Gateway instructors, student advance to final round of Foxconn Smart Cities contest

PRESS RELEASE: A Gateway Technical College instructor and a Gateway student are among the 30 Round Two winners of Foxconn’s statewide Smart Cities-Smart Futures contest and advance to the third, and final, round of the competition.

Gateway Horticulture instructor Kate Field advanced in the Food category while Gateway student Donald Heckel advanced in the Mobility and Transportation category. Both will receive a $1,500 award and were honored at a Foxconn recognition ceremony and Round 3 kickoff ceremony today hosted by Gateway at its SC Johnson iMET Center in Sturtevant.

Field’s proposal calls for using hydroponics to grow clean, fresh local food in urban areas using rooftop greenhouses and precision farming in abandoned or underused buildings. Included in the proposal were specifics on Racine and Kenosha sites.

In his proposal, Heckel, an Architectural-Structural Engineering Technician student, outlines a Tier Modal system for Racine County which would be unique to the Midwest. Heckel also owns and operates Third Coast Bicycles in Racine. Gateway Civil Engineering instructor Steve Whitmoyer collaborated with Heckel on the proposal.

Whitmoyer was also among the winners of the first round of the contest, an entry in the Energy and Environment category.

Winners of the final round are expected to be announced in early May. Launched in August 2018, Smart Cities-Smart Futures asked students, faculty and staff from Wisconsin’s higher education institutions to submit their innovative solutions for developing smart, connected cities. In total, Foxconn pledged to award up to $1 million over the next three years to the competition.