SPARK Innovation Competition


SPARK Competition 2017 Overview


SPARK is a 24 hour (Nov. 8-9) think-tank style competition giving you the chance to solve real-world problems alongside industry representatives. Hosted by Villanova’s Sustainability Office, Drexel’s Institute for Energy and the Environment and Temple University, students will be asked to present solutions to meet industry needs.



Prize money

Chance to develop a solution that may be implemented

Networking with industry professionals

Improve consulting and presentation skills

Enhance your resume

Have Fun!



The competition is open to all undergraduate and graduate students interested in creating solutions to real world energy, water and environment issues. Looking for students with knowledge in:

  • Environmental and Civil Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Science
  • Business
  • Environmental Science
  • Communications
  • Nursing
  • and more



This year’s SPARK competition will take place at Villanova University.  



Working in groups, students are provided problem statements and given just under 24 hours to come up with a solution. Student participants will be selected through an application process and matched to a multi-disciplinary team that can bring a range of expertise to the problem. Guided by subject matter experts from OBG and industry partners, the student teams ideate, develop concepts, and finally pitch their solutions in front of a panel of academic and private sector judges. Problem statements will focus on solutions that address needs arising from the energy, water and environmental sectors.


Complete the short online application by October 28th at midnight.


Schedule of events:

Welcome and Kick-off (Thursday, Nov. 8)

At the evening kick-off students divide into their assigned teams and are given their problem statement. Student participants, representatives from OBG and industry subject matter experts meet each other and receive details about the competition.


Competition Day (Friday, Nov. 9)

This is the time to roll up your sleeves and get to work. Teams break into groups to brainstorm their problem statements. Subject matter experts are on hand to guide and mentor the teams as they work through their ideas. Food will be provided throughout the day.


The Pitch (Friday, Nov. 9)

The pitch is the highlight of the competition and the teams’ chance to convince the judges their solution is the most innovative. The pitch is a short, 7-minute presentation where students have the flexibility to use whatever tools they choose to share their solution. Similar to the consulting industry, the work culminates in the power of the solution and the delivery.

2018 Partnering Organizations

US EPA and City of Philadelphia

US Army Corps of Engineers

Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS)



Common Questions

  • Teams will be assigned from the accepted pool of applicants, taking into account the expertise needed for each problem statement.
  • Teams will include a mix of Villanova, Temple and Drexel students.
  • You do not need to be an engineer or a sustainability expert to participate, the competition is open to everyone.

Villanova University, as a community of learned and learning scholars, respecting the sacredness of all creation, accepts its responsibility to the integrity of Earth and its biodiversity, to the heritage of future generations, and to the security of nations. By utilizing the Augustinian values of Unitas, Veritas, and Caritas, meaning love thy neighbor, promote community unity, and live life in moderation through our curriculum, work environment, and operations, Villanova’s approach to sustainability exemplifies an emphasis on social justice and community service.

For questions regarding campus sustainability email Liesel Schwarz