Want more info about the Challenge?

Check out the Carbon Removal Challenge FAQ!

Still got questions or just want to contact us? Are you interested in being part of a participating team, being a mentor, or sponsoring the challenge, but need more info? Contact us using the form below:

Ready to be part of the Challenge? All you need now is a team, a faculty/staff advisor (can be anyone employed by your school), and an idea to join! Your final submission isn’t due until end of Feb, but we are going to cap the Challenge to the first 50 teams, so get your submissions in as soon as you’re ready.

Fill out the form below to apply to participate in the Challenge:

Want to be part of OpenAir beyond the Challenge?

In addition to participating in the challenge, you’re welcome to become part of our community.

Join our Discord.

Why Carbon Removal?

There is already too much CO2 in the atmosphere, and some essential industries – namely, commercial aviation and steel and cement manufacturing – will be very difficult to decarbonize in time. Any chance we have of limiting average global temperature change to a survivable threshold (1.5C or below) must include the removal of carbon from the atmosphere. The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has called for Carbon Dioxide Removal (Negative Emissions Technologies), to help us stay below 1.5C above preindustrial temperatures – the threshold scientists agree is the point at which we will irreversibly impact our climate for the worse.

Goals

  • Introduce a new generation of students to the world of carbon capture
  • Highlight and showcase the carbon removal work already happening in higher ed
  • Give students a hands-on opportunity to create brand new solutions to the carbon pollution problem
  • Promote new innovations through open source licensing, which will allow more rapid advancement of students’ technologies and enable others to build on the success of earlier submissions
  • Build talent networks for employers and future job seekers

Teams

Each team must submit an application, complete with a full list of team members, a faculty advisor, and an overview of their design, by the end of November 2022. Suggested team size is 2-8 members.

Key Dates

 

October 13, 2022 Competition announcement, Applications open
Fall 2022 OpenAir provides carbon removal webinars and videos to participants
November 30, 2022 Applications closed
Winter 2022-2023 12 to 50 teams work with faculty advisors and OpenAir mentors to build carbon removal prototypes
February 28, 2023 Teams submit designs and documentation of final prototypes
March 30, 2023 Judges choose 5-10 teams for the final showcase at NYU
April 19, 2023 Final showcase at NYU
April 22, 2023 Results announced on Earth Day

Advisors

Tom Igoe Tom Igoe
• Co-founder of Arduino
• Professor, NYU ITP
• Area Head for Physical Computing
Dr. Evvan Morton Dr. Evvan Morton
• American Association for Advancement of Science
Science & Technology Policy Fellow
Dr. Gregory Nemet Dr. Gregory Nemet
• Professor, University of Wisconsin
• Lead Author, UN IPCC Report
• Author, How Solar Became Cheap
Michael Weinberg Michael Weinberg
• President of the board of the Open Source Hardware Association
• Executive Director of the Center on Innovation Law and Policy at NYU

Judges / Mentors

Gloria See
• Climatebase Founding Fellow 2022
• Chief Engineer, Edge Effects
• Cofounder, Cquestration
Expertise: sensor design, semiconductor materials, photonics, hardware testing, entrepreneurship policy, algae-based CDR, precision agriculture, wearable sensors
Dahl Winters
• Co-Founder and CEO of TerraNexum
Expertise: System development/optimization for renewable energy and carbon management, focusing on geothermal and direct air capture
Kristian Gubsch
• Co-Founder and Vice President of Feedstock Development Mars Materials
• Marshall Scholar Alumni
Expertise: Reactor design, direct air capture sorbent selection, process modelling, capital and operating expense estimation, and project planning and management
Styles Smith
• Data Scientist aboard the E/V Nautilus
• President, Penn State Biology Department Graduate Student Association
• Teacher at Oregon Museum of Science and Industry
• STEM Teacher at Saturday Academy via the University of Portland
Expertise: Biology and microbiology, genetics and genomics, coral microbiomes, science communication
Grant Faber
• Global CO2 Initiative
Carbon-Based Consulting
Expertise: Techno-economic and life cycle assessment, strategy
Dr. Luis Estevez
• CEO of Advanced & Innovative Multifunctional Materials
Expertise: Material science

Join: Become a Collector, Follow our Progress.

Stay up to speed, subscribe to our monthly newsletter



Join the collective!

Click here to join our Discord server.
Join