Longtime Gateway Technical College Horticulture instructor Kate Field has been named as one of the 12 winners in the final round of Foxconn’s statewide Smart Cities-Smart Futures competition.
Field, who retired earlier this month, was the only winner among the state’s technical colleges, surviving all three rounds of the Smart Cities competition which began with 355 initial applicants in Round One from two- and four-year institutions from across Wisconsin. She was announced as a winner at an April 25 celebration.
“This has been an exciting process,” said Field. “It proves that you can take a really big idea – maybe even an outlandish idea – that you believe in and make it a success. It shows that there will be people who share that vision with you and are willing to help you to make it a reality. It’s a pinnacle to my career.”
Field’s Food Category entry calls for using hydroponics to grow clean, fresh local food in urban areas using rooftop greenhouses and precision farming in abandoned or underused buildings. Included in the final proposal were specifics on Racine sites.
Gateway had two entries competing in this final round. In addition to Field, Gateway instructor Donald Heckel, an Architectural-Structural Engineering Technician student, and Gateway Civil Engineering instructor Steve Whitmoyer collaborated on an entry in the Mobility and Transportation Category. The entry outlines a Tier Modal system for Racine County which would be unique to the Midwest. Heckel also owns and operates Third Coast Bicycles in Racine.
Foxconn’s Smart Cities-Smart Futures competition asked students, faculty and staff from Wisconsin’s higher education institutions to submit their innovative solutions for developing smart, connected cities.