Team GLASS won the End-to-end solution Prize of $25,000

Harmful algal blooms (HABs) are a major threat to the water quality of Lake Erie and the millions of residents who depend on the lake as a source of drinking water. Measuring, disseminating and tracking nutrient levels in and entering the lake from tributaries is a critical component of understanding and predicting HABs and improving the water quality of Lake Erie. Solutions to these problems have been hampered by the absence of a nutrient detection method and the ability to make data available in a real-time, analytical platform.

The Internet of H2O Challenge, organized by the Cleveland Water Alliance, sought to develop a robust and resilient nutrient monitoring program with the potential to scale across the Great Lakes. Five teams competed for the $50,000 of cash prizes, decided by judges comprised of industry leaders and government managers.

Team GLASS was a collaborative effort between OHM Advisors (Robert Czachorski, Karlin Danielsen, and Nathan Zgnilec), H2Ometrics, Green Eyes, and HESCO. Together, the team delivered a robust, scalable, interoperable, real-time nutrient monitoring system. The team members offered unique expertise and access to technologies that allowed for advanced nutrient detection, telemetry, cloud data analytics, and system integration.

Team GLASS demonstrated the readiness of its technology by performing a pilot deployment at Rock Creek in Tiffin, OH with a fully functioning nutrient monitor that transmitted measurements to a cloud data analytics platform. This technology showed a scalable solution that could be deployed at dozens or hundreds of monitoring sights in a relatively short period. To demonstrate this capacity, the Team developed a deployment plan for scaling the monitoring system to 100 sites within the Maumee River watershed and its tributaries. This plan for the Maumee Watershed is representative of the type of scaling that could be reproduced across the Lake Erie Basin.  These components have the potential to make Lake Erie the smartest lake in the world and providea model for other lakes and watersheds to monitorand improve their water quality.

ExtremeComms + Microbuoy

ExtremeComms+MicroBuoy won the Technology Innovation Prize of $15,000

A partnership between two teams of engineering PhD candidates and Professors from Florida Atlantic University and Wayne State University working toward the first field deployment of electrochemical nanosensors for phosphorus paired with hyper-compact batteries and smart underwater modem technology to enable software-defined wireless networking of fixed sensors and unmanned aquatic vehicles. 

The goal of this collaborative effort is to develop the next-generation of autonomous integrated platforms for real-time sensing and networking that enable continuous nutrient sensing and underwater wireless connectivity in a wide area network setup. More specifically, we develop new types of hardware and software including open-architecture protocols to address underwater and terrestrial wireless connectivity, as well as waterproof software-defined modems. The modems are integrated to solar-powered biocompatible microbatteries and novel sensors from two-dimensional (2D) materials (such as graphene and transition metal dichalcogenide (TMD)) to enable ultra-sensitive real-time water quality monitoring.

We envision the deployment of a swarm of both underwater and surface-floating communication platforms that can interface to either commercial off-the-shelf or in-house fabricated sensors and are able to autonomously co-operate and wirelessly communicate in a wide-area network setup. Data analytics are distributed at the network edge, therefore enabling 2D data-driven sampling. 


George Sklivanitis ([email protected])
Konstantinos Tountas ([email protected])
Stella Batalama ([email protected])
Dimitris Pados ([email protected])

Hydrotrek won the Network Technology Prize of $10,000

The HydroTrek team included contributors from Global Quality Corp., Sayantek and Roietronics who developed advanced electronics and software to create a next generation IoT platform for Smart Water monitoring and modeling. The end-to-end solution comprised the development of a battery powered LoRaWAN telemetry IoT unit that interfaced with a low-cost nutrient sensor, the development of a cybersecure LoRaWAN gateway configuration and management tool by customizing the eRED Software Defined Applications (SDA) framework, and the implementation of the HydroTrek cloud-based tools for data visualization, advanced analytics including anomaly detection with the US EPA CANARY engine and stormwater run-off modeling. All the technologies were demonstrated successfully in a pilot that included a sensor deployment at a Lake Erie location.

Sayantek’s eRED platform helps industrial companies build smart edge across several verticals. It has been applied for ML (machine-learning) based monitoring, OT-IT/cloud integration and autonomous operation for reduced maintenance costs and efficient use of resources.

Global Quality Corp.’s HydroTrek cloud-based Smart Water IoT platform provides next generation easy-to-use solutions for the water sector that provides substantial cost reductions for monitoring and modeling while providing scalability and resilience.