Carnegie Mellon University

Hosted by the Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy Innovation at Carnegie Mellon University, the CMU VentureWell Virtual Energy Hackathon 2020 was an opportunity for collegiate students to tackle some of the toughest challenges facing leading energy companies and organizations. The Hackathon took place virtually on September 29-30, 2020.

Students worked in interdisciplinary teams for 24 hours to combine their energy expertise, data analytics, business intelligence, and economic reasoning to solve a specific problem presented to them. Participants had the opportunity to engage with real-world energy data, win $1,000 and network with energy experts. 


2020 Hackathon Winners

Teams with the best data solutions and recommendations were awarded USD 2,250 in prizes. Students had a chance to brainstorm ideas with several student and corporate mentors and present their solutions to a panel of expert judges. 

First Place ($1000): Team 'Tartan Ignite' [Joan Nkiriki, Nyla Khan, Kyle Chrichton, and Lauren Janicke] (World Bank challenge). The team developed a Tableau dashboard to inform renewable energy investments in Uganda. The dashboard was designed to provide insights from open data hosted on various World Bank websites.

Second Place ($750): Team 'The Dundies' [Anand Mohan Yadav, Niranjana Sreejayan, Alexandra Kramer, and Siddhi Rathi] (Giant Eagle challenge). The team proposed using PV solar panels to leverage the large rooftop and parking area available in most Giant Eagle stores along with batteries to help reduce overall electricity costs.

Third Place ($500): Team 'Energy Titans' [Yash Gokhale, Soumyajit Chowdhuri, Durva Naik, and Niharika Singh] (Duquesne Light Company challenge). The team developed an automated script using Python, to predict the stability of a simulation and further optimize the result through curve fitting techniques. The script also included capabilities to generate a results report in the form of a MS Word document, for users not fluent in using the Python interface.

The virtual competition was judged by Andrew Chabot (BCI Technology Investments), Brad Morris (Giant Eagle), Elizabeth Cook (Duquesne Light Company), Hong Yang (World Bank Group), Matineh Eybpoosh (WattLearn), Sakshi Mishra (NREL) and William Sapon (Peoples Natural Gas).

    Anand Mohan - 2nd Prize

2020 Challenge Partners

world bank group logo
Duquesne Light Company logo
Giant Eagle logo

2020 Hackathon Judges

Andrew Chabot - Principal, BCI Technology Investments

2020 Hackathon Judge - Andrew Chabot

Sakshi Mishra - Researcher, Energy Analytics and Optimization, NREL

2020 Hackathon Judge - Sakshi Mishra

William Sapon - Senior Advisor, Clean Energy & Transportation, People's Natural Gas

2020 Hackathon Judge - William Sapon

Matineh Eybpoosh - Co-founder & CEO, WattLearn Inc.

2020 Hackathon Judge - Matineh Eybpoosh

Brad Morris - Senior Manager of Engineering and Energy, Giant Eagle Inc.

2020 Hackathon Judge - Brad Morris

Elizabeth Cook - Senior Manager, Transmission & Distribution Planning, DLC

2020 Hackathon Judge - Elizabeth Cook

Tigran Parvanyan - Energy Specialist, The World Bank

2020 Hackathon Judges - Tigran Parvanyan

2020 Hackathon Company Mentors

Katie Flynn - Program Manager, Giant Eagle Inc.

2020 Hackathon Mentor - Katie Flynn

Gianmarco Alian - Transmission Planning Engineer, DLC

2020 Hackathon Mentor - Gianmarco Alian

Hong Yang - Energy Data Analyst, World Bank Group

2020 Hackathon Mentor - Hong Yang

Stephen Abate - Transmission Planning Engineer, DLC

2020 Hackathon Mentor - Stephen Abate

Our Supporters

VentureWell logo

Lemelson Foundation logo