner Brendan Collins, and USACE, Philadelphia District Geo Environmental Chief Dan Sirkis. Awards were provided to the top teams. For students, the competition is a great way to gain real-life training in solving issues with innovative solutions. For Ramboll and its industry partners, it provides the opportunity to gain fresh perspective and meet top talent.

The competition was held at the Comcast Technology Center and the Hilton Doubletree Center City in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on November 14–15, 2019.

About SPARK

Started in 2013, SPARK has since been scaled to competitions held across the US, comprised of multiple universities and Fortune 50 companies. As part of each competition, diverse, cross-discipline student teams are provided problem statements and given just under 24 hours to come up with a solution. Guided by subject matter experts from Ramboll and industry partners, the teams ideate, develop concepts and pitch their solutions to a panel of academic and private sector judges to win a cash prize.
 

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