Mapua University student Carvey Ehren Maigue was named the first-ever winner of the James Dyson Award for Global Sustainability.
The James Dyson Award is an international design competition open to engineers from over 30 countries.
It is run by the James Dyson Foundation, the name behind the popular brand Dyson.
Maigue, 27 years old, beat over 1,800 entries with his groundbreaking idea – AuREUS – which 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 is not receiving heat from the sun.
Maigue said he drew 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 $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.