9 February 2012


Anthropology PhD student Jane Dickson wins the top prize for Best Hack at the recent the London Green Hackathon.

The London Green Hackathon run by AMEE and held at UCL was attended by approximately 100 sustainability and computer experts. Jane Dickson, whose PhD research is on the material culture of sustainable technologies teamed up with computer programmer Bruce Durling and mathematical whiz Francine Bennett to design a website called Mastodon C.

Mastodon C continually calculates and updates data on multiple cloud providers across the world in order to assess the most efficient and sustainable location for big data processing (Hadoop) jobs. It then recommends the most energy efficient based on the customers sustainability and cost priorities, and using local data on energy mix and temperatures to optimise efficiency. It helps developers and data scientists to minimise their environmental impact by using the greenest available locations, without reducing productivity or significantly increasing cost. This helps drive the competitiveness of data centres towards being more sustainable as part of their business strategy.

Mastodon C won both the Peoplefund.it award and the top prize for Best Hack. The judges said: “Mastodon looks to the future of distributed computing, and is a great example of web-meets-cleantech”.