CAES to hold final competition for annual pitch event Sept. 23

Finalists in CAES Annual Pitch Event pitch their ideas for INL’s Net Zero effort Sept. 23

The finalists of the CAES Annual Pitch Event 2021: Pathways to INL Net Zero will pitch their ideas on Sept. 23 starting at 10 a.m. MT on GoToWebinar. Go here to register. The main competition will be held from 10 a.m. to 11:45, followed by a presentation on Idaho National Laboratory's Net Zero efforts at 11:45 a.m. and the announcement of the winners at 12:30 p.m.

CAES launched its annual pitch event to support the innovation culture across the CAES consortium (INL, Boise State University, Idaho State University and University of Idaho). Open to everyone in the CAES community and to all levels of ideas, this year's event incorporated a real-world problem set into the competition: assist INL in meeting its goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2031.

Contestants competed in three tracks, received CO*STAR and RIIS training, and went through a semi-final down-selection round. Finalists in each track will pitch their ideas during the finals, and one contestant in each track will emerge with up to $20K in funding to help them further develop their proposals, either for implementation at INL or to assist in the pursuit of follow-on federal funding.

Here are the finalists, their project, and their affiliation:

Track A: Demonstration projects

  • Amey Khanolkar, INL – “Innovative Carbon-free HVAC Systems using Nuclear Micro-Reactors at INL’s Site”
  • Naqsh Mansoor, Boise State University – “Energy Efficient Water Remeditation via Flow Electrode Capacitive Deionization”
  • Muhammad Usman, INL – “INL Internet of Buildings (INL-IoB) Platform”

Track B: Projects that can be implemented today

  • Amey Khanolkar, INL — Modernizing INL’s Buildings using Electrochromic Smart Windows
  • Damon Woods, University of Idaho – “Infrared Thermostat”
  • Benny Varghese, INL – “Solar Covered Parking Spots”

Track C: Open submission

  • Michael Hoover, INL – “Essential Function Analysis Capability – Business Continuity”
  • Mustafa Mashal, Idaho State University – “Sustainable and Green Concrete Mixes for INL’s Infrastructure”