06 - 08 May 2024   |   Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Welcome to the AspenTech® Academic Innovators Challenge

We are excited to invite you to participate in AspenTech Academic Innovators Challenge, a new academic initiative intended to unlock the ingenuity and innovative thinking of the next generation of chemical engineers. Calling chemical engineering students to submit their innovative proposal to address one of three real-life sustainability themes using AspenTech software solutions.

Registration is open from January 31 - March 15, 2024.

Key Dates

Registration Open: January 31 – March 15, 2024

Submission Deadline: March 16 – April 15, 2024

Judges Review: April 16 – April 29, 2024

Winners Announced: April 30, 2024

Award Ceremony: May 7, 2024 @ MEPEC Conference – Saudi Arabia

Eligibility/Who Can Register

  • Submissions from undergraduate and graduate (master’s level) students majoring in chemical engineering at an accredited university in the Middle East with active aspenONE Academic licenses will be accepted.
  • Submit a proposal either as an individual or as part of a team (up to 3 members per team).

Choice of Distinct Challenge Themes

Proposals should address one of the three sustainability areas listed below. Select the theme that resonates with you the most and inspires you to develop innovative ideas.


Resource Efficiency: Develop processes that reduce energy, water or feedstock use through targeted optimization.
a.  Novel schemes to improve energy efficiency
b. Reduce emissions of other greenhouse gases (methane, NO2, etc.)
c. Wastewater treatment


2. Energy Transition & Decarbonization: Develop new processes and sources for future energy needs and decarbonize existing applications.

a. Accelerate innovation for Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage (CCUS) and Hydrogen
b. Use electrical or solar energy to reduce fired heat and emissions
c. Advances in hydrogen electrolysis
d. Power storage, such as flow batteries


3. Circular Economy: Develop advanced recycling technologies and incorporate sustainable feedstocks. Drive innovation to minimize waste.

 a. Projects describing advanced recycling technologies for polymers, batteries, or other materials

Submission Requirements

Submissions must include the following:

Conference poster (template included)
AspenTech software simulation files
3–5-minute solution demo video highlighting the challenge you are addressing and your approach while showcasing of your working simulation

Evaluation Criteria

Entries will be evaluated on five key criteria:

  • Innovation: The submission should be novel and creative, while specifically addressing the selected sustainability topic. Highlight the solution’s potential to contribute to specific sustainability targets or initiatives.
    Impact: The solution should provide clear social, environmental or economic benefits. Explain its significance in clear and measurable terms and include metrics on emission reduction, resource savings and market disruption.
  • Feasibility: The proposed solution’s technical feasibility should address scalability, compatibility, and potential roadblocks. Demonstrate economic potential with a clear cost analysis, market assessment and viable revenue models. Providing data-driven validation, such as lab results, pilot tests, or other supporting evidence, will strengthen the solution.
  • Creativity: Clearly explain how AspenTech software is seamlessly integrated into the solution, emphasizing its critical role in enhancing effectiveness and impact. Focus areas should include process simulation, process control, AI/ML, optimization tools, data analytics and other pertinent solutions.
  • Clarity: The challenge, benefits and solution should be clear, concise and engaging for a diverse audience. Information should be presented logically, emphasizing the value proposition and potential impact of the solution.


  • First place winner will receive $500
  • Second place winner will receive $300
  • Third place winner will receive $200

The top three winning teams or individuals will receive a commemorative trophy and have the opportunity to present their innovations to a distinguished panel of AspenTech and industry leaders at the MEPEC conference on May 7, 2024.

The winning team will receive a Digital Award Badge and be featured in AspenTech social media posts.

Register Now

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