School of Natural and Environmental Sciences

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Global Grand Challenges Competition

Joao Nunes, a Stage 3 Biology student, was part of a team (“Team Legacy”) that represented Newcastle University at the Engineering a Better World Student Innovation Competition 2017 on 5th April at the Royal Academy of Engineering in London.

Teams were presented with a global challenge and tasked to develop a solution that engineering expertise can address in an innovative and effective way. Team Legacy conceived the Nomadic Resource Generator (NoRG), a waste collection truck fitted with shredding, bulking and compressing machinery (a process tested at Newcastle) that can travel to remote, rural areas where waste plastic is a significant problem and which provides an incentive for local people to sort and recycle their plastic waste by giving them the output building material which can be used for housing and roads. They identified Luanda in Angola as an initial are for impact. They appropriately identified that the waste cycle is broken, as plastics are produced, and then almost always wasted. And that the missing link to enable them to ‘reproduce’ the waste into something useful is an incentive for the local community to collect the waste. The group impressed the judges and the other guests with their approach, which drew on existing partners and infrastructure rather than proposing a new and costly alternative.

The team (shown in the photo) comprises (left to right) Daniel, Morgan, Ali, Cristovao and Joao.

published on: 11 April 2017