The New EPIC + SDG Challenge

is a student-centred iniciative that connects students from different universities and countries for developing solutions and possible products that can be strategic to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda's goals. Our focus is in engineering and computer science, but people with all backgrounds are more than welcome. This project was started by professors of Production Engineering at the University of Brasilia (UnB), Brazil, and from Aalborg University (AAU), Denmark, and it is sponsored by Grupo Gestão, the Junior Enterprise of Production Engineering at UnB, and IDA, the Danish Engineering Association.



The Opportunity

Every semester, in many universities, a big number of students do semester-projects applying their knowledge in engineering, computer science and other areas.


What if we could coordinate with their supervisors and make these projects part of bigger contexts focused on the sustainable development goals? What would be the impact?
We are looking forward to find out, because that's what we do.  

How do we do what we do?

Before every semester starts, we have an event, in which students from the partner universities meet and build project proposals. They start by defining a project theme focused on the 2030 Agenda. Sometimes there is some problem/context (MEGA-THEME) in which their project must fit, but in other times they can choose freely, just needing to find a way to apply the skills the supervisors require. In many cases, the projects proposed come from past semesters and are continued by the same or new students.

After the event, when they're back home*, the semester starts and they start cooperating via internet! They share work and use each others background's to build a more impactful result. 

Global Students SDG Challenge

Global Students SDG III

New EPIC + SDG Challenge V

JANUARY, 2023.









Global Students SDG Summit


Global Students SDG IV
through EPIC

Global Students SDG Challenge VI

JANUARY, 2023.





Our current cycle of projects.

07.2022 - 01.2023

We're focusing our projects on a MEGA-THEME: Preventing, Reducing, Reusing, Recycling of solid waste via cooperatives of waste pickers - P3RSW. This approach started in the first semester of 2019 and more than 50 teams have worked on projects connected to it. 

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The New EPIC + SDG Challenge is completely opened for projects with other themes as well. See more about the confirmed ones below:  



The River Plastic Waste Recovery is a project to research about the problem of plastic pollution in rivers, designing machines to recover this plastic and building supply chain solutions for recycling it. 


IOT in Selective Collection is a project to track containers in order to optimize collection routes and, consequently, reduce CO2 emissions from the day to day operations.


Mobile Financial Education for Waste Pickers is a project to help waste pickers acquire knowledge about money through digital solutions.



The PUMA platform is a web application that centralizes the processes of creating and managing university projects. It also connects the projects to the market.


This project aims at creating a product to help poor people with diabetes to face their daily challenges.


Measuring Waste Sorting Quality in the Triage Centers in Brasília.


Investigating what kind of waste is produced in large waste generator in Brasília and, by that, maximizing the selective collection benefits.  



How can waste pickers maximize their profits with selling waste? Is it possible to create a futures market of waste. What are the experiences related to it? The focus here is to improve the way they trade their recyclables.

There is a big new warehouse in Brasília that was funded by the Brazilian National Bank for Economical and Social Development. Although it was built years ago, it's still not used. The focus here is investigate why and make a plan to bring purpose to it. 


Journalistic Reporting on our projects (watch original)

The origins of the SDG Challenge (minute 17:15)

Our Verdensmålsprisen video

Our team and facilitators

João Mello da Silva
Professor (PhD.) at University of Brasília
Global Students SDG Challenge Co-Founder

João obtained his doctorate in Operational Research at Case Western Reserve University (1975). At the University of Brasilia since 1979, he is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Production Engineering at the Faculty of Technology at the University of Brasília.

Jens Myrup Pedersen
Professor PhD. at Aalborg University
Global Students SDG Challenge Co-Founder

Jens is now Professor in the Department of Electronic Systems at Aalborg University. His main research area is Cyber Security. He has a long experience in Problem Based Learning, and in establishing international student projects, e.g. through the coordination of multiple Erasmus and Erasmus+ projects.

Giajenthiran (Kalle) Velmurugan
PhD. Student at Aalborg University
Global Students SDG Challenge Co-Founder
Mateus Halbe Torres
Research Assistant at Aalborg University
Global Students SDG Challenge Co-Founder
Paulo Celso dos Reis Gomes
Professor (PhD.) at University of Brasília
Global Students SDG Challenge Advisor
Production Engineering Masters Student at UnB
Global Students SDG Challenge Advisor

Kalle (how he is known) is a Ph.D. fellow at Aalborg University. His research focuses on Problem-Based Learning at Higher Educations. Specifically, the question: how students make decisions in regard to their given problems? 

Mateus is a Production Engineer from University of Brasília who currently works at the Department of Electronic Systems at Aalborg University. He is also Grupo Gestão's Senior Advisor for International Affairs and the General Coordinator of the Global Students SDG Challenge.  

Paulo is Professor at the Technology Institute at University of Brasília since 1998. He was the Technical Responsible for the closure of the second biggest dumpsite in the world in 2018, the "Lixão da Estrutural" in Brasília.

Tatiana is Production Engineer by UnB, and researcher in Circular Economy and sustainable production-consumption. She coordinated recycling issues for the productive inclusion of waste pickers, during the closure the world’s second largest dumpsite, “lixão da Estrutural” in Brasilia.

Simone Borges Simão Monteiro
Professor (PhD.) at University of Brasília
Global Students SDG Challenge Advisor

Simone is a Production Engineering Professor at University of Brasília. She is a researcher in the following areas: Quality Management, Project Management, Risks Management, and Problem Based Learning for Higher Education.

Dianne Magalhães Viana
Professor (PhD.) at University of Brasília
Global Students SDG Challenge Advisor

Dianne is a Mechanical Engineering Professor at University of Brasília. She obtained her Ph.D. degree in a Civil Engineering Program at COPPE/UFRJ. Research Areas: machine design, product design, engineering education


The SDG Challenge is an initiative started within Grupo Gestão (GG), the junior enterprise of Production Engineering at the University of Brasília. Therefore, the headquarters for the SDG Challenge is GG's Headquarters.
Ceftru, University of Brasília. BRASÍLIA, BRAZIL.

We really believe young people must be the protagonists for a sustainable future.

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