Milwaukee — The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) announced five winners in the “Dream” phase of the Infrastructure Vision 2050 Challenge, an incentivized competition launched by the trade association to solicit groundbreaking ideas and solutions that address some of the biggest challenges facing United States infrastructure. 

Launched in January, the three-phased incentivized competition challenges a community of innovators to think in aspirational and disruptive ways and to reimagine personal mobility, freight movement, and utility infrastructure components and systems in the United States.

The “Dream” phase of the Infrastructure Vision 2050 Challenge generated 30 submissions from competitors based in the United States, Canada, Indonesia, the Philippines, Romania, the United Kingdom, and Ukraine. Submissions were judged based on the degree to which the proposed solution improved infrastructure capacity, safety, and connectivity, as well as on innovativeness and viability of the solution’s implementation. A five-person panel of expert judges evaluated the submissions.

“We are excited about the level of interest and diversity in submissions in the second phase of AEM’s Infrastructure Vision 2050 Challenge,” said AEM President Dennis Slater. “So far, in just six months alone, we have explored a number of ways to reinvent and prepare for the next generation of U.S. infrastructure. The winning innovators were those who dared to think big and generate ideas that move us away from the pothole discussion and towards bold and innovative solutions.”

The five winning submissions include:

• Monorail 2050: Transit Oriented Development (http://www.aem.org/AEM/media/docs/IV2050/Submissions/HeroX-Monorail-2050.pdf) — a “hub and spoke” monorail design for a city in the year 2050 — Submitted by: Jeremy Martinez, CEO/Executive Director of Matrix Institute on Addictions, a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization (Los Angeles, CA)

• One Crack Away From a Disaster (http://www.aem.org/AEM/media/docs/IV2050/Submissions/Team-UAH-Phase-II.pdf) — a multi-component water infrastructure repair system that utilizes drones and virtual reality to conduct inspections and repairs  — Submitted by: Ali Darwish (University of Alabama at Birmingham), Dr. Arie Nakhmani (University of Alabama at Birmingham), Shushan Vardanyan (University of Alabama at Birmingham), Analyn Bengs (University of Alabama at Huntsville), Nicholas Gorgone (George Washington University), and Collin McMahon (Auburn University)

• InfinitPipe: A Breakthrough for the Pipeline Industry (http://www.aem.org/AEM/media/docs/IV2050/Submissions/InfinitPipe-Infrastructure-Challenge-2050.pdf) — a new product and production method for the pipeline construction and repair industry to manufacture joint-less composite pipe onsite — Submtted by: Mo Ehsani, President/CEO of Quakewrap, Inc. (Tucson, AZ) and Bahira Abdulsalam (University of Arizona)

• Building-Batteries for a Power Plant City (http://www.aem.org/AEM/media/docs/IV2050/Submissions/INFRASTRUCTURE-VISION-2050-Emanuele-Lisci.pdf) — a plan to integrate a large-scale renewable energy generation capacity in U.S. cities through an urban reform strategy and a new building typology — Submitted by: Emanuele Lisci (Auckland, New Zealand)

• Air Travel is the Future (http://www.aem.org/AEM/media/docs/IV2050/Submissions/HeroX-Phase-II-Barrs-Chen.pdf) — a proposal to create hyper-connected airports what are seamlessly integrated into a city’s transportation fabric — Submitted by: Baiyu Chen (University of California at Berkeley) and Anthony Barrs (San Francisco, CA)

The Infrastructure Vision 2050 Challenge is part of a larger thought-leadership initiative launched by AEM last year that will develop a long-term, national vision for United States infrastructure. Follow the third and final phase of the competition at https://herox.com/Infrastructure2050. Winners of the incentivized competition will be featured at the CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2017 trade show’s Tech Experience, in March 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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