MELBOURNE, FLA.—Two student teams from Florida Institute of Technology were among 10 teams chosen to compete for the $100,000 grand prize in the MegaWatt Ventures competition to develop a commercially viable clean energy technology. Finalist teams were each awarded $10,000 from the U.S. Department of Energy to develop their commercially viable green technology company for the September 8-9 final event. It will be held at the Florida Solar Energy Center in Cocoa.
The Florida Tech finalist teams are Team Bladeworks and Team OrgSolar. Team members are graduate students except for two undergraduates.
Team BladeWorks is developing unique wind turbine blade designs. Team member are graduate students Adithya Nagesh, a master’s degree student in aerospace engineering; Jerome Le Moine, a master’s degree student in aerospace engineering; and Alexandra Loiero, currently working on her bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering and mathematical sciences. The faculty adviser is Chelakara Subramanian, professor and program chair of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.
Team OrgSolar is developing cost-effective photovoltaics. Team members are Eswar Chandra Saatwik Timmavajjala, who is currently pursuing a master’s degree in mechanical engineering; Rohit Kelkar, now pursuing a master’s degree in mechanical engineering; Maulik Patel, working on a master’s degree in aerospace engineering; and Shantanu Jain, working on a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. The team’s adviser is Kunal Mitra, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering. He is also president of OrgSolar Inc. The company was founded from funding received from an annual clean energy business competition sponsor by the U.S. Department of Energy.
MegaWatt Ventures is an annual clean energy business plan competition, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy and the University of Central Florida, in partnership with the University of Florida, University of South Florida, Florida State university, Embry Riddle Aeronautical University and Florida Tech. Its goal is to encourage technology commercialization from the laboratory to the marketplace. More information is available at www.megawattventures.com.