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Solar-Powered Water Management System Team Wins 2024 TerraCycle Innovation Award

Congratulations to the 2024 TerraCycle Ernel Simpson Innovation Award winners Kaitlin Boyhen, Dasha Eisenhauer, and Aralisa Henriquez, all class of ’24. Their innovative project, the Solar Powered Water Management System, adeptly merges solar energy with water management to tackle the critical issue of water scarcity in agriculture.

Dasha Eisenhauer shared her personal connection to the project, saying, “Having worked on a farm, I’ve seen firsthand the challenges of efficient water use. Our system was designed to be autonomous and user-friendly, making it an ideal solution for small-scale farms in resource-limited areas.”

The award-winning system utilizes solar energy to power water pumps that efficiently transport water from natural sources directly to farm crops through a sophisticated irrigation system. Capable of collecting and distributing up to 120 gallons of water daily, this autonomous design combines electrical, control, and mechanical systems to provide a solution that is not only cost-effective and adaptable but also straightforward to implement.

The award is named after Dr. Ernel Simpson, TerraCycle’s Vice President of Research & Development, who is celebrated for his innovative methods of recycling complex materials, from chewing gum to construction adhesives.  This legacy of creativity and commitment to sustainability is what the award aims to foster among budding engineers.

TerraCycle, headquartered in Trenton, works to take recycling beyond paper and plastic by including commonly thrown away items such as food wrappers and cosmetics tubes. This is the fifth year the company has partnered with TCNJ Engineering to give out this award.

Prototype for Solar-Powered Water Management System


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