STHEC 2023 – Students showed their potential by solving challenges provided by Wärtsilä and partners


The student innovation event STHEC gathered around 60 students to Wärtsilä´s Sustainable Technology Hub on the 21-22 February.

During the two days, students got to work together to come up with solutions for challenges provided to them by the Energy Academy partners Wärtsilä, Danfoss, Hitachi Energy, Vaasan Sähkö, Wasaline, and the City of Vaasa.

The challenges were:

Decarbonisation: Decentralised green energy production
• Rebuild trust and reputation in an unstable environment
• The future of Energy Academy: A competent and prosperous Vaasa

The idea of STHEC is to give students the possibility to work in interdisciplinary teams using an ecosystem of services around them.

During the challenge, they were given the opportunity to use an ecosystem consisting of challenge providers (handing them the challenge to work on), mentors (helping them guide through the stages of innovation), and a jury that they were asked to give a four-minute pitch to in a closing session called the Shark Tank.

The Sharks: Pia-Liisa Äijö, Hitachi Energy, Olli-Pekka Aalto, Danfoss, Susanna Slotte-Kock, City of Vaasa, Hans-Alexander Öst, Vaasan Sähkö and Eleonor Hedström, Wärtsilä.

The winning team of STHEC this year were Ahmad Mrad, Niloufar Ghavami, Matijs Vermost, Chau Ỷan and Robin Sundsten. They were working on the Decarbonisation challenge and impressed the judges with their solution “Decarbonised world with sand batteries”, using sand as an energy heat storage.

Winners of STHEC 2023.

“We didn’t come up with our solution straight away. We had many ideas before we came up with the winning solution. A lot of effort was put into the whole idea as well as the pitch”, the winning team said.

“We learned a lot from STHEC, our team spirit was high, and we will definitely celebrate this win together”, the team concluded.

The prize for the winners is summer job interviews and Wasaline cruise tickets.

STHEC was organised for the first time in 2019. 2021 STHEC was organised virtually and this year we were finally given the possibility to be back face to face. STHEC is organised under the Energy Academy collaboration that brings together businesses and academia in the Vaasa region.  

Read more about the STHEC event here.