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EPICS team 33 Buckets faced stiff competition as one of five finalists—and just two undergraduate teams—in the worldwide Dell Social Innovation Challenge. On Tuesday night, winners were announced and graduate student teams Essmart took first place, Humanure took second and Nanoly took third. Going into the competition, 33 Buckets was the top undergraduate team in the United States out of over 1,700 entries.

33 Buckets team members include mechanical engineering senior Paul Strong and four biomedical engineering students — senior Pankti Shah, senior Varendra Silva, senior Mark Huerta and junior Connor Wiegand.

As a finalist, 33 Buckets will receive a year of mentoring and Dell hardware.

As an additional honor, Mark Huerta received a full-ride scholarship to the prestigious Dell Challenge Summer Innovation Lab. Only 20 students worldwide are invited to participate, and only a handful receive a full scholarship.

Eight EPICS teams were among the 200 teams chosen in the spring as semifinalists. Project TOTO, another EPICS team, received the 2012 People’s Chose Award in Technology.

More on the 2012 winners.

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