First year SEE students showcase their sustainable innovations

April 23, 2024

First-year students from the School of Sustainability Energy Engineering (SEE) have put their engineering skills on display by developing sustainable solutions for their cornerstone projects.

This year, teams from the SEE 111 class were challenged to develop innovations that can be used to demonstrate sustainable energy engineering to grade 12 students and their parents. Their designs were required to be portable, interactive and demonstrate sustainable practices.

The course, led by SEE lecturer Molly McVey, introduces students to the process of sustainable engineering design and provides a historical perspective on the role of energy, resources and technology in society. For their term project, students are asked to demonstrate their sustainability thinking through research, case studies and designing a project that involves the consideration of socio-economic factors and planning. 

View the projects below:

Water Filtration Device

Team members: Shawn, Ben, Jasmina, Tessa, Serena

This project, called “Sea Spray,” demonstrates water filtration. By using an interactive hand pump, water is forced through a series of filters including a reverse osmosis filter to purify it.

Rotary Generator

Team members: Ario, Nick, Jacob, Sebastian

The team developed a portable system that generates energy to charge an electronic device. The user pulls on the belt, generating mechanical energy through gears which is used to charge a battery. This project demonstrates how motion can be converted into electricity.

Hand Crank Generator/Battery

Team members: Annie, Ian, Emeric, Simrin

This project demonstrates how electricity can be produced by using a hand crank. By turning the crank, rotational energy is used to generate power and light up the lightbulb.

Solar Powered Remote-Controlled Car

Team members: Sebastian, Tara, Rafia, Sarah

This project uses solar power to produce electrical energy. By placing solar panels on top of a remote-controlled car, light is absorbed to power the toy.

Gravity Battery

Team members: Evan, Arjun, Jeffer, Diego, Murat

The team developed a model of an electrical storage device that stores potential gravitational energy. When the weight is dropped, it spins the turbine and generates energy which is stored in a battery.


Team members: Sammy, Sukhdeep, Vinhara, Ajayi

This project illustrates how hydropower can be used to generate electricity to power a house. Rainwater is collected in a tank on top of the house, and when it is released, it produces a current which spins a turbine to create electricity.

Vertical Garden

Team members: Braidyn, Chenuka, Justin, Mikhail

The team developed a gardening system that demonstrates vertical farming and can be used for an individual. Unlike traditional gardens, this project illustrates how plants can grow in water without soil. This project aims to address food scarcity concerns.

Piezoelectric Insole

Team members: Zachary, Matteo, Jack, Leo, Lucas

This project demonstrates how electrical energy is generated by mechanical stress. By applying pressure on the shoe insole, electricity is produced and displayed on a multi-meter.