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06.18.18 – Daniels students take third place in the CanInfra Challenge

New infrastructure has the power to transform the nation. That's the inspiration behind the CanInfra Ideas Contest, which challenges university students, academics, professionals, think tanks, and others to develop new infrastructure ideas for the 21st century.

The winners of this year's competition were announced on May 30th, and a team that included recent Daniels Faculty HBA, Architectural Studies graduates Ji Song Sun and Hasnain Raza Akbar took third place, with an award of $10,000.

The team's submission, "Taking the High Road," proposes highway lanes that can wirelessly charge the batteries of electric vehicles while they are driving. This new infrastructure would help encourage the uptake of zero-emission vehicles on Canadian roads — one of the Government of Canada's goals. The team's design also includes rotating solar panels and wind turbines that would generate electricity from the sun and from wind turbulence created by the traffic.

"As an architectural designer, it was my great pleasure and honor to serve the team for the past several months by helping them visualize the ideas through 3D rhino models, renderings, diagrams, and physical models," said Sun, who participated in a number of architectural competitions throughout his undergraduate career will be joining the University of Calgary's Master of Architecture (Environmental Design) program this fall.

Akbar helped the team create cohesive visuals and focused on design elements of the highways as well as the over all infrastructure.

Other team members include, from U of T: Project Manager Jing Guo, who is currently pursuing a masters degree in applied science; Economic Consultant Benjamin Couillard, who holds a BA and MA in economics from the U of T; industrial engineering masters student Pavel Shmatnik, who led the group's research team, and life sciences graduate Thenvin Giridhar, who created animations. Aliyah Mohamed, a graduate of McMaster University, was the finance and feasibility lead; and Tashi Nanglo, who graduated from the University of Guelph, was the video director for the project.

Above: Team members for the project "Taking the High Road" pictured with Canada's Minister of Finance Bill Morneau

The CanInfra Ideas Contest was presented by The Boston Consulting Group in Canada and sponsored by Brookfield Asset Management, RBC, CIBC, Deloitte, Torys LLP, and media partner The Globe and Mail.

The winning team, "IceGrid: A Renewable Energy Microgrid for Nunavut," from Memorial University in St John's, proposed building "solar- and wind-powered micro power grids to replace dirty fuel-burning systems in rural communities. The IceGrid plan starts with a site in Iqaluit, Nunavut, and would scale to other rural communities across Canada's north."

For more information on the winning teams, visit the CanInfra Ideas Contest website.