RIT has been proving its increasing dedication to sustainability for some time now. With initiatives like the RIT Community Garden, one of the largest solar arrays on any college campus in New York and its steps to reduce waste by implementing Ozzy containers and providing water bottle filling stations across campus, our campus is taking steps in the right direction. These efforts are bolstered by RIT's student population, such as those part of the RIT chapter of Engineers for a Sustainable World (ESW).

The mission of RIT's chapter of Engineers for a Sustainable World is to "involve students in hands-on experience and projects that will ultimately improve sustainability worldwide," according to their mission statement. This mission is fulfilled through participating in engineering competitions like the second Cradle to Cradle Product Design Challenge. The challenge attracts participants from 18 different countries with over 80 qualified submissions. It encourages innovation and development of engineering skills in all aspects of the submissions.

Last month, RIT's ESW were announced as the winners of the Best Use of Autodesk Fusion 360 award. Their winning project was a fully designed and modeled recyclable broom using Autodesk's powerful Fusion 360 software named "Sweeping the Nation With Change". "Overall, the Engineers for a Sustainable World from RIT, their use of Fusion 360 throughout the design, it was the highest quality submission that we received," said Mike Alcazaren, the Application Engineer at Autodesk and one of the industry experts who awarded the prize to RIT's ESW. "It really impressed me."

The broom allows for the highly biodegradable wheat straw bristles to be replaced independent of the recycled aluminum body of the broom, creating a product that is 100% recyclable, renewable, compostable and reusable. Along with the sustainability of the broom, it is also extremely functional. It has the capability to be used in 3 different orientations — 0°, 45° or 90° — utilizing a spring in the head of the broom. This essentially provides the user with three brooms for the price of one, making it economical as well as environmentally friendly.

It was a very clean looking Fusion 360 rendering," Alcazaren said. "They even did little things like add in the little aluminum grain, which I was very impressed with."

Successes like these may not seem like huge leaps and bounds but they bring to the forefront what innovation can do to create a more sustainable world. These students and student organizations like ESW are shining examples of what kinds of citizens RIT seeks to introduce to the world to make it a better place.

Be sure to check out our chapter of ESW here!

If you would like to submit a project to the third Cradle to Cradle Design Challenge for a chance to innovate, invent and win prizes, learn how you can participate on their site here! It's a great opportunity to be a part of something that can spark change!