About Us

This competition is designed to harness and cultivate your creativity. We invite you to develop and explore ideas that will help to lead society to a sustainable future.

Student Sustainability Committee

The Reimagine Our Future Undergraduate Sustainability Committee is currently being run by the University of Illinois Student Sustainability Committee (SSC). The University of Illinois Student Sustainability Committee is a student-led group, which allocates over $1 million in student funding to sustainability projects on the University of Illinois campus. To learn more about the SSC or contact our members, please refer to the SSC website.

Advisory Committee

Leon Liebenberg (Teaching Associate Professor, Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering, UIUC)
Warren Lavey (Adjunct Professor, College of Law and Campus Honors Program, UIUC)
Robert McKim (Emeritus Professor, Department of Religion, UIUC)
Michelle Wander (Professor, Natural Resources and Environmental Science, UIUC)

Past Student Assistants

Peter Davis (Mechanical Science and Engineering)
Bryce Davis (Natural Resources & Environmental Sciences and Law)
Jessica Mingee (Mechanical Science and Engineering)
Lavanya Upadhyaya (Physics, Statistics)
Shreyas Venkatarathinam (Mechanical Science and Engineering)

Meet the Specialist Advisors and Judges

Participants will be advised and preliminary rounds will be judged by specialists representing a variety of universities, companies, and institutions.

Finals Judges

Ms. Margaret Cederoth

is an urban planner with two decades of experience working in sustainable infrastructure and land use and transportation planning throughout the US and globally. Ms Cederoth was appointed by Governor Newsom in 2019 to be the Director of Planning and Sustainability for the California High-Speed Rail Authority.  Her duties include policy development and implementation, station and station area planning, greenhouse gas emissions inventory, tracking, and offsets, renewable energy planning, sustainable design, and district-scale sustainability approaches. As an AICP urban planner and Envision Sustainability Professional, she previously led sustainability work for the Authority, and as a consultant she oversaw corporate sustainability initiatives for WSP USA, including their commitment to carbon neutral operations and the development of training and tools for implementing sustainability approaches on a range of infrastructure projects.  She has a Masters of Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. https://sustainableinfrastructure.org/envision_board/margaret-cederoth/

Mr. Bruce Hamilton

worked at the Sierra Club for over 40 years in a variety of capacities from an organizer in the Northern Rockies to Deputy Executive Director. He was involved in designing and implementing campaigns to protect parks and wilderness areas, promote environmental justice, and combat the climate crisis. He is a member of the World Commission on Protected Areas. He retired in 2021 and now volunteers on local, regional, national, and international conservation and justice campaigns. https://www.earth.live/post/bruce-hamilton

Professor Reitumetse Obakeng Mabokela

Professor Mabokela is Vice Provost for International Affairs and Global Strategies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. As vice provost and the senior international officer, Professor Mabokela cultivates relationships with institutions around the world while bringing together the university’s vast on-campus international presence. She is also Professor of Comparative and International Higher Education. Prior to joining the University of Illinois, she served as the Assistant Dean for International Studies in the College of Education and Professor of Higher Education in the Department of Educational Administration at Michigan State University. Originally from South Africa, she received her B.A. in economics from Ohio Wesleyan University, magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. She pursued and graduated with a master’s in labor and industrial relations and Ph.D. in educational policy studies, both from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. A former Fulbright New Century Scholar (2006), Professor Mabokela’s research examines experiences of marginalized populations and aims to inform institutional policies that affect these groups within institutions of higher education. She has devoted a significant part of her career studying higher education issues in developing and transitional countries. She is the author, co-author, editor or co-editor of seven books and has published extensively in national and international journals.

Dr. Prasanta Kalita

is a professor of agricultural & biological engineering, and leader of the Soil & Water Resources Engineering division, and a faculty affiliate of the Discovery Partners Institute (DPI) of the UI System. He has served as a Presidential Fellow of the University of Illinois System,  director of the ADM Institute for the Prevention of Postharvest Loss, and associate dean for academic programs in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. A Fellow of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) and Indian Society for Agricultural Engineering (ISAE), Dr. Kalita’s areas of research include water resources management and environmental sustainability, food security, food loss and waste reduction, and water quality. He is widely recognized for his excellence in teaching, research, and international engagement. He has worked extensively in educational development and capacity building, water resources, food production, and food security issues around the world. He has published more than 150 articles in journals and conferences and served as editor-in-chief and associate editor for three international journals. His career is marked impressively by over 40 honors and awards recognizing educational excellence, research excellence, and outstanding service and leadership. https://abe.illinois.edu/directory/pkalita

Mr. Bob Redlinger

leads the Global Energy & Sustainability team at Apple, where he is responsible for implementing renewable energy, resource efficiency, water management and waste minimization solutions for Apple’s facilities. This includes powering Apple’s global operations with 100% renewable energy and addressing climate impacts across the product lifecycle, as part of Apple’s 2030 commitment to carbon neutrality. 

Bob has over 30 years of experience in clean energy and environmental protection, spanning project development, energy economics, policy, and engineering for organizations including SunPower, AECOM, Chevron Energy Solutions, and the United Nations Environment Programme.  He has developed and implemented utility-scale renewable energy, distributed generation, and energy efficiency projects for utilities, corporations, and institutions worldwide. 

Bob has authored books on wind energy and integrated energy resource planning.  He holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in civil engineering, environmental engineering & science, and financial economics from Stanford University and the University of London.  He is a registered professional engineer in California.

Ms. Grace Nie

Grace currently works at Boston Consulting Group as an Associate. She graduated from University of Illinois with Highest Honor in 2022 majoring in Accounting. She is passionate about sustainability and plans to work in BCG’s Climate Change and Sustainability practice.


Mr. Patrick Kelley

Patrick Kelley is an experienced leader with a track record of developing impact innovations through investment and new business models. He is Global Vice President at the Terwilliger Center for Innovation in Shelter at Habitat for Humanity International. https://www.linkedin.com/in/patrick-kelley-3027152

Ms. Kimberly Noe

Kim Noe currently serves as John Deere’s Manager, Corporate Sustainability Reporting where she focuses on strategy development and execution and public sustainability disclosure. She connects with people to further integrate sustainability within John Deere. She is responsible for publishing John Deere’s 2020 Sustainability Report. Outside of work Kim enjoys reading, cooking, and spending time with family and friends. Kim graduated from UIUC in 2012 with a BS in Agricultural and Biological Engineering.

Dr. Mona Sarfaty

MD, Executive Director: Medical Society Consortium on Climate and Health, Center for Climate Change Communication, George Mason University. https://www.climatechangecommunication.org/team-view/mona-sarfaty/

Our Partners

The UIUC Sustainable Development Goal Competition was initially made possible by generous support from: The Robert Rosencranz Memorial Charitable Fund, the anonymous donor-advised funds at The Chicago Community Foundation and at Fidelity Charitable, and the UIUC Agroecology and Sustainable Agriculture Program. Additional financial support was provided by the Student Sustainability Committee, UIUC.

The Competition is supported by the Office of the Vice Provost for International Affairs and Global Strategies, UIUC.

The Competition is also supported by the following centers, institutes, and initiatives: Center for Global Studies, Siebel Center for Design; Technology Entrepreneur Center; Global Classrooms; Game Studies & Design; Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment; Student Sustainability Committee.

Thank you to our generous supporters and partners!