Former IDEA Sandbox Stories - Samuel Levac-Levey

Samuel Levac-Levey always had an idea, but never had a way to bring his idea to life and make his dream a reality. That was until he went into Dr. Cliff Johnson’s, an engineering professor at Dalhousie’s, office one day and found out about the IDEA Sandbox boot camp.

In 2015, Levac-Levey was in his first year of mechanical engineering at Dalhousie and had gone to Dr. Johnson’s office after class to ask him about something. After answering his questions, Dr. Johnson saw something in Levac-Levey and suggested for him to participate in a new boot camp that he and a few other instructors were hosting called the IDEA Sandbox. After hearing about this, Levac-Levey decided to join because he had a previous interest in entrepreneurship and had an idea for a project that he thought could get started on from participating in Dr. Johnson’s boot camp.

Three years later, Levac-Levey prepares to graduate from Dalhousie in May with a degree in mechanical engineering, and has his idea of creating a river hydrokinetic turbine is in the testing stage of development.

While back in the IDEA Sandbox, Levac-Levey and the rest of the participants were tasked with designing and creating a wind turbine that had to be different than those already on the market. While some participants tinkered around with minor details to make their versions different, Levac-Levey went way outside the box and discovered that his idea would be better tailored for a river turbine than a wind one, and began to explore that idea. Dr. Johnson saw potential in the idea and hired Levac-Levey for the summer to work on his idea after the six week boot camp was finished. At the end of the summer, Levac-Levey had turned his river hydrokinetic turbine from an idea to a beta-prototype that could produce electricity, which he could test.

Though the project was not complete at the end of the summer, Levac-Levey quickly got caught up with school and all of the work that comes with being a full time student, and his project had to be shelved for a few years to focus on getting his degree.

Now that he is mere days away from receiving his degree, Levac-Levey plans on getting right back to working on his river hydrokinetic turbine with the hopes to one day be able to bring it to market.