Carvey Ehren Maigue, a Mapua University Manila student, was named the first ever winner of the James Dyson Award for Global Sustainability.
The James Dyson Award is a global design competition that attracts engineers from more than 30 countries.
The James Dyson Foundation, the company behind the wildly popular Dyson vacuum cleaner, is in charge of it.
With his ground-breaking idea, AuREUS, the 27-year-old Filipino beat out over 1,800 other entries from around the world.
What is AuREUS?
AuREUS is a renewable energy system used for windows and walls of buildings.
The new material he invented comes from rotting fruits and vegetables. It absorbs UV light from the sun and converts it into electricity.
What makes them special is that unlike regular solar panels, the system works just as well even if the material isn’t receiving heat from the sun.
How did he do it?
According to Rappler, Maigue drew his inspiration from the northern lights.
Particles are derived from fruits and vegetables and suspended in a resin substrate. When hit by sunlight, the particles absorb and emit light along the edges. Then, the light is captured and converted to electricity.
“AuREUS is impressive in the way it makes sustainable use of waste crops, but I’m particularly impressed by Carvey’s resolve and determination,” said James Dyson himself.
Maigue also received US$39,972 as part of his prize.
“Winning the James Dyson Award is both a beginning and an end. It marked the end of years of doubting whether my idea would find global relevance. It marks the beginning of the journey of finally bringing AuREUS to the world,” said Maigue.
(1) Interview: Carvey Ehren Maigue, James Dyson Award Sustainability Winner 2020|DYSON