University students design electricity-generating car park, win local Hult Prize

Aptly named ‘Utopia,’ the team will head to London to take part in the regional round

Safiya Ajlouni, Salwa Hussein, and Nadine Hussein, a team of students from Birzeit University who named themselves “Utopia,” recently won the local Hult Prize competition in Palestine. The team qualified for the regional Hult Prize contest, which will be held in London. 

The team’s winning idea is a car parking lot that generates electricity from the footsteps of its users. As such, the team explained, the parking lot will help small-business owners offset the costs of renting space for commercial use in Ramallah. The project fits neatly with the Hult Prize’s theme for 2018: “Harnessing the Power of Energy to Transform the Lives of 10 Million People.” 

The Hult Prize is considered the foremost idea accelerator platform for entrepreneurial college students. It is held annually in over 25 countries worldwide with more than 1000 participating universities. 

The prize supports eco-friendly, green projects that help reduce energy-dependence and research new methods of producing clean energy. The winning team of the Hult Prize receives an award of $1 million that goes to promoting their project and facilitating its real-world application.