Texas Tech University

Rawls Students Take 2nd Place at 2015 Energy Innovation Challenge

Trevor Bell

May 12, 2015

The Texas Tech University team placed second at the 2015 Texas Energy Innovation Challenge (TEIC), in which graduate students from inter-disciplinary academic programs at five major Texas universities were challenged to bring research and imagination to help solve an existing energy problem in Texas. The team, which worked together throughout the semester, consisted of two Rawls MBA students, James Urban and James West, along with Matthew VanDyke, a Ph.D. student in the College of Media & Communication, and four Engineering Ph.D. students, Ebru Unal, Ritesh Sevanthi, Mrunail Patil and Soraya Honarparvar.

The full results and prizes from the competition are as follows:

  • 1st Place – The University of Houston ($10,000)
  • 2nd Place – Texas Tech University ($7,000)
  • 3rd Place – The University of Texas at Austin ($5,000)
  • 4th Place – The University of Texas at El Paso ($3,000)
  • 5th Place – Texas A&M University ($1,500)

Teams were challenged to research, evaluate and develop the most creative and economic use for water produced from hydraulic fracturing of wells, whether that solution included recycling, disposal or discharge. The teams had to provide an innovative, yet realistic and persuasive proposal for a non-commercialized method or technology. Each team presented their final proposal to a panel of industry judges at the Texas Capitol on Friday, May 1.

(Back row L to R) Dr. Danny Reible, James West, Dr. Mukaddes Darwish, and James Urban; (Front row L to R) Mrunali Patil, Ritesh Sevanthi, Ebru Unal, and Soraya Honarparvar. *Matthew VanDyke and Dr. Michael Ryan are not in the picture.

Advising the team were Dr. Michael Ryan, Associate Professor of Practice in the Area of Management, and Engineering faculty members, Dr. Danny Reible and Dr. Mukaddes Darwash. The team was also partnered with energy companies Phoenix PetroCorp and Pioneer Natural Resources.

The Texas Energy Innovation Challenge is the signature program of Power Across Texas, a 501(c)3 non-profit that is Texas' Connection to a Bright Energy Future. Power Across Texas believes the Energy Innovation Challenge fosters development of relevant new ideas towards addressing significant energy issues in our state. It also helps prepare talented university graduate students for meaningful futures in the energy industry.

This supports the efforts outlined in the Rawls College of Business Strategic Plan. Learn more about the LEADER 2020 Strategic Plan and follow our progress on Twitter at #RawlsLeads.