Murdoch Dubai students to showcase innovations at Expo 2020

December 28, 2017

Expo 2020 winners: Two Murdoch Dubai student teams win University Innovation Programme

Two student teams from Murdoch Dubai have won the right to showcase innovative sustainable projects at World Expo 2020 in Dubai.

The teams, chosen through three rounds of judging from 280 applications to Expo2020 University Innovation Programme, each received AED 25,000 to each develop a concept designed to make a positive social impact.

Dubai Dean, Dr James Trotter, said the students had impressed the judges with their creative thinking, problem-solving ability, and collaboration.

“This is a great opportunity for the Murdoch University Dubai students to have a presence at this important event and to combine hands-on learning with their academic studies,” he said.

The ‘Ferti Food Organics’ team plans to turn food waste from restaurants and retail outlets into odour-free fertiliser. The idea was borne after one student observed a pizza shop throwing out large amounts of unused food because alternative methods of disposal were impractical or expensive.

The United Arab Emirates has one of the highest rates of food wastage in the world, so the project offers significant benefits to the community, according to team members Vrushabh Chotalia, Huzaifa Hameed and Owaish Mustafa, who are being mentored by Madhavi Ayyagari.

To take the idea from concept to reality, the team will conduct a feasibility study, develop a home-based do-it-yourself prototype followed by a machine-based commercial model, as well as set up the supply chain for food waste and a mini demonstration farm.

Team 'Big Foot' won the right to participate in Expo 2020 with their concept for a fresh produce labelling system to enable consumers to choose products that are less harmful for the environment.

The plan will enable consumers to make informed decisions by labelling fruit and vegetables sold in local supermarkets with their carbon footprint, obtained by tracking the carbon emissions through the supply chain.

The plan also includes motivating supermarket outlets to stock produce that is more environmentally friendly. The students are also investigating possible Government support to help motivate supermarkets, such as tax cuts or the establishment of a Green Heroes award and other Government-backed awareness campaigns.

To implement these two strategies the team will need to establish a database of all locally grown and imported produce, detailing how they are grown and transported from the farm to shelf.

The Big Foot team members – Graeme Philip Smit, Gary D’Souza, Suhail Mohammed, Bianca Greyvenstein and Aafia Raheem – said the innovation was very relevant for the UAE, which sources products from all over the world to meet consumer demand.

The team is mentored by Wayne Muller.


Print This Post Print This Post

Leave a comment

You can use these tags : <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

We read every comment and will make every effort to approve each new comment within one working day. To ensure speedy posting, please keep your comments relevant to the topic of discussion, free of inappropriate language and in-line with the editorial integrity of this newsroom. If not, your comments may not be published.

Thanks for commenting!