+44 (0)1223 330484

Bridge awards – 2024 winners

The Hughes Hall Bridge Awards is an annual showcase of innovation and entrepreneurial spirit.

It reached its finale on 7th March with seven teams competing for cash prizes totalling £1750.

The event, which had been in preparation since Michaelmas, drew an exceptional response from students across the university, each presenting their ideas for the Hughes Hall Bridge Award. And thank you to Madiha Noman, MCR Academic Officer, for capturing the event for us here.

The competition was generously supported by the Hughes Hall Bridge Centres—Centre for Climate Engagement (CCE), Digital Education Futures Initiative (DEFI), Cambridge Digital Innovation (CDI), Oracy, and Camtree and featured a distinguished panel of judges. Emily Farnworth, Director of CCE; Kevin Martin, Managing Director of DEFI; and Karl J Prince, Director of Knowledge Innovation at CDI, brought their expertise to evaluate the solutions presented by the finalist teams.

Winners: Angelica Akrami and Daniyal Ashraf (2nd and 3rd from left) won the Hughes Hall Bridge Awards and £1000 cash prize for Thermocharge.

The pitches had a diverse range of ideas, from the importance of AI literacy in Education (Team 6: Jayne Fitzgerald, Inbar Bobrovsky) to interventions aimed at reducing the use of toxic chemical solvents in the pharmaceutical industry (Team 5: Alexander Pomberger, Daniel Wigh). The intensity of the competition was evident from the outset, with the first team pitching MenstruVive, an innovative technology for menstrual pad and tampon recycling. The team comprised of Maha Waseem, Nga Chan, Parul Chugh, and Leonardus Wijaya M.

Runners-up,, winning a cash prize of £500, Riccardo Conci and Riccardo Ali (2nd and 3rd from left) for their innovative use of machine learning to revolutionise crutch design.

Other interventions included CKENDLE – Cambridge Knowledge Exchange Network for Design of Learning Environment Assessment and Review Network, pitched by David Baker and Juliet Harrison-Egan, aiming to increase access to assessment and review of past projects. The competition also saw an interesting overlap of machine learning and health sciences, with Riccardo Conci & Riccardo Ali leveraging machine learning to discover the optimal crutch geometry for individuals, surpassing both NHS-standard crutches and market alternatives.

Earning an honourable mention and cash prize of £250 were Alexander Pomberger and Daniel Wigh with software to reduce the reliance on toxic solvents in the pharmaceutical industry.

Each pitch distinguished itself with a unique selling point and after thorough deliberation and assessment, Daniyal Ashraf (Robinson College) and Angelica Akrami (Trinity College) won the Hughes Hall Bridge Awards and £1000 cash prize for Thermocharge. ThermoCharge, a technological solution addressing the challenge of battery sources for implantable devices, impressed the judges with its three-pronged approach: the Thermoelectric Generator (TEG), power management unit, and a rechargeable battery. According to the presenters, “the standout feature is the TEG, which harnesses electricity from the temperature gradient between the subcutaneous layer of the skin and the deeper core body temperature.”

The runner-up position and a cash prize of £500 was bagged by Riccardo Conci (Hughes Hall) and Riccardo Ali (Trinity College). Their innovative use of machine learning aims to revolutionize crutch design, tailoring it to individual needs and surpassing both NHS standards and market alternatives, all at a manufacturing cost of approximately £10 per crutch.

Earning an honourable mention and a cash prize of £250 were Alexander Pomberger (Hughes Hall) and Daniel Wigh (St Edmund’s) behind the no-code optimization software which promises to reduce the reliance on toxic and chemical solvents in the pharmaceutical industry, as mentioned previously.

Congratulations to all the winners and participants and a big thank you to each person who contributed to make Hughes Hall Bridge awards a success!