January 13, 2022
Jerusalem College of Technology student, Elan Leonard, a Houston native, co-created a system enabling employees to optimize charging their electric vehicle while at work, as part of his involvement in the school’s Great Minds Hackathon.
Along with other JCT students, Avraham Meyers (Chicago, Ill.) and Pinny Silver (Teaneck, N.J.), they addressed a challenge posed by Intel that revealed many large organizations are unable to accommodate the charging needs of employees who use electric vehicles to commute.
Since charge times vary and take much longer than going to the pump, sometimes an employee’s car in the company parking lot can hog a charging station for hours, leaving other employees unable to charge their vehicle during the day.
“We sought a way to optimize the time used,” said Leonard, a graduate of Fasman Yeshiva High School in Skokie, Ill., who is studying Business Administration at the college’s International Program in English. “So, we created an algorithm which sorted out who is most in need of a charge and then prompts an employee to move their vehicle once they reach a certain level so every employee can leave for the day with the same level of charge.”
Orlee Guttman, co-founder of the LevTech Entrepreneurship Center at JCT which organized the hackathon, was thrilled with the results. “All of the students who participated in the hackathon were amazing and showed tremendous effort and creativity. They learned new technologies in a matter of hours and then created new products using them. As we’ve seen in past years, their innovation and drive continue after the hackathon, as well, as they work to bring these products to market, improve consumer experience and business efficiency, and often help save lives at the same time.”
More than 100 Orthodox and Ultra-Orthodox Jerusalem College of Technology Israeli and international students took part in the hackathon, working on challenges presented by the likes of Intel, Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, Medtronic, SpotReality, Toldot Yisrael and the Israeli police.
“I’ve only had positive experiences participating in the JCT hackathon,” said Leonard, who won first place in last year’s hackathon. “Last year, the hackathon was on Zoom. Even though we got to work together, it felt less connected. This year, we’re all together and creating. You could easily see how different teams each approached their challenges, and you got to see a lot of cool stuff being made. It was a wonderful collaborative experience.”