April 21, 2014
–Patrick Kurp, Engineering Communications
Tolulope “Tolu” Akinwumi, a graduate student in civil and environmental engineering (CEE) at Rice University, has received the 2014 Rice Center for Engineering Leadership Achievement Award.
In December, Akinwumi earned bachelor’s degrees in environmental engineering and managerial studies from Rice, and he expects to get his master’s in CEE in May. Born in Ibadan, Nigeria, he grew up in Brampton, Ontario, Canada.
tolu_01In addition to his academics, Akinwumi earned a full athletic scholarship as a member of the Rice football team. He was a linebacker and safety with the Rice Owls.
“I’ve known Tolu for more than a year but it wasn’t until recently that I learned about his accomplishments in entrepreneurial leadership,” said Daniel Cohan, associate professor of environmental engineering at Rice.
“Tolu created Think Tanc LLC while pursuing a demanding academic and athletic schedule. He was involved in two endeavors — the Rice Energy Point System, which encourages students to reduce their energy use, and the CollegeShout.com web app, which allows students to share campus events in real time.”
Akinwumi describes Think Tanc as “a collaborative thinking company with a premise of making ideas a reality using minimal resources.” He raised more than $20,000 to establish the Rice Energy Point System, a technological initiative focusing on reducing energy consumption on the Rice campus.
In 2013, he was selected for a Sustainable Development/Venture Support Integration Internship with Shell Oil Co., in New Orleans. In 2012, he served as an energy optimization intern with Air Liquide America in Houston.