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NREL Heads to Big Easy to Host Collegiate Wind Competition 2016

May 20, 2016

The U.S. Department of Energy Collegiate Wind Competition 2016 begins May 24—less than a week from now—at the annual American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) WINDPOWER Conference and Exhibition in New Orleans, Louisiana. Whether you’re part of the action or hearing about it for the first time, Collegiate Wind Competition is a unique event for everyone—and something to keep on your radar.

Funded by the Energy Department and organized in part by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the competition is the flagship event for the Energy Department’s Wind and Water Power Technologies Office’s Workforce Development and Education program. The competition challenges undergraduate students a chance to offer a unique solution to a complex wind energy problem and provides them with real-world experience as they prepare to enter the wind industry workforce.

The biannual Collegiate Wind Competition is designed to attract engineering, business, policy, social science, marketing and communications students to wind energy-related careers, provide them with practical knowledge and experience, and showcase tomorrow’s promising workforce to industry leaders. Intertwining academic coursework with tangible, hands-on learning, the Collegiate Wind Competition provides valuable real-world experience as students prepare to enter the clean energy workforce.

Get familiar with the teams.

Read all about the 12 student teams participating in the competition:

Understand the competition.

The Collegiate Wind Competition 2016 consists of all of the aspects and activities leading up to, during, and following the event. At the event, teams compete in four contests—business plan, technical design, deployment strategy, and turbine testing—and an unscored bonus challenge. Products—including wind tunnel testing, a written report, a private presentation, and a public pitch—receive points toward winning the contest. Read the competition rules and regulations.

Meet the judges.

The Collegiate Wind Competition 2016 judges come from diverse backgrounds and careers in the wind industry. Three to four judges were selected for each contest based on their industry experience.

“The competition relies on the expertise of these distinguished professionals, who bring a variety of skills and knowledge to their role as judges,” said Elise DeGeorge, competition operations manager. “We are so pleased to welcome these 10 judges as members of the Collegiate Wind Competition organizing team, and we know they will be inspired by the enthusiasm and potential of these competitors.”

Read more about each judge’s background.

Learn more by visiting Generation Wind—and follow the fun on social media using the hashtag: #CWC16.

—Kelly Yaker