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Winning Wind Turbine Displayed in Nation’s Capital

By: Kathleen Tuck   Published 2:04 pm / July 13, 2015


A wind turbine designed by a Boise State team that won a national competition currently is being exhibited at the U.S. Department of Energy building in Washington, D.C. The eye-catching display in the building’s main lobby consists of a model of the turbine, a project poster and a piece of Boise State’s famous blue turf. Thousands of visitors visitpass through the lobby each day.

The Department of Energy Collegiate Wind Challenge tasked student teams with creating a unique solution to a complex wind energy project using three multi-faceted elements — developing a business plan, establishing a deployment strategy and then building a wind turbine. The competition provides each student with real-world experience as they prepare to enter the wind industry workforce.

Boise State’s winning team included Lucas Palmer, Ralph Preffer and Toby Grant (ME) and Aaron Maness, Kris Springsteed and Bryan Wright (ECE).

Sandy Cardon, project manager for the CAES Energy Efficiency Research Institute, helped coordinate between the team and the National Renewable Energy Center, which sponsored the competition. Capstone design instructors are Lynn Catlin, Gus Engstrom, Eric Booth and Brian Higgins.

Universities that competed in the spring event include:

  • Boise State University (Idaho)
  • The California Maritime Academy
  • California State University, Chico
  • Kansas State University
  • Northern Arizona University
  • The Pennsylvania State University
  • Universidad del Turabo (Puerto Rico)
  • University of Alaska Fairbanks
  • University of Maryland
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • University of Massachusetts Lowell
  • University of Wisconsin Madison