Industrial Design seniors enrolled in Dr. Whitney Nunnelley's Systems, Environment, and Context studio recently participated in the 3rd Annual International E-Waste Design Competition. Students, J. Makai Catudio, Ryan Barnes, Danny Kopren, Sam Wellskopf, and Lennon TeRonde were awarded first and second prize in the Reuse Category. The winners were announced during a ceremony on December 4, 2012 at the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC), the coordinating agency for Sustainable Electronics Initiative. ISTC is part of the Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois. The ceremony was simultaneously broadcast as a webinar to allow participation of as many students who entered and other interested parties as possible.
A total of 19 entries were submitted; 10 in the Reuse category and 9 in the Prevention category. Jurors awarded monetary prizes to the top three projects within each category, along with one honorable mention award. The first place winners will receive $3000, second place is $2000, and third place receives $1000. A total of $12,000 was awarded, which has been made possible through generous contributions by Peter Mcdonnell (Friend level) and Dell (Platinum level).
The first place "Platinum" award ($3000) was submitted by J. Makai Catudio and Ryan Barnes. Their project "Digitizer" is a revolutionary new product meant to revitalize film-based photography and bring it up to date in the digital era. The purpose of the digitizer is to reduce future electronic waste of cameras while reusing materials that are electronic byproducts. It does this by reducing the number of film-based cameras that are replaced by digital cameras, upgrading and adapting to new technologies without discarding and replacing currently working devices, and reusing often discarded electronic waste in its manufacture. By manufacturing the digitizer from e-waste components, chemicals such as lead, beryllium, arsenic, and mercury will also be kept out of landfills. The digitizer serves a twofold purpose by meeting the needs of an unfulfilled market of photographers and reducing electronic waste caused by outdated cameras.
The second place "Gold" award ($2000) was submitted by Danny Kopren, Sam Wellskopf, and Lennon TeRonde. "The Wake Up Project" is a highly marketable, easy to use, smart clock concept that tracks the users wake-up times using software on a reused internet router. The smart clock would also incorporate reused cell phone parts, as well as plastic recycled from e-waste. Using crossover cables connected to a built-in web interface, the user can set a time for the clock to sound every morning. The Wake Up Project is a realistic solution to the ewaste problem that can secondarily provide consumer education opportunities. The Wake Up web site would have information about e-waste and how the consumer could play a role in solving the e-waste problem.
The official press release can be found at: http://ewaste.illinois.edu/2012winnerspressrelease.pdf