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Doctoral student Mansoor to compete as finalist in annual pitch event

young woman in lab coat holds up beaker of clear liquid
Naqsh Mansoor

Materials science doctoral student and graduate research assistant Naqsh Mansoor will compete in the Center of Advanced Energy Studies Annual Pitch Event 2021: Pathways to Idaho National Laboratory Net Zero. The two-pronged goal of this event is to help the CAES research community develop and hone the skills needed to effectively pitch technical ideas or solutions, and help Idaho National Laboratory accelerate its goal of becoming carbon neutral (aka net zero) within 10 years.

In 2018, Mansoor was awarded a Fulbright, and chose to attend Boise State in order to develop new, sophisticated water filtration systems. To learn more about Mansoor and her research, please visit:

As a finalist, Mansoor will pitch her concept, Energy Efficient Water Remediation via Flow Electrode Capacitive Deionization, at the culminating pitch event on Sept. 23. Mansoor and the other finalists will pitch their ideas starting at 10 a.m. MT on GoToWebinar. The main competition will be held from 10 a.m. to 11:45, followed by a presentation on Idaho National Laboratory’s Net Zero efforts at 11:45 a.m. and the announcement of the winners at 12:30 p.m. Finalists in each track will pitch their ideas during the finals, and one contestant in each track will emerge with up to $20K in funding to help them further develop their proposals, either for implementation at INL or to assist in the pursuit of follow-on federal funding.

CAES launched its annual pitch event to support the innovation culture across the CAES consortium (INL, Boise State University, Idaho State University and University of Idaho). Open to everyone in the CAES community and to all levels of ideas, this year’s event incorporated a real-world problem set into the competition: assist INL in meeting its goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2031.

Contestants competed in three tracks, received CO*STAR and RIIS training, and went through a semi-final down-selection round.

As follows are the finalists, their project title, and their affiliation:

Track A: Demonstration projects

  • Amey Khanolkar, INL – “Innovative Carbon-free HVAC Systems using Nuclear Micro-Reactors at INL’s Site”
  • Naqsh Mansoor, Boise State University – “Energy Efficient Water Remeditation via Flow Electrode Capacitive Deionization”
  • Muhammad Usman, INL – “INL Internet of Buildings (INL-IoB) Platform”

Track B: Projects that can be implemented today

  • Amey Khanolkar, INL – “Modernizing INL’s Buildings using Electrochromic Smart Windows”
  • Damon Woods, University of Idaho – “Infrared Thermostat”
  • Benny Varghese, INL – “Solar Covered Parking Spots”

Track C: Open submission

  • Michael Hoover, INL – “Essential Function Analysis Capability – Business Continuity”
  • Mustafa Mashal, Idaho State University – “Sustainable and Green Concrete Mixes for INL’s Infrastructure”