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Aida Ayuk Honored in National Competition for Women Entrepreneurs

Aida Ayuk Honored in National Competition for Women Entrepreneurs

By Jeanne Hedden Gallagher

October 5, 2020

Aida Ayuk, a third-year architecture student at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, received a third-place honorable mention in the social impact category of the 2020 National Draper Competition for Women Entrepreneurs for her business plan and design proposal for BioFuture, a portable biomaterial digester for military waste.

Ayuk’s design is an evolution of a conceptual project completed in her first-year architectural studio. Her futuristic design of a home powered by domestic waste is based on the foundational elements of a household record player. It was also included in a recent article in Dezeen, a leading architecture magazine, showcasing the work of undergraduate students from the Rensselaer School of Architecture.

Watch a video of Ayuk’s design of a biogas digester living space.

“After designing the biogas house turntable in my freshman year, I realized that residential homeowners already have access to renewable energy forms like solar and wind,” Ayuk said. “Because you need excessive amounts of waste for biogas to be a useful alternative energy source, biogas as an energy option is a good fit for the military as they have numerous waste management problems and high energy consumption costs.”

Ayuk, who is pursuing a minor in entrepreneurship with her architecture degree, took first place in the Rensselaer Eship.1 Problem Pitch Competition in spring 2020 and won a Rensselaer Change the World Challenge Prize for BioFuture.

“To be recognized for these ideas by both the architectural and entrepreneurial worlds is an honor and pushes me to continue to engage with these concepts,” Ayuk said.


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Founded in 1824, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is America’s first technological research university. Rensselaer encompasses five schools, 32 research centers, more than 145 academic programs, and a dynamic community made up of more than 7,600 students and more than 100,000 living alumni. Rensselaer faculty and alumni include more than 145 National Academy members, six members of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, six National Medal of Technology winners, five National Medal of Science winners, and a Nobel Prize winner in Physics. With nearly 200 years of experience advancing scientific and technological knowledge, Rensselaer remains focused on addressing global challenges with a spirit of ingenuity and collaboration.