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Everett wind energy team earns Department of Energy grant

Club members standing together in a classroom.
Members of the WSU Everett and Everett Community College Wind Energy Club (Photo by Randy Bolerjack, WSU Everett)

EVERETT, Wash. – A wind energy team consisting of WSU Everett and Everett Community College students has earned a $20,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy along with a spot in the Collegiate Wind Competition.

The biennial event, set for June 2020 in Denver, 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 DOE grant will fund the team’s work through the next year and a half.

“This opportunity has become so much more exciting than we envisioned when we started, and with our invitation to compete in Colorado, our club has a tremendous task at hand,” said WSU Everett engineering student Austin Carver. “It’s electrifying for us because we encourage involvement from our campus’ different disciplines, not just engineering. This will strengthen our group and provide insight into more elements of creating a truly successful product.”

Teams will combine the expertise of students from a variety of programs, such as engineering, business, communications and social science to collaboratively develop state‑of‑the‑art wind energy solutions. Participants will intertwine academic coursework with tangible, hands‑on learning and earn valuable real‑world experience as they prepare to enter the workforce.

“Being connected to WSU Everett is so beneficial for engineering students” at Everett Community College, said EvCC student Sam Ayers. “The team … allows EvCC students to gain exposure to projects of greater complexity, versus projects restricted to the skills taught at just the freshman and sophomore level. The collaboration allows us to gain familiarity with the WSU campus and faculty, which serves to aid students that choose to transfer to WSU Everett to complete their bachelor’s degree.”

The team is one of 12 accepted into the competition, and is one of only three new teams to qualify for the 2020 event.

“Our students are thrilled to be selected to compete with the best undergraduate teams in the country,” WSU Everett engineering professor and team mentor Gordon Taub said. “I’m excited they’ll have the opportunity to showcase their learning, their talents and make invaluable industry connections at the competition in Denver.”

“It’s exciting and important to have Cougars and Trojans teaming with each other to take on the best competition in the world, showing green technology industry leaders how much talent Everett has to offer,” WSU Everett chancellor Paul Pitre said. “This is another hallmark of the important connection between our institutions and the impact that collaboration makes for local students, this community and our economy.”

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