WSU Everett team gets Energy Department invite to national competition

Several windmills stand on a hillside during sunset.

The U.S. Department of Energy recently announced that Washington State University Everett is one of 12 collegiate teams selected to participate in the 2020 Collegiate Wind Competition.

Awarded a $20,000 grant by the Department of Energy, an interdisciplinary group of professors at WSU Everett will establish a student team to compete in the fourth biennial Collegiate Wind Competition. The competition will take place at American Wind Energy Association WINDPOWER in Denver, Colorado, June 1–4, 2020. Teams will compete in a series of challenges designed to prepare students for a career in wind energy.

The interdisciplinary team includes students from the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication, The Voiland College of Engineering & Architecture and the Carson College of Business. Students will work to find solutions to real wind industry challenges by collaborating with their multidisciplinary team.

Murrow College faculty is enthusiastic to see the WSU Everett campus become a center for STEM Communication. “This is an opportunity for communication students to work in conjunction with engineering and business students in a tangible, hands-on learning environment,” said Lucrezia Paxson, the Murrow College faculty mentor on the project. “Similar to our Boeing Scholars program, this competition will earn students valuable real-world experience as they prepare to enter the workforce.”

Student teams are required to design and build a model wind turbine based on market research and siting considerations, and test that turbine against a set of rigorous performance criteria, all judged by a panel of wind industry leaders. A student from Murrow college will join the team to design the site plan, assist with the technical communication report, develop a cost of energy analysis of a wind farm, as well as participate in a poster presentation during the team’s June trip to Denver.

Faculty mentors will announce students selected to participate in the WSU Everett Collegiate Wind Competition team in September.

The U.S. Department of Energy Collegiate Wind Competition challenges interdisciplinary teams of undergraduate students from a variety of programs to offer a unique solution to a complex wind energy project, providing each student with real-world experience as they prepare to enter the wind industry workforce.

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