There’s nothing fairly like arms-on expertise when studying about one thing as various because the clear energy trade, say two members of the 2021 James Madison University Collegiate Wind Competition staff. 

Meghan Jennings and Callie Chaplain advocate that students from any self-discipline discover becoming a member of subsequent yr’s JMU Collegiate Wind Competition staff. In addition to engaged on technical facets of the competition, together with pc modeling, Jennings and Chaplain met with highschool students across the state to advertise studying about clear energy and in addition met with clear energy trade representatives and authorities officers to debate different facets of the competition. 

Awards for this yr’s competition had been introduced Friday, June 11, with the JMU staff inserting fourth total amongst 13 undergraduate groups from throughout the nation and receiving excessive marks from judges and school mentors alike. The Collegiate Wind Competition is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. 

“I am particularly impressed with the prototype development team’s efforts to get a fully functional turbine that they were able to test to competition standards at JMU,” mentioned Keith Holland, professor of engineering and one in all 4 college advisors to the staff of 14 students. “While it is unfortunate that they did not get to showcase their operational prototype in the competition setting, they demonstrated significant growth as learners and as members of a team designing a complex engineered system.” 

Since the competition was held just about for a second consecutive yr, groups made videos of the generators they constructed and the testing they put them by. 

Each yr, the Collegiate Wind Competition integrates a brand new problem into the competition that displays actual-world wind trade wants. Taking the COVID-19 pandemic and the specter of provide chain disruptions into consideration, the 2021 problem tasked groups with creating tasks for deployment in extremely unsure occasions, with a big diploma of unknown dangers and delays. This yr’s competition additionally featured a brand new “Connection Creation Contest,” which challenged students to have interaction with trade professionals, their native communities and native media retailers, in order to broaden their understanding of the workforce and educate new audiences about the advantages of wind and renewable energy. 

Jon Miles, a professor of built-in science and expertise and one other staff advisor, mentioned the competition organizers have been selling an outreach element to the competition so it includes greater than the core technical actions of constructing a wind turbine and siting wind farms. 

Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm, in a recorded message performed on the digital awards ceremony, mentioned, “Wind energy is an essential part of our fight against the climate crisis, and that means one thing for talented and driven young people like these students: jobs, jobs, jobs.” 

Jennings, who graduated this May with a level in built-in science and expertise, mentioned employers have been in her expertise in the competition. 

Pennsylvania State University gained the general high prize this yr in addition to the challenge growth contest. 

Schools in the competition in addition to JMU and Pennsylvania State had been: 

  • Brigham Young University
  • California State University Maritime Academy
  • California Polytechnic State University (3rd total)
  • Johns Hopkins University (2nd total)
  • Kansas State University (winner of the turbine prototype contest)
  • Northern Arizona University
  • Texas Tech University
  • University of Maryland
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Virginia Tech University (winner of the Connection Creation contest)
  • Washington State University-Everett

Joining Holland and Miles in advising the staff had been Edwin Clamp, a lecturer of administration; and Emily York, a professor of built-in science and expertise. 

JMU is one in all 11 faculties that has been chosen to compete once more in the 2022 competition, which can be held May 16-19 on the American Clean Power Association’s CLEANPOWER 2022 Conference & Exhibition in San Antonio, Texas. 

This was the fifth time JMU participated in the competition, together with in the inaugural occasion in 2014. In 2020, JMU placed first in the challenge growth class. 

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Media contact: Eric Gorton, [email protected], 540-908-1760.