Students of the Silesian University of Technology in the finals of the international EURECA-PRO contest
In July, students of the Silesian University of Technology from the Faculty of Materials Engineering will represent the University in the finals of the first edition of „STEM Innovation Contest” within EURECA-PRO. Their project focuses on creating functional construction material using waste from the production of inorganic chemistry.
- The solution suggested by our team is polymer concrete with the addition of difficult to recycle waste (car glass and polymer composites reinforced with glass fibres). Currently, most of this type of waste is landfilled, which in our opinion is a waste of useful materials and environmental neglect. We want to prove that with the use of this waste it is possible to create a functional construction material, competitive with classic concrete and lead to a situation where storing or incinerating this type of waste will turn unprofitable for entrepreneurs. Apart from the use of waste, our method is characterised by a lower carbon footprint, explained team member Aleksander Peryt.
He added that a group of materials such as polymer concretes is characterised by rather favourable properties. These properties allow the production of many products with the use of polymer concretes. which may prove to be more beneficial than using classical concretes.
Five teams took part in the university preliminaries. The finals of the international contest will be held in mid-July in Germany at the University of Applied Sciences of Mittweida. According to Mr Peryt, students of the Silesian University of Technology will compete with other 6 teams from different countries and partner universities of the programme.
The aim of the „STEM Innovation Contest” within EURECA-PRO is to encourage students to develop creative projects that solve real problems in collaboration with STEM related branches ("Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics"). The contest is addressed to first and second-cycle students coming from the seven EURECA-PRO partner universities. It aims to promote inventiveness and problem-solving through collaborative student work with the support of multidisciplinary STEM researchers acting as mentors.
The team from the Silesian University of Technology called "Newcycle" includes Klaudia Tomaszewska, Kaja Orzechowska, Aleksander Peryt and Krzysztof Stępień, all of them from the Faculty of Materials Engineering. The title of the project is "Development of a production method for sustainable structural materials using hazardous by-products, such as by-products of non-organic chemistry industry". Students worked under the supervision of the following mentors: Tomasz Pawlik PhD, Eng, and Jakub Smoleń MSc.