Heriot-Watt team run from Edinburgh to Dubai to raise awareness about the environment

A team from Heriot-Watt University are helping raise awareness for eco-friendly living by travelling the distance from Edinburgh to Dubai after their competition there was postponed due to the pandemic.

Russia Pit Stop
Russia Pit Stop

Team ESTEEM was chosen to compete in the Solar Decathlon Middle East 2020 (SDME2020) - with team members made up of various students and lecturers from across multiple departments and disciplines.SDME2020 was originally created by the US Department of Energy and brings together universities from all over the world to design, build and operate a grid-connected, solar powered house.

But due to Covid the event has been postponed a year until November 2021.Though this has not deterred team members from living and at times, barely breathing, the ethos of the project.

As a team, they decided that they would walk, jog, run and cycle the 3587.42 miles/5773.39 km to Dubai through non-pollutant means to raise awareness for the environment.

Part of Team ESTEEM at a University event last year

Jairis Alvarez, Marketing and Communications team leader, 26, said: ”Our Destination Dubai challenge has made me more active and reduces my university stress. Whenever I go running, cycling, or walking, I connect with nature and release the beautiful things that the world offers us everyday"

ESTEEM is split into several parts and they have had fun by competing against one another to see who can travel the furthest.

Regular virtual pitstops have also been created to help motivate the athletes on their journey and to raise awareness around what different countries are doing to become more renewable.

Alex MacLaren, Project Lead: Solar Decathlon Middle East 2020, said: “The Team Esteem students have impressed us all with the way they have been pushing the project forward during lockdown. With their house build postponed, due to the pandemic, the students switched their attention from complex engineering problems to supporting each other. ‘Destination Dubai’, their latest campaign, is emblematic of this: by encouraging team members to get out and run, cycle or walk, towards a common goal, wherever they are in the world, they embody our Heriot Watt University values of belonging, celebration and an International Outlook; they are looking after each other and inspiring us all, and I couldn’t be more proud of them.”If you would like to take part then please follow this link.

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