Penn State Thumps Up

Yesterday in Las Vegas, the Energy Department announced Pennsylvania State University as the winner of the inaugural Collegiate Wind Competition. The clean energy and STEM-focused competition challenges more than 150 students at 10 universities across the country to design, test and build a small wind turbine.

Over the course of three intense days at the American Wind Energy Association’s annual conference, the teams put their wind turbines through rigorous performance testing, developed carefully-crafted business plans and pitched wind industry leaders on the market opportunities for their turbine designs. As the team with the highest cumulative score, Pennsylvania State’s winning turbine will be displayed at Energy Department headquarters in Washington, D.C.

“Through student challenges like the Collegiate Wind Competition, we are not only engaging college students to develop an interest in clean energy, we are also developing the next generation of clean energy engineers, scientists and business professionals,” said Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. “I congratulate our first Collegiate Wind Competition champion as well as all of the participating teams on their hard work.”

Each Collegiate Wind Competition team was comprised of engineering and business students. Experts including business executives, project and technology developers, scientists, and engineers judged each team.

Rounding out the top three finishers was the University of Kansas, in second place, and the University of Massachusetts Lowell, in third. In addition, the following schools were recognized as top finishers in the following categories:

  • Market Issue Presentation: Pennsylvania State University
  • Business Plan Development: University of Kansas
  • Turbine Design and Testing: University of Kansas

Finally, Pennsylvania State was also crowned as the People’s Choice winner — the audience’s pick for the best business “pitch” presentation.

Learn more about the Collegiate Wind Competition and how the Energy Department is advancing the state of wind energy technology by visiting the Collegiate Wind Competition website and the Wind Program homepage.