April 28, 2019
In the four years since it began, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Collegiate Wind Competition has quickly become the country's most prominent undergraduate-level wind energy competition. The University’s Tagliatela College of Engineering has been selected as one of the of the 12 teams to compete in the 2020 Collegiate Wind Competition.
The University’s student team will compete at the American Wind Energy Association’s WINDPOWER Conference and Exhibition in Denver in June, 2020 with teams from California State University–Chico, California State University Maritime Academy, James Madison University, University of Maryland, Northern Arizona University, Pennsylvania State University, Texas Tech University, Tuskegee University, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and University, Washington State University-Everett and University of Wisconsin-Madison.
"Qualifying to participate in the Collegiate Wind Competition is yet another remarkable success for the college and demonstrates the passion and dedication of the interdisciplinary faculty team that worked on the proposal to the Department of Energy," says Dean Ron Harichandran. "I am confident that our students will now reciprocate by performing at a high level."
"It’s an important opportunity for our students to compete on the national stage, and it is also a great way to present our research and work in the cutting-edge renewable energy area."Junhui Zhao
According to the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, the event "challenges multidisciplinary teams of undergraduate students to develop a project plan based on wind energy market and siting considerations, design and build a model wind turbine, and test their turbine against a set of rigorous performance criteria. The Collegiate Wind Competition 2020 will bring together the next generation of wind energy pioneers with today’s industry leaders."
"The students will be involved in all aspects from selecting the site, to designing the structure, to planning how the energy will be generated and delivered to the users/customer," says Maria-Isabel Carnasciali, Ph.D., a faculty advisor on the project along with Ravi Gorthala, Ph.D., associate professor and chair of mechanical engineering, Byungik Chang, Ph.D., associate professor of civil engineering, and Junhui Zhao, assistant professor of electrical engineering. Dr. Gorthala, who will oversee the project, calls it "an incredible hands-on opportunity for our students."
Adds Dr. Carnasciali, "This is a fantastic opportunity for our students, for the University and for our community. It provides us a way to diversify what students learn and the type of projects they are involved in and highlights the theme of renewable energy, a common focus area in several of our engineering disciplines. And it provides a way to bring attention to wind energy as a renewable energy source."
"Qualifying to participate in the Collegiate Wind Competition is yet another remarkable success for the college and demonstrates the passion and dedication of the interdisciplinary faculty team that worked on the proposal to the Department of Energy."Ron Harichandran, Dean of the Tagliatela College of Engineering
Dr. Zhao—whose electrical engineering students will work on the wind turbine’s power conversion and control parts—says it’s an important opportunity for our students "to compete on the national stage, and it is also a great way to present our research and work in the cutting-edge renewable energy area."
This spring, the advisors will recruit students for next fall’s senior design capstone course to make up the core of the team and then open it up to include engineering students who are not seniors and interested students from other academic disciplines. "Ultimately, students involved in this project will acquire skills, experience and perspective in the renewable energy field, specifically to be active contributors in the wind energy workforce," Dr. Carnasciali says.