IUB students win gold in Efficiency for Access Design Challenge in UK


An innovative solar-powered cold storage design jointly developed by students of Independent University, Bangladesh (IUB) and City, University of London, has won gold at the Efficiency for Access Design Challenge 2021-22. The announcement was made on Thursday, June 23, 2022 during a Grand Final event held virtually from the UK by the organizers Efficiency for Access Coalition and Engineers Without Borders, UK.

Md. Sadik Abdal and Tashfiah Tahsin, students of Electrical and Electronic Engineering (EEE) at IUB, and Ali Ahmed and Nour Ben Gaied, students of City, University of London, UK, worked together to propose the solar-powered cold storage system to preserve fish and other perishable goods. The idea was to harness the power of renewable solar energy and convert it into ice banks to keep food fresh to help reduce food wastage, save farmers money and increase their incomes. Dr. Khosru Mohammad Salim, Professor of EEE under the School of Engineering, Technology and Sciences and Director at the Green Energy Research Center of IUB, supervised the project.

Funded by the Netherlands-based IKEA Foundation, the Efficiency for Access Design Challenge is a multidisciplinary competition that empowers teams of university students to accelerate clean energy access for low and middle income countries through the development of innovative appliances. This year over 150 students from 22 universities in Bangladesh, Benin, Cameroon, India, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Pakistan, Senegal, Sweden, Uganda, the UK, the USA, and Zimbabwe took part in the challenge.

In his immediate reaction after the announcement of the result, Md. Sadik Abdal said, “We are absolutely delighted to receive this recognition. It is a true testament to the hard work that we have put in to develop this design, especially considering the importance of renewable energy in the context of global warming and food security.”

The other winner from IUB, Tashfiah Tahsin said, “A big chunk of the credit goes to the faculty members and management of IUB, who have always supported us in our endeavors to find innovative ways to ensure a sustainable future for our planet. Sincere gratitude to the organizers of the Efficiency for Access Design Challenge for recognizing our hard work.”

Congratulating the winners, IUB Vice Chancellor Tanweer Hasan, PhD, said, “Our students have made us really proud today with their hard work and creativity. Research and innovation are at the heart of IUB’s academic outlook. Their collaboration with the City, University of London, in developing this design also highlights the importance of international partnerships for building an energy-secure future.”

Efficiency for Access, one of the key organizers of this competition, is a global coalition working to promote affordable, high-performing, and inclusive appliances that enable access to clean energy for the world’s poorest people. Engineers Without Borders UK, the other organizer, is part of a global movement of over 60 Engineers Without Borders organizations from across the world that inspires, enables and influences the engineering community and together take action to put global responsibility at the heart of engineering.