Winning Capstone Team Looks to the Future of Food in Space

Friday, 26 April 2024

The EcoPeach Solutions team took home the prize for the best civil and environmental engineering project at the Spring 2024 Capstone Design Expo with their concept to grow fresh produce in space.

The team, advised by Professor of the Practice Sharon Just, is comprised of civil engineering students Jessica Brown and Pearl Dumbu, and environmental engineering students Ananya Kumar and Annabelle Sarkissian.

The team designed a modular, aeroponic crop system that could one day be used to provide fresh food to planetary habitats on the moon and Mars.

Their project was sponsored by Ralph Fritsche, a subject matter expert who recently retired from NASA.

The EcoPeach Solutions team poses with an oversized check

The EcoPeach Solutions team poses with Karen and John Huff School Chair Don Webster to recognize their selection as the best civil and environmental engineering project at the Spring 2024 Capstone Design Expo on April 23.

EcoPeach Solutions was among 204 teams from 12 schools and three different Georgia Tech colleges at the April 23 Capstone Design Expo, a showcase of students’ semester-long senior design projects. An army of judges from industry and across campus selected the top project in each discipline, best interdisciplinary team, and overall best project. 

There were two other teams from CEE that brought their innovative ideas to the Capstone Design Expo.

Fowler Street Solutions—the team of civil engineering students Clayton Collins, Talia Herrera, Kyle Robinson, and Matthew Ziemba—created an independent spent fuel storage installation for an undisclosed nuclear power plant.

The team was advised by Professor of the Practice Fred Meyer and sponsored by Enercon.

A group of people pose in front of a mural of outer space

On March 29, the EcoPeach Solutions team visited the NASA Space Crop Production Facility in Kennedy Space Center, where they toured the facility NASA engineers use to study food growth and develop related support systems. 

LA3 Consulting designed a mobile air monitoring laboratory to sample and analyze ambient air for six common air pollutants regulated by the Clean Air Act.

The multidisciplinary team of Lily Alen, Aimee Ogando, Alexandra Rodriguez Dalmau and Abigail Willis was advised by Professor of the Practice Sharon Just. The team was sponsored by the Georgia Environmental Protection Division.

The spring Expo also welcomed more than 200 high school students to inspire them to explore science, technology, engineering, and math. The Expo also included more than 70 industry sponsors. Their donations support Transforming Tomorrow: The Campaign for Georgia Tech, a more than $2 billion comprehensive campaign designed to secure resources that will advance the Institute and its impact — on people’s lives, on the way we work together to create innovative solutions, and on our world — for decades to come.