Rutgers is among 32 universities chosen to participate in Phase 1 of the Department of Energy’s (DOE) 2024 Collegiate Wind Competition (CWC). The RU Wind team includes James Sullivan (team captain), Anjali Viswanathan (engineering lead), Saranya Guttikonda (secretary), Pariza Hassan (treasurer), Yusuf Lee (project development lead, Melanie Prias, Allen Jiang, Raghav Gopalakrishnan, Geries Zalzal, Adam Kershaw, and Arshyan Hatefi. The multi-disciplinary advisory team includes Prof. Onur Bilgen (lead advisor), Dr. Hesam Sharghi, Prof. Laurent Burlion with expertise in mechanical and aerospace engineering, Chelsie Riche with expertise in student success and experiential education, Prof. Victoria Ramenzoni with expertise in human ecology, and Prof. Josh Kohut with expertise in marine and coastal sciences. According to Prof. Bilgen, this is the second Rutgers team to take part in the prestigious competition. Bilgen has received DOE Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) ATLANTIS funding in the past to model offshore wind turbines using method of control co-design optimization.

Biomedical engineering major Anjali Viswanathan, the engineering team lead, says, “It’s an honor to be a part of a global movement for sustainable energy and to compete against schools across the country. We hope to build on our past experiences and rise to this year’s new challenge.”

A Multidisciplinary Competition

Launched in 2014, the highly competitive, multidisciplinary CWC is designed to prepare a future wind energy workforce. The 32 selected undergraduate student teams will apply a range of disciplines to design, build, and ultimately test a small prototype wind turbine.

“This is an interdisciplinary competition,” notes James Sullivan, Captain of the CWC team. “So, we need people from all over the University – from mechanical and electrical engineering to economics, political science, marketing, and more. We hope to grow the team and are looking to recruit members from outside the school of Engineering”

Phase 1 of the 2024 CWC kicked off in fall 2023, when the Rutgers team began to address the 2024 CWC’s challenges. The first is designing their offshore wind turbine. The second challenge involves researching potential sites, choosing optimal wind turbine types, and creating a financial and logistical plan for a theoretical wind farm. Third, the team will create outreach materials to raise community wind-energy awareness, and network with industry professionals to learn about career opportunities.

The team is eligible for up to $2,000 in Phase 1 funding to fulfill its CWC challenges. If selected as one of the 12 Phase 2 CWC finalists, the Rutgers team will continue to develop its project during the spring semester and will present their final at competition.

Join the CWC Team

A collective photo the includes headshots of 15 students associated with a student organization.

“We are still welcoming undergraduate team members,” says Viswanathan, the RU Wind Engineering Lead.

Anyone interested in joining the team or in sponsoring us, please contact student lead Anjali Viswanathan at

More information about the CWC, is available here.