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OBG hosts university students in Philadelphia at SPARK Innovation Competition

Think-tank style competition promotes innovation through industry problem statements

Students from Temple University, Drexel University, and Villanova University recently took part in an innovation competition that aims to add some spark to the fields of advanced manufacturing, energy, environment, and water.

As part of the fifth annual SPARK Innovation Competition and the third competition held in Philadelphia, students worked with OBG subject matter experts and industry partners, including Merck, DuPont, Ikea, and Ashland Global Holdings Inc., to solve real-time problems facing industry today. In this 24-hour, think-tank style event, teams worked to brainstorm, problem solve, and find an innovative solution to their problem statement, such as designing a robust sustainable treatment for contaminated groundwater.

The ideas were evaluated by a panel of judges, including OBG Senior Vice President Tom Nowlan, Executive Director of Drexel University Debbie Buchwald, Sustainable Engineering Professor of Practice at Villanova University Dr. Ross Lee, and Temple University's Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute and Robin Hood Ventures Ellen Weber. Awards were provided to the top teams. For students, it was a great way to gain real-life training in solving issues with innovative solutions. For OBG, it provides a chance to gain fresh perspective and meet top talent.

As part of the competition, OBG donated to the American Red Cross on behalf of the company, its industry partners, and the universities. This contribution represents a shared commitment to supporting efforts that help support community infrastructure and resilience initiatives.

Started in 2013, SPARK has since been scaled to competitions comprised of multiple universities. As part of each competition, diverse, cross-discipline student teams are provided problem statements and given just under 24 hours to come up with a solution. Guided by subject matter experts from OBG and industry partners, the teams ideate, develop concepts, and pitch their solutions to a panel of academic and private sector judges to win a cash prize.  


View our photo album and video from this SPARK Innovation Competition:

About OBG 
Advanced ManufacturingEnergyEnvironmentWater. For more than 70 years, OBG has specialized in engineering and problem solving, but the Company’s greatest strength is creating comprehensive, integrated solutions for our clients. OBG – There’s a way. For more information, visit www.obg.com.

Media Contact
Kristin Halpin 
(315) 729-8847 
Kristin.Halpin@obg.com