Winners Announced for the 2021 J-WAFS World Water Day Video Competition: MIT Research for a Water Secure Future
Students from across the Institute are working to solve our water-sector challenges, applying multidisciplinary approaches to create innovative solutions.
March 30, 2021
Monday, March 22nd, 2021 was World Water Day, an international day launched by the United Nations to advocate for sustainable water use and equitable water access. This day is about both inspiration and action to motivate people all over the world to tackle the global water crisis.
For me, water means protection. A well-managed water cycle – encompassing drinking water, sanitation, hygiene, wastewater, transboundary governance, the environment and more – means a defense against ill-health and indignity and a response to challenges from a changing climate and increasing global demand.
—UN Secretary-General António Guterres
This year, J-WAFS joined the United Nations and the 150+ countries, ministries, research agencies, and organizations celebrating World Water Day with “MIT Research for a Water Secure Future,” a video competition showcasing the many exciting ways MIT students, post-docs, and recent alumni are applying the Institute’s expertise and research capabilities to the world’s water challenges. Their work was reviewed by a distinguished group of judges comprising water sector and science communications experts from across academia, the non-profit sector, and industry.
The video submissions we received illustrate a wide variety of research-based solutions responding to the challenges named by the UN Secretary-General and more. MIT is fortunate to have such dedicated students applying knowledge toward developing cross-sector water innovations and solutions. Including materials scientists, mechanical engineers, systems analysts, business students, and more, what they all share is a passion to solve hard problems for the betterment of humanity.
Below you will find the research videos that received awards as well as the full list of video submissions.
First Place Winner
Inventing Adaptive Hydraulics to Improve Pump Efficiency
Hilary Johnson, PhD Candidate, Department of Mechanical Engineering
Second Place Winner
Growing Living Smart Filters from Kombucha Cultures
Zijay Tang, Recent Alum, Department of Biological Engineering
Third Place Winner
Treating Water from the Bottom Up
Ty Christoff-Tempesta, PhD Candidate, Department of Materials Science and Engineering
Judges Choice Award: Creative Communication
ICPWaterTech: Portable Desalination Unit
Junghyo Yoon, Post-doctoral Researcher, Research Laboratory of Electronics
Judges Choice Award: Potential for Impact
Rethinking Waste: Powering Desalination with Aluminum Waste
Peter Godart, PhD Candidate, Department of Mechanical Engineering
Judges Choice Award: Elegant Solution
Improving Renewable Energy and Desalination
Grace Connors, Masters Student, GEAR Lab
Judges Choice Award: Research Originality
3D Water Biofab: Removing Inorganic Micropollutants from Drinking Water
Filippos Tourlomousis, Post-doctoral Researcher, Center for Bits and Atoms
Patritsia Stathatou, Visiting Scholar, Center for Bits and Atoms
Moving Towards Ocean IoT
Sayed Saad Afzal, PhD Candidate, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Waleed Akbar, Masters Student, Media Lab
Osvy Rodriguez, Undergraduate Student, Media Lab
Judges Choice Award: Potential for Scalability
Micelle-laden Microparticles for Water Purification
Devashish Gokhale, PhD Candidate, Department of Chemical Engineering
Judges Choice Award: Raising Awareness
MIT Water Club Blind Taste Test
Andrew Bouma, PhD Candidate, Department of Mechanical Engineering