Climathon Sprint 2022 Winners!

For the second year running, NovAzure has organised the Climathon Sprint – a unique competition bringing together University of Lincoln students from different disciplines to conceptualise a former industrial area for a sustainable Net Zero future. This challenge provided the students with exposure to a real-life scenario and an opportunity to solve complex problems.

The challenge focused on Conesby Quarry near Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire. The former mudstone and ironstone quarry was previously owned by British Steel and formed part of the Scunthorpe Steelworks, the largest steel factory in the UK. The quarry is in the heart of the Humber Industrial Cluster, the most carbon intensive industrial cluster in the UK, allowing a lot of potential for decarbonisation. The Climathon Sprint aligned well to the Humber Industrial Cluster’s own ambitions to achieve Net Zero by 2040.

100 postgraduate students participated in the challenge to come up with the best concept taking into
account Net Zero, biodiversity, social impact and innovation considerations. Five of the ten teams made it through the qualifying round, to present at the prestigious Advanced Engineering R&D Centre, The Bridge, in front of a panel of judges from industry.

After some deliberation between the judges, Team 2 was announced winner of the Climathon Sprint with
their idea of a solar farm, vertical farming, rail depot for logistics, EV charging and a forestry border.

Climathon Judges

Matthew Collinson, Economic Growth Specialist at North Lincolnshire Council who owns the Conesby
Quarry said, “North Lincolnshire Council are ambitious in promoting the growth of the net zero and
decarbonisation agenda within the region and the UK. We were delighted to be part of the recent Climathon Sprint in partnership with the University of Lincoln and our private sector partners. The ideas and concepts put forward by the students showed innovative thinking in tackling a significant challenge with focus, not just on how to support the green industrial revolution, but also the wider potential benefits around health and the economy that could be obtained. Congratulations to the winning team for a unique idea for the site and to all the teams that entered as the standard of submission made judging an overall winner incredibly difficult.”.

Christopher Gruen, MD at NovAzure said, “I could see the true spirit of collaboration between academia,
the public and private sector working all together and make sustainability happen. It’s always an inspiration to see students (who hardly even know each other) to come up with some great initial concepts in a minimal amount of time to show us how the world can be made a greener place… while gathering a really good taste of how it feels like to work on a real-life project, pitching to industry experts!”.

During the Climathon Sprint there was an exchange of ideas with teams taking part in the AfriClimate
Inclusive Innovation Bootcamp
, organised by the UNDP under the COP27 United Nations Climate Change
and COY17 United Nations Climate Change Conference of Youth, taking place in Sharm El
Sheikh, Egypt.

Ahmed Elseragy, Director of Enterprise at the University of Lincoln said, “Climathon Sprint 2022 for COP27 was such a great opportunity for our students to carry out a real-life interdisciplinary project bridging the gap between academia and industry. The project helped in raising students’ awareness about global issues including Climate Action, decarbonisation and Net Zero Energy design in association with COP27 and UNCCCF. Our MSc Engineering Management and MSc Construction Science & Management students have enjoyed and valued this learning experience. Embedding such projects into our teaching curriculum enhances our students learning experience and exposure and prepare students for the transition from university into professional careers and raises their employability opportunities.”.

In conjunction with NovAzure, the Climathon Sprint was organised by:

  • North Lincolnshire Council – Provider of a full range of local government services to the North Lincolnshire community
  • University of Lincoln – a public research university in Lincoln, England, with origins dating back to 1861, recognised as setting the blueprint for its approach to working with industry. It is placed among the top 30 universities in the UK for student satisfaction in the Guardian University Guide 2023.
  • Artelia – a global, independent construction and property consultancy specialising in project, programme, cost and asset management.
  • Urbanonmy – a spin-off from multinational energy company, EDF, supporting real estate developers, asset owners, public bodies and businesses, on their transition to Net Zero.
  • Sustainable Direction – a boutique consultancy providing business solutions to help private companies, non-profit organisations and public agencies improve environmental and sustainability performance.

For more information, please contact Shirin Shah on

Click here to view the video created about the climathon event!


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