CreaTech 2019. Think a hackathon for budding engineers. An event where some of the brightest young engineering minds from top schools apply their knowledge to come up with innovative solutions for real-world problems. On February 15, 2019, the grand finale of CreaTech 2019 witnessed twelve teams chosen from over four hundred showcase their talent and build working prototypes for solving challenges ranging from solid waste management to urban traffic movement and streamlining of water distribution networks.
A strategic initiative conceptualised and executed by the Young Professional Talent Acquisition Team of L&T’s Corporate HR in collaboration with Corporate Technical Training Team (CTEA), CreaTech invited entries from 100+ engineering colleges that L&T visits to hire its entry-level engineers. Besides the opportunity to showcase their engineering acumen, the competition also offered participants a crack at plenty of cash rewards which they could take home.
The competition had six unique problem statements for participants to choose from viz., (i) Developing a solution for solid waste management using IoT, drones, predictive analytics, etc. (ii) Developing a scheme for recovering waste heat from various engineering processes (iii) Devising an IoT enabled system for monitoring supply of drinking water to consumers across water distribution networks (iv) Developing a traffic improvement solution using available technology (v) Tackling perceivable threats from Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs) (vi) Improving productivity and lowering cost of constructing concrete structures using technologies like VR, 3D Printing, IoT etc.
CreaTech was an engineering challenge with a difference since the idea wasn’t simply about applying theoretical knowledge to solve just any problem but issues plaguing our society and the world at large.
A total of 405 teams of 3 members each, entered the competition and submitted their synopsis in round one. After a thorough screening of all the entries, 12 were shortlisted by the jury convened especially for the competition. These chosen ones representing Amrita College of Engineering Coimbatore, BITs Goa, BITs Pilani, IIT Bombay, IIT Jodhpur, IIT Roorkee, NIT Durgapur, NIT Nagpur, PSG Coimbatore, SRM University, Veer Surendra Sai Univeristy of Technology Burla, and VIT Vellore, were then invited to showcase their ideas in the form of prototypes at the competition’s finale held at CTEA’s Madh campus.
Mr. Yogi Sriram, Sr. VP – Corporate HR and Member of ECom, inaugurated the event virtually. In an address to all those gathered at the venue, he reiterated the importance of staying on the bow wave of technology trends for engineers and tech-driven firms like L&T. “CreaTech would further inculcate the culture of innovation and approach to problem solving using engineering and tech expertise,” hoped Mr. Sriram.
Besides the participating teams, a number of senior L&T-ites had gathered to witness the finale. They included Mr. B.S. Saluja, Head - Corporate Training - Technical & Corp L&D, Corporate HR, Mr. Kasi Viswanath, Head - HO HR and YPTA, Mr. Ashish Wadekar, DGM - YPTA, Corporate HR, Mr. Bishal Hetampuria, Manager - YPTA, Mr. Prakash Ranjan, Manager, Divisional Corporate, Chennai, Mr. Firdosh Mistry, Head - CTEA, Madh, Corporate Training - Technical and Mr. Sambit Mohanty, Assistant Manager, YPTA.
The 12 finalist teams had been given individual stalls where they could put their prototypes on display. A four-member jury comprising Mr. Arvind Kaushik, Jt. General Manager, Engineering Services - Process, LTHE, Mr. Harshan Budke, GM - Product & Technology Development, PTDC, L&T Defence, Mr. Sanjay Chakraborty, GM - IT & Digitalisation, L&T Defence, and Mr. Bhuvan Damahe, Principal - L&T Institute of Technology, Corporate Training - Technical, went around visiting each of the stalls to assess the prototypes. They evaluated the entries on the basis of creativity & novelty of the approach, scalability of the models, potential impact, cost & acceptance and design & ergonomics of the proposed solutions.
Mr. J.D. Patil, Whole-time Director and Senior Executive Vice President for L&T Defence graced the event as Chief Guest. An engineer himself, Mr. Patil seemed thrilled at the idea of having youngsters put their ideas to test and take on urgent challenges facing the society with the help of technology.
The finale saw the team from NIT Durgapur win the top honors for developing a solution for solid waste management. It was awarded a cash prize of Rs.100000 for its effort. The 1st runners-up prize went to a team from IIT Roorkee for its prototype of an IoT enabled system for monitoring supply of drinking water to consumers across water distribution networks. It went home with a cash reward of Rs.50000. For the third spot, it was a tie between two teams viz., BITs Pilani for tackling perceivable threats from UFOs and IIT Bombay for IoT enabled system for monitoring supply of drinking water to consumers across water distribution networks, both of which were given a cash prize of Rs.25000 each.