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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Lighting the way for young scholars

Electrical+engineer+junior%26%23160%3BAdam+Curtis+was+part+of+the+winning+team%2C+Illumi-Nite%2C+which+won+the+national+invent+for+the+Planet+competition.
Photo by Photo by Kiara Stewart

Electrical engineer junior Adam Curtis was part of the winning team, Illumi-Nite, which won the national invent for the Planet competition.

After winning the global Invent for the Planet competition, a group of Aggies plan to take their first place invention to investors.
From Feb. 16-18, Invent for the Planet challenged students from around the world to create and assemble an invention to address various needs statements based on major global issues. The winning team, Illumi-Nite, chose to focus on the needs of children with little or no access to electricity by building a lightweight, easy-to-use lighting system for reading.
The second place team, composed of students from the University of Technology at Yadanabon Cyber City, Myanmar, arrived March 18 to allow the two teams to collaborate for a week, perfecting their integrated design. Finally, Illumi-Nite will attend a startup fair in Austin, Texas, on March 24 to pitch their product to investors.
The Illumi-Nite team members consist of electrical engineering junior Adam Curtis, landscape architecture senior Adriana Hernandez, mechanical engineering graduate student Sarojeet Deb, industrial engineering senior Vasant Kurvari and general engineering sophomore An Nguyen.
Obtaining first place at both Texas A&M and the global level, the team coordinated to develop, design and assemble their invention in 48 hours. The invention they created together, Illumi-Nite, is a lighting system with a lamp shade made of ultra-lightweight, recycled plastic bottles used to focus the light, specifically for reading.
“We each were team experts, so each of us were different majors,” Curtis said. “And so we had a really unique kind of team outlook, because each of us could claim a part of that. We were really efficient in the way that we could just divvy up our things and then give it to the other person and say, ‘Hey, I trust you enough to get that done.’”
“We came up with the actual light delivery and [the team from Myanmar] came up with the power side,” Curtis said. “We should be able to just put these two together and it should be like a pretty strong collaboration.”
The team from Myanmar addressed the same needs statement with their invention, Edu-Night, which was focused on a power delivery system for small electric devices.
The two teams remain in contact with hopes of partnering to produce a functioning product. The Invent for the Planet winners will continue their work with experts and present their project at the VentureWell OPEN Minds Showcase and Reception on March 24 at the Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin, Texas, where they have a chance to win up to $3,000.
Illumi-Nite focuses on providing light to electricity deprived areas to allow for children to further their education after dark. These Aggies were formed into a team the first night of the competition, grouped together based on their common interest in their selected needs statement.
“When we showed up at 5:00 Friday evening, none of us knew that we were going to pick that project or be on this team, so you walk around and you have to look at all the design problems and then you say, ‘I’m really passionate about this one, I have some good ideas,’” Curtis said. “And then you see who else is interested and you actually form your team.”
The team consists of Aggies from various majors and colleges. Hernandez said she believes by utilizing this cross disciplinary collaboration, the team benefited from the members’ diverse perspectives.
“My major’s not engineering … so I didn’t know if I was going to be able to get in,” Hernandez said. “Aggies Invent is just amazing, all the resources, the people … the needs statements, it’s really nice.”

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