UN Sustainability Goals

  • Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
  • Sustainable Cities and Communities

Areas of Excellence

  • Sustainability

Global Challenge: Sustainable Development Goal 9: Industry, Innovation & Infrastructure


I am interested in implementing sustainable infrastructure systems that aid in the social mobility of marginalized communities in urban areas. Making innovation more accessible to the working class will decrease the income gap and help improve the quality of life for everyone. This issue of connectivity and access to basic needs has been a motif throughout most of my time in GLASS. Through my experiences in GLASS, in Abu Dhabi, my internships, my role as the Head of Inclusion, Diversity, Belonging, and Equity in the General Engineering Department, and being President of the RoboSub VIP at Tandon, I worked on contextualizing that goal. The UN Sustainable Development Goal that my GLASS Project addresses is “building resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation” (United Nations). By focusing on cutting-edge technologies and emerging trends, the project seeks to provide insights into the role of underwater robotics in addressing the global need for resilient infrastructure and fostering innovation in the maritime industry. AUVs are an integral part of combating climate change, adapting to changing environments, and building the renewable resource infrastructure that will reduce the effects of climate change in the future. Rising sea levels are an unfortunate symptom of climate change and AUVs are the solution. Studies have shown that they are useful in monitoring at-risk coastlines for flooding. They are often used in underwater construction of seawalls and other mitigation measures. AUV’s can be used to monitor the health of marine habitats and ecosystems. Most notably, AUV’s are used to construct underwater energy resources like tidal or wave energy farms. The uses for AUV’s extends beyond just these sustainable applications, but when examining climate change solutions, AUV’s are often overlooked as an innovative solution for combatting a variety of issues.


Elena Hume is a passionate Mechanical Engineer graduating from New York University Tandon School of Engineering in May 2024 with a minor in Sustainable Urban Environments. During her time in college, she engaged in a wide range of activities from internships in industry, to on-campus jobs, to academically rigorous leadership roles through the general Engineering Department and Vertically Integrated Project Departments at Tandon. As a member of the Global Leaders and Scholars in STEM Honors Program she engaged in a personal thesis project involving the implementation of Autonomous Underwater Vehicles as a method for tackling climate changes and its symptoms. She is interested in the intersections of infrastructure, innovation, and climate justice.

The Glass Excellence Award