Past Projects


Completed in 2021

The XPrize Carbon Removal competition focused on carbon sequestration and climate change. This global competition offered $100 million in prizes for teams who came up with solutions for this problem. Learn more at

The Meliora Emissions team was comprised of UR students collaborating with Professor Marc Porosoff's research group to submit a proposal for a carbon sequestration method. Learn more about the Porosoff Research Group and their work at

Watch the team video for the competition here.

Solomon Islands Project

Started in 2021, unfinished

Commercial clear-cut logging is threatening Melanesia, an area in the South Pacific consisting of nearly 2,000 islands, which harbors one of the greatest regions of intact lowland rainforest on Earth. For instance, between 1990-2005, over 20% of the rainforest in the Solomon Islands was lost to logging. SE partnered with Professor J. Albert C. Uy to raise money for his educational and conservation work in the Solomon Islands.

Follow this link to check out Professor Uy's work:

Solar Decathlon

Completed in 2021

The Solar Decathlon Design Challenge is an annual competition sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy to design a sustainable building in real-world markets.

The UR Solar Decathlon Team partnered with Habitat for Humanity and the PLEX Solar Community Project to design a 4-bedroom house using sustainable materials and powered by renewable energy.

The 2-page Project Summary and full Project Report can be viewed here.


Completed in 2020

Professor James McGrath from the Biomedical Engineering Department works with nanoporous membranes that can filter microplastic from water. He is using this technology to analyze tap water samples from across NY state for contamination. SE helped with this project by identifying and quantifying the amount of plastic fibers, particles and smaller pieces of plastics in filter slides.


Started but unfinished in 2020 due to Covid-19

SE partnered with UR Robotics to build an underwater remotely-operated vehicle (ROV) for the 2020 MATE ROV Competition.

The 2020 competition focused on tackling problems that impact the entire world. The ├óÔé¼┼ôclient├óÔé¼┬Ø is us – our global community – and the request for proposals is simple: design and build a remotely operated vehicle and the necessary sensors and tooling to tackle the real-world problems of plastics in our ocean, climate change's impact on coral reefs, and the consequences of poor environmental practices on our inland waterways. In all of three of these cases, solutions will focus on remediation, meaning, and cleaning up rather than fixing the root of these problems, which takes involvment from multiple institutions working together.

Beekeeping at Grow Green

Completed in 2019

SE learned from local beekeepers and maintained a hive in one of Rochester's community gardens.

Bike-Powered Blender

Completed in 2018

SE members implemented their theoretical knowledge in a fun hands-on project to build a bike-powered blender. Using this design, the SE team created smoothies for all participants without the use of any electricity!