Department of Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy

Department of Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy
Department of Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy

Hult Prize Sponsorship 2017 

Posted On: March 15, 2017

  • Students representing Queen's University. From left to right: Iain MacKenzie, Andrew Kosc and Nicola Craig

    Students representing Queen's University at Hult Prize. From left to right: Iain MacKenzie (Sci 17), Andrew Kosc (Comm 17) and Nicola Craig (Comm 17).  (Photo: MacKenzie)

  • Having fun driving through the sand dunes in Dubai.

    We ventured into the desert and drove through sand dunes while avoiding camels. (Photo: MacKenzie)

  • Grand Mosque in Dubai.

    We got to tour the Grand Mosque, which had to be the most amazing work of architecture I’ve ever seen. (Photo: MacKenzie)

The Department sponsored Iain MacKenzie (fourth year Physics program) to compete in this year's Hult Prize. Congratulations goes to Iain and his team mates for making it to the final round!

About Hult Prize

Each year, a critical social problem is selected by former President Bill Clinton.

Teams of 3-4 students from all over the world are challenged to develop a custom tailored innovative start-up enterprise to eradicate the problem. This year’s focus was on the global refugee crisis and how the rights and dignities of people who have been forced from their homes can be restored. 

Queen's team, comprising of Iain MacKenzie (fourth year Physics student), Andrew Kosc (Comm 17) and Nicola Craig (Comm 17) presented Movement:

At the competition my team pitched our idea “Movement”, a platform to link refugees with employers to speed up relocation and financially empower them. Our judges were unexpectedly distinguished, consisting of executives from global investment councils, social foundations, McKinsey, PwC, CNN, and even Esquire Magazine.

We proceeded to the final rounds, but lost to some truly incredible ideas:

- A team from Dubai created a system to turn sewage into natural gas. This both managed human waste at refugee camps, and created an entirely new natural gas industry in regions like Kenya.
- A European team proposed a process to legitimize the migration of refugees across the Mediterranean Sea.
- A team from Calgary partnered with a video game company to create an engaging language training software for young refugees - This ended up winning the competition.

We also had a chance to have some fun! Thank you again for helping me pursue this incredible opportunity, it is something I will carry with me for the rest of my life.
—Iain MacKenzie (Sci 17)