Climate Corps fellowship awards
Each year, Climate Corps recognizes the outstanding achievements of our alumni and fellows.
These awards are presented at our annual Climate Corps Summit, the culmination of our fellowship season where we bring together our network for best practice sharing, celebration, and connection with events in the US, China and India.
2023 Fellowship Awards
The annual Climate Corps Fellowship Awards recognize fellows who complete outstanding work in four areas:
- The Business Case Award for the fellow who presents the strongest case for a project recommendation, backed by sound quantitative analysis and with a high likelihood of implementation.
- The Innovation Award for the fellow who recommends the most creative approach to reducing a host organization’s emissions or an innovative solution for overcoming barriers.
- The Collaboration Award for the fellow who most effectively facilitates work across or within organizations or the Climate Corps network to collectively bolster climate and energy initiatives.
- The Low Carbon Award for the China Program fellow who develops the most compelling case for achieving significant carbon emissions reductions.
See below for current and past fellowship award winners. Our alumni award winners can be found here.
2023 Business Case Award Winners
Frank Agwuncha, of the Master of Science in Sustainability Management program at Columbia University, won the 2023 Business Case Award for his work with Vertical Bridge.
Frank employed a combination of diverse solutions poised to significantly curtail emissions: up to a 90% reduction in scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2030 and a 30% reduction in scope 3 by 2030, culminating in net zero by 2040.
Frank’s exhaustive analysis assigned dollar values to operating expense savings and correlated GHG emissions reductions. His adept problem-solving approach reshaped Vertical Bridge’s renewable energy perspective, influencing senior leadership’s outlook with potential for revenue generation.
Shehanas Pazhoor, a PhD candidate at Fudan University, won the 2023 Business Case Award for her work with Pula Advisors, an agricultural insurance and technology company.
Shehanas used the powerful FAO EX-Act tool to quantify the per-project sequestration potential across various carbon farming options. This enabled the organization to accurately gauge the economic and environmental benefits resulting from carbon credit outcomes. In addition, Shehanas meticulously prepared a comprehensive cost estimation sheet, delineating all financial aspects required for the successful operation of a carbon farming project.
She also prepared a roadmap that encouraged the use of private investment to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions by leveraging carbon credits for smallholder farmers to pay for crop insurance premiums, proving to be both economically and environmentally sustainable.
2023 Collaboration Award Winners
Laurel Kruke, a Doctor of Philosophy candidate in Urban Education Policy at the University of Southern California, won the 2023 Collaboration Award for her work with the City of Fort Collins.
Laurel participated in the Equity and Resilience Assessment Working Group, by supporting the co-leads to develop productive agendas for the group and actively contributing to group discussions. She also strategized about climate equity pathways and potential metrics-prioritization for assessing and communicating equity progress in the context of Our Climate Future.
In addition to equity assessment discussions, Laurel collaborated with staff around the city and county to gather data for its annual CDP submission.
Siwei Yan, of the Master of Engineering program at Zhejiang University, won the 2023 Collaboration Award for her work with Advanced Micro-Fabrication Equipment Inc. China.
Yan worked collaboratively with multiple departments at AMEC to develop a comprehensive set of supply-chain packaging optimization strategies that aligned with the company’s ESG principles. These strategies, supported by rigorous quantitative analysis, included on-site research, measurement, and a thorough multi-element feasibility assessment.
Yan successfully formulated four actionable plans and four medium-to-long-term carbon reduction strategies for AMEC through this collaborative effort.
Jatin Khaimani, a student at Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Bhopal, won the Collaboration Award for his work at Mahindra Group, a multinational conglomerate.
Jatin curated a whitepaper on the impact of climate change on agriculture, aiding Mahindra’s Sustainability and Risk team to guide the company’s agribusiness vertical. He interacted with a diverse group of sustainability professionals, think tanks, and governmental and non-governmental organizations.
Jatin’s commitment to creating a comprehensive and robust resource resulted in additional interviews with farm experts, engagement with startups, and collaboration within the Climate Corps network.
2023 Innovation Award Winners
Lillian Liu, of the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management at the University of California, Santa Barbara won the 2023 Innovation Award for her work with the US General Services Administration.
Lillian developed a dashboard for zero-emissions vehicles (ZEV) and electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) to enable high visibility and tracking of progress against the ZEV targets set forth in Executive Order 14057. The dashboard centralizes disparate data on federal government-wide vehicle inventory and electric vehicle infrastructure projects.
Lillian’s blueprint calls for improving data governance and quality, developing custom tools and models to support infrastructure investment decisions, creating a rollout strategy beginning with the establishment of flagship EVSE buildings, and lastly, scaling the strategy in four phases.
Xuecong Pu, of the Master of Science in Agricultural Engineering and Information Technology program at Zhejiang University, won the 2023 Innovation Award for his work with Walmart China Investment Co., Ltd.
Pu worked with Walmart China to introduce innovative solutions for the reduction of food waste and carbon emissions. His project converted various forms of food waste into animal feed across 45 distribution centers in China, aligning with corporate and national sustainability goals. Pu’s research and tool development optimized the process, offsetting 767.6 metric tons of CO2e emissions, offering substantial benefits while reshaping industry practices.
Aishwarya Singh, a Master of Public Policy student at the Institute of Rural Management Anand, won the Innovation Award for his exceptional work with Climate Smart Agriculture team at EDF India.
Aishwarya examined agri-products and commodities from a sustainability perspective to identify key elements of an optimal, emissions-reduced agri-value chain for farmers. This effort culminated in the development of a comprehensive research note on value chains for emissions-reduced agri-commodities, a departure from conventional agri-value chains which focus primarily on production. Aishwarya’s examination from an emissions reduction lens is an innovative strategy towards emission-reduced cultivation.
2023 Low Carbon Award Winner
Guoying Zhu, of the Master of Science program in Physical Geography at Peking University, won the 2023 Low Carbon Award for his work with Covestro Polymers (China) Co., Ltd.
Guoying’s efforts enhanced and streamlined Covestro’s utility KPI system, resulting in energy-efficient operation recommendations and standardized energy consumption analysis functions. This is projected to yield annual electricity savings exceeding 3 million kWh, equating to a reduction of 255 MtCO2e emissions annually.
Past Award Winners
The Business Case Award
- 2022 – Rishabh Bansal
- 2022 – Ying Xiao
- 2022 – Akshayan Muthusamypillai
- 2021 – Daniel McDermott
- 2021 – Qian Li
- 2021 – Kai Chen
- 2021 – Hariharan Thangalur Sukumar
- 2020 – Bobuchi Ken-Opurum
- 2019 – Colin Curzi
- 2018 – Wenjie (Linda) Zhao
- 2017 – Astha Ummat
- 2016 – Lillian Mirviss
- 2015 – Shaun Takao
- 2014 – Nicholas Zuba
The Innovation Award
- 2022 – Prateek Suri
- 2022 – Xinrui Liu
- 2022 – Sharan Ghai
- 2021 – Olalekan Ogundairo
- 2021 – Shi Chen
- 2021 – Liyuan Chen
- 2021 – Kuladeep Kumar Sadevi
- 2021 – Ayushi Agrawal
- 2020 – Nathalie Simoes
- 2019 – Yasin Naman
- 2018 – Andrea Gomez Vesga
- 2017 – Yiping Shao
- 2016 – Reagan Richmond
- 2015 – Dennis Bartlett
- 2014 – Robert Youngs
The Collaboration Award