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TAMUG Engineering Student Top at Tech Competition    

February 6, 2020

Sanjay Kumaran (second from left) and his TAMUhack 2020 team took Grand Prize for their Eco-Mode app creation and design.
Sanjay Kumaran (second from left) and his TAMUhack 2020 team took Grand Prize for their Eco-Mode app creation and design.

By Andréa Bolt

Sanjay Kumaran ’23 had to convince his team that even though he was a freshman, he could contribute and be a valuable member. 

His claims held true as Kumaran and his three TAMUhack 2020 team members won the grand prize during this year’s annual Aggie technology competition earlier this week. 

Their winning app creation, Eco-Mode, encourages users to reuse and recycle various items by identifying do-it-yourself projects or proper recycling areas or modes after being prompted to take a photo of the particular item. 

Kumaran contributed to the front-end and UI/UX design of the app. He said the team had to work hard at being creative when trying to think up initial app ideas to be competitive with the over 140 other teams involved. 

Kumaran attends Texas A&M University at Galveston and is participating in the Engineering at Galveston program, which gives first-year engineering students the unique opportunity to take advantage of Texas A&M University-Galveston’s smaller class sizes and proximity to the ocean to decide if they want to pursue Interdisciplinary Engineering, Multidisciplinary Engineering Technology or Ocean Engineering.

Students can learn about the design of everything from oil rigs to subsea pipelines and seawalls, as well as Electro Marine Engineering Technology, which has a special focus in wireless communications, automation, instrumentation and robotics. Engineering for Marine Environments allows students to gain a deeper understanding of geohazards that exist beneath the ocean’s surface.

He said this campus’ emphasis on conservation played a part in formulating their app idea.

“We know that people know this concept, but we wanted to make them be creative with how they reuse and recycle things. We need to get away from using technology in terms of social media and entertainment and use it more for its potential to make a positive difference in the world,” Kumaran said. 

In their video example, the team used a Diet Coke can. Team member and computer science major Dylan Theriot snapped a photo using the app, which then generated fun, creative DIY projects to reuse the can and also pointed him to the nearest recycling container on campus. Kumaran said if the user were to instead use a clothing item like a shirt, it would suggest the user take the item to a Goodwill or Salvation Army. 

While Kumaran is proud of his team’s win, he’s not stopping to celebrate. Instead, he’s on his way to compete in yet another competition, the Mays Business School Consulting Club Case Competition, wherein around 15 teams go head-to-head to understand a full-length case problem and provide customized solutions to a client. Usually, half of the participants are business majors and the next largest segment are engineers. The competition is judged by employees from top consulting firms.

To learn more about Texas A&M-Galveston’s engineering programs, visit:


Media contact:
Andréa Bolt

Texas A&M University at Galveston is the marine and maritime branch campus of Texas A&M University which educates nearly 2,300 undergraduate and graduate students in science, business, engineering, liberal arts and transportation. It is driving the development of the blue economy in the Gulf Coast Region and is a critical contributor to Texas A&M's rare land-, sea-, space-grant mission with nearly $10 million in research expenditures.

Texas A&M-Galveston is also home to the Texas A&M Maritime Academy, one of six state maritime academies and the only one in the southern United States, which trains over 400 cadets annually for maritime service and employment around the world.

Texas A&M-Galveston is located in Galveston, Texas on the Gulf Coast where it is surrounded by industry, environment and programs essential to fulfilling its special-purpose mission. Aggies are known for their deep commitment to the success of each other and their strong desire to serve.