The Australian team from University of Melbourne is preparing to impress judges and audience alike with their innovative idea, which proposes using feathers to help absorb toxins from wastewater to reduce the impact on the environment and provide clean water. The team is made up of Yuepeng Hu, James Feng and Tony Wang, who are thrilled to be able to put their engineering knowledge into practice to come up with an idea that could change the world.
Taking part in Shell Ideas360 has offered them the chance to step outside of the world of engineering and into the world of business. They agree that it has challenged them to think about how to apply what they have learned at university in the real world – a valuable skill that they can carry forward into their future careers.
The team struggled to receive funding and support but that didn’t stop them and they persevered creating their prototype alongside their studies. In fact the early problems taught them some valuable lessons; it bonded their team and it showed them the value of creating good content to showcase their idea and help win support.
Their renewed focus paid off and L’Etranger managed to secure funding from the head of the Engineering department who also put them in touch with an old student who provided the feathers for their prototype – an essential element.
Reflecting on the Shell Ideas360 experience ahead of travelling to London for the first time for the final, James said: “It showed us that we’re not afraid; we are willing to take on challenges and create a way to change the world.”