UT PGE Hosts 2nd Annual Energy AI Hackathon

March 28, 2022

Associate Professors John Foster and Michael Pyrcz co-hosted the Hildebrand Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering's (UT PGE) second annual Energy AI Hackathon March 25–27. About 100 students competed on 20 teams representing schools and departments across The University of Texas at Austin, including the Cockrell School of Engineering, the College of Natural Sciences, the Jackson School of Geosciences and the McCombs School of Business. At least one undergraduate and one UT PGE student were on each team.

2022 Energy AI Hackathon participants in front of the CPE building.

Teams spent the weekend solving a challenging real-world energy problem designed by UT PGE graduate students Wen Pan and Elnara Rustamzade. After a Friday evening refresher on data analytics and machine learning from Pyrcz and Foster, students spent Saturday and Sunday using Python to code their proposed solutions. Expert mentors from BakerHughes, BP, Chevron, ExxonMobil, Pioneer and SparkCognition guided teams as they worked, and on Sunday afternoon a panel of data science experts from Amazon, BP, ComboCurve and Pioneer judged each team’s solution based on adding maximum value to the project (30%), making accurate predictions using machine learning predictions (30%), presenting their results (30%), and producing readable code (10%).

The Hackathon provides students with opportunities to enhance their academic experience, augment career preparation outside the classroom, and facilitate both student-faculty and student-alumni networking, says Pyrcz. “As we continue to add new digital technologies in our course offerings and research programs, we know that our students are ready to take on these kinds of challenges,” he says. “Every subsurface-oriented company that I visit is interested in growing these new operational capabilities, and we’re preparing students to bring that, in addition to excellent engineering and geoscience domain knowledge.”

This year’s winning Hackathon teams earned a total of $9,000 in prize money:

First Place — HackBros

  • Ivan Feng (UT PGE)
  • Richard Feng (McCombs School of Business and Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering)
  • Tesleem Lawal (UT PGE)
  • Dongyoung Yoon (UT PGE)

Second Place — Energy Challengers

  • Thomas Lanning (Physics and International Studies)
  • Lei Liu (UT PGE)
  • Yorick Reum (Computational Engineering)
  • Valeria Vallejo (UT PGE)

Third Place — No Free Lunch

  • Javier Guerrero (UT PGE)
  • Viridiana Salazar (UT PGE)
  • Shuhan Shen (ORIE)
  • Junyu Yao (Physics)

Fourth Place — Longhorn Energy Club

  • Khushboo Agarwal (Jackson School of Geosciences)
  • Christian Hurd (McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering)
  • Morgan Nguyen (UT PGE)
  • Benjamin Stormer (Walker Department of Mechanical Engineering)

 See photos from the 2022 Energy AI Hackathon.

Thank You to Our 2022 Energy AI Hackathon Sponsors:

Elizabeth Huth Coates Charitable Foundation of 1992