Islander Innovation on Display during ‘Invent for the Planet’

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Facing some of the most pressing economic and humanitarian issues to-date, Islander students teamed up for Invent for the Planet 2022, a 48-hour global competition spanning 16 countries and 29 universities.

An interdisciplinary competition, students collaborated to create innovative concepts surrounding this year’s themes: improving developing nations, reducing first-world waste, and streamlining energy use. Sixteen Islander students were grouped in three teams: Team Islander Vision, Team REC-it, and Team Topsy. Each team worked tirelessly in the I-Create Lab of the Mary and Jeff Bell Library, collaborating, designing prototypes, and creating solutions.

 “The global competition is an amazing opportunity that allows our students to gain experience innovating under pressure,” Dr. Ahmed Mahdy, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Vice President for Research and Innovation, said. “Student success is our number one priority, and IFTP emphasizes that and our commitment to innovation.”

Team Islander Vision designed a high-tech gadget to tackle vision impairment while the Team REC-it focused on disaster resilient food, energy, and water infrastructure. Team Topsy created a powerline design that will not only save lives in the event of a storm but will also save energy companies money.

Students received the help of mentors Drs. Jose Baca, and Jangwoon Park, both Assistant Professors in the School of Engineering and Computing Sciences. After the 48-hour challenge, each team presented their project to a panel of four judges which included Dr. Ahmed Mahdy, Dr. David Gurney, Department Chair of Communication and Media, Mr. Joe Miller, Director of Research Engagement and Mr. Steve Tarske, consultant with Tarske LLC.

After a tough competition, Team Islander Vision reigned victorious, earning a cash prize of $1,000 along with the task of recording a 10-minute video to be presented against other finalist teams at Texas A&M University-College Station (TAMU).

Nolan Bell ’23, mechanical engineering major and member of Team Islander Vision, says his team is ready for the next chapter of the global competition.

“Our goal for the project moving forward is to further develop the hardware to make the platform easier to build and maintain,” Bell said. “I feel honored to be representing Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in the next round and look forward to seeing the projects from the other universities in the coming weeks.” 

Team Islander Vision is set to compete at TAMU on April 6th for a spot to then compete internationally against six other teams from around the world.

For a full list of TAMU-CC student participants, visit