October 02, 2020
Winners of the CMU VentureWell Virtual Energy Hackathon
By Daniella Greeman and Aiswariya Raja
The CMU VentureWell Virtual Energy Hackathon took place on September 29 and 30 with 14 teams across Carnegie Mellon University, University of Pittsburgh, and Robert Morris University. The 24-hour hackathon was an opportunity for students to work in interdisciplinary teams to solve energy data challenges from Duquesne Light Company, Giant Eagle and World Bank Group.
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).