Techfest 2008 took up global warming, an issue that concerns not just activists but also engineers.
“We were thinking of issues that we could take up, and would make some difference,” says Parasvil Patel, media manager at Techfest, “That’s why we took up global warming.” Thus there were events like SolEx, Eco House, and an interactive session with Nobel laureate Dr Rajendra Pachauri.
“We need energy efficient buildings. This sector is booming, and most of the buildings being constructed are inefficient,” Dr Pachauri said.
There was no dearth of ideas to develop such buildings at Eco House, a competition which required participants to design a zero-emission building. The team from Bharatiya Vidyapeeth College of Architecture, Pune won the prize. One of the team members, Prasad Patil said, “With our ‘solar passive design’ we could maintain temperatures of around 24 degree celsius in our building without air-conditioners.”
The challenge of SolEx was to heat water passed through a pipe using solar energy. The team from SSVPS College of Engineering, Dhule, which incorporated automatic sun tracking in its device, won the first prize.
The idea behind these events was to start a discussion amongst technocrats on topics that concerns the environment. As Mishra puts it, “The participants here will become the catalysts in spreading the message in their own institutions. Competition always gives you an opportunity to learn something.”