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Projects Updates for place: Siebel Center for Design

  1. Winners of the 2023 Reimagine our Future competition + Thank you!

    Associated Project(s): 

    Below is an email sent by Leon Liebenberg thanking the participants of the 2023 ReImagine Our Future competition:

    Dear Participant, Specialist Advisor, Judge, and Organizing Team in the 2023 Reimagine our Future Competition,


    I would like to thank you for your participation in the 2023 Reimagine our Future Sustainability Competition for Undergraduates! Thank you for your participation in the 2023 Reimagine our Future Sustainability Competition for Undergraduates! You can read about this year’s winners here and view the winning fact sheets on the competition webpage.


    I appreciate the invaluable support of our volunteer advisors and judges! A special word of thanks to this year’s student assistants, Erin Kelley and Allie Garlin, who did a phenomenal job with countless administrative tasks. Allie Cruz, Shreyas Venkatarathinam, and Wondrous Jenkins provided additional support, with thanks.

    I am indebted to the competition co-founders, Professors Robert McKim and Warren Lavey, for providing superb direction and seemingly endless support. Our organizing committee was very fortunate to also benefit from the enthusiastic support of Codie Sterner, Coordinator of Student Sustainability and Advisor to the Student Sustainability Committee (SSC), and Claire Keating, the dynamic chairperson of the SSC. Professor Mike Yao (College of Media; Gies College of Business) agreed to mentor the top-three teams to help take their ideas further. The Office of the Associate Chancellor and Vice Provost for Global Affairs & Strategies (Prof. Reitu Mabokela), and the Center of Global Studies (Prof. Donna Tonini) again supported this year’s competition, as did the Siebel Center for Design (Rachel Switzky and Dr. Saad Shehab). Thank you to one and all!


    I look forward to your continued support in future competitions. In the meantime, I wish you and yours the very best over this festive period.

    Kind regards,

  2. Invitation to Award Ceremony 2023

    Associated Project(s): 

    Dear Friend of the Reimagine our Future sustainability competition,


    Thank you for your fantastic support for the 2023 Reimagine our Future competition as a participant, specialist advisor, judge, sponsor, media representative, or interested person. This year we had a record number of 243 participants and 44 submissions from 10 higher education institutions.

    The roughly 100 initial judges have reviewed the submissions, provided comments which will be sent to the teams, and selected 12 finalists. (The list of finalists is available below this message.) These teams or individuals will briefly present their projects during an award ceremony on Saturday Dec. 2, 2023, 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (US Central Time). The winners of nine awards totaling US$7,000 will be announced after the presentations.  

    Professor Kelvin Droegemeier will be the guest speaker at this event. UIUC’s Student Sustainability Committee will conduct the ceremonies.

    You are cordially invited to join us in-person if you are in the vicinity of the UIUC. The ceremony will take place in Room 4031 of UIUC’s Campus Instructional Facility. We will serve refreshments from 10:45 a.m. and a light lunch after the ceremony.

    If you cannot join us in-person, you are invited to join the award ceremony via Zoom:

    Please be so kind to respond to this invitation by completing the following poll before Thursday Nov. 30 at 10 a.m. (US Central Time).

    Thank you again for your support. We look forward to thanking you on Dec. 2 and are confident that you will be impressed by the students’ outstanding projects.


    Yours sincerely,

    Leon Liebenberg (Teaching Professor, Department of Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering, UIUC) 

    Warren Lavey (Adjunct Professor, College of Law, School of Earth, Society & Environment, and College of Medicine, UIUC) 

    Robert McKim (Emeritus Professor, Department of Religion, UIUC) 
    Codie Sterner (Coordinator, Student Sustainability Committee, UIUC) 


    (Reimagine Our Future co-founders and coordinating committee)



    (In alphabetical order of the team leaders’ last names)

    Arshia Ajmera, Keerthana Nallamotu (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign) – Accessible screening for preeclampsia

    Muskaan Alimchandani (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign) – Vrddhi Sthan – A brighter future for Dharavi

    Brandon Baron, Whitney Fowler, Shito Ito, Ada Moy, Gwynne McGrady (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign) – Parking lot permaculture

    Karmyn Flesch, Nadia Wilson, Emily Rhodes, Gabriella Sanchez (University of Illinois, Springfield) – Zero food waste

    Amy Jurkowski, Matthew Nowlan, Liesl Schrag, Aiden Sup (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign) – Renewable energy-supported housing and opportunities for immigrants

    Iryna Maistrenko (International Humanitarian University, Ukraine) – Organization of organic farming during the war in Ukraine

    Margot O'Malley, Tom George, Jasper Nord (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign) – Grounds for nutrition

    Manan Sanghavi (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign) – Optimizing resource efficiency by digitizing receipt processes

    Jamie Scimeca, Xiang Fei Heah (University of Birmingham) – Light-water small modular reactor

    Advay Sudarshan, Patrick Harsono, Jesse Wei, Hugo Ji (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign) – Polyester upcycling and fiber composite furniture

    Hlib Vakumenko (Vienna University of Economics and Business) – Transform food waste into improved dietary nutrition

    Charles Wheeler, Lucas Baronello, Saharra Murphy, Caila Riggs, Michelle Check (University of Illinois, Springfield) – Farm to School: a shared investment for a healthier future

  3. 2023 Competition Update

    Associated Project(s): 

    Dear Friend of the Reimagine our Future student sustainability competition,


    We are writing to provide a brief update about Reimagine our Future.


    As you know, the aim of this competition is to harness the creativity and intelligence of undergraduate students, challenging them to develop ideas and solutions that will contribute to the achievement of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and encouraging them to feel empowered as engaged problem-solvers.


    Registration is now open for the 2023 competition, and we have some exciting developments to report.

    Students from nine participating higher education institutions can enter the competition this year either as individuals or as members of teams. (Students from any higher education institution anywhere may be on a team that enters the competition provided that team is led by a student from a participating institution.) An up-to-date list of the participating institutions is here.

    This year we added two special awards for the best submission dealing with some aspect of climate change and for the submission that went furthest in implementation.

    Also, Mike Yao, a University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign professor with appointments in the College of Media and the Gies College of Business, will serve as a mentor to the winning entrants, irrespective of their home institution, as they attempt to develop and implement their proposal.

    The important dates for the 2023 competition are available here.

    If you are an advisor on student projects, you may receive – any time between now and November 19th - a request for advice from one or more students who are planning a submission in your area of expertise or interest.

    If you are a judge, we will ask for a few hours of your time during November 20-24 to help develop the list of finalists.

    Special thanks to those who are playing both roles!

    Our list of advisors and judges includes specialists from various universities, companies, and institutions and from many backgrounds, fields, and disciplines. This broad-ranging list encourages submissions from students in many areas.  We expect to continue to add to this list.

    Thank you again for your ongoing help with this sustainability competition and for bringing your unique background, skills, professional history and more to this project. If you have advice or suggestions about any aspect of the competition, please let us know.


    Yours sincerely,

    Leon Liebenberg (Teaching Professor, Department of Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering, UIUC) 

    Warren Lavey (Adjunct Professor, College of Law, School of Earth, Society & Environment, and College of Medicine, UIUC) 

    Robert McKim (Emeritus Professor, Department of Religion, UIUC) 


    (Reimagine Our Future co-founders and coordinating committee)

  4. Reimagine our Future Partner Form

    Associated Project(s): 

    Good morning friend of the Reimagine Our Future competition,


    We were wondering if you would like to continue to be a part of the competition for this upcoming school year. 


    If so, can you please fill out this google form?


    We appreciate your support and hope you will join us for another year of this amazing competition inspiring undergrads to come up with sustainable solutions.


    Thank you so much,

    Allie Garlin

    Reimagine Our Future Student Assistant