An engineering student from West Virginia University won first place at the 2018 Green Entrepreneur Competition. The event was held on August 25-27, in Sao Paolo, Brazil, during the third annual Student Congress, an international seminar hosted by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and Power and Energy Society.
The competition brought together more than 100 students from 30 countries to work in teams to explore green energy entrepreneurial practices that could positively impact energy production and climate change throughout the world.
Hasan Ul Banna, an electrical engineering doctoral student from Lahore, Pakistan, won first place along with team mates from Jordan, India and Costa Rica, for their proposal to create a startup company that would use wheat straw, mushrooms and beans to produce natural gas. Their innovative method was designed to extract natural gas without producing harmful by-products and allow for local production that would eliminate the difficult task of transporting natural gas in developing countries. Additionally, the by-products created during production could be utilized as fertilizer, making their company both environmentally friendly and sustainable.
“I was not expecting to win and can’t begin to explain how amazing this experience was,“ said Ul Banna. "The competition provided me an excellent opportunity to meet fellow students, entrepreneurs and industry members and to also work in tandem with international colleagues in solving a problem that is very pressing for not only developing countries but also developed countries. I am grateful for the opportunity.”
The winners of the competition received a commemorative plaque, certificate of achievement and a prize package from sponsors.