Rutgers is among 30 universities chosen to participate in Phase 1 of the Department of Energy’s (DOE) 2023 Collegiate Wind Competition (CWC). It is, according to Onur Bilgen, an associate professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering who is a team faculty advisor, the first Rutgers team to take part in the prestigious competition.
Bilgen has received DOE Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) SHARKS funding in the past to develop and test novel hydrokinetic turbine designs, as well as from the ARPA-E ATLANTIS program to model offshore wind turbines using method of control co-design optimization.
“I think my own experience with the DOE ATLANTIS and SHARKS wind turbine projects puts me in a good position to advise the Rutgers team,” he explains.
Applied physics major Nathaniel Greengart, who Bilgen asked to serve as team leader, says, “It’s an honor and a challenge to be selected for the CWC. It’s an honor to compete against schools that have been doing this for years, but it will be a challenge to get ourselves up to speed as a first time team.”
A Multidisciplinary Competition
Launched in 2014, the highly competitive, multidisciplinary CWC is designed to prepare a future wind energy workforce. The 30 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 Greengart. “So, we need people from all over the University – from mechanical and electrical engineering to economics, political science, marketing, and more. We hope to have 12-18 undergraduate team members in total.”
Phase 1 of the 2023 CWC kicks off in the fall semester, when the Rutgers team will begin to address the 2023 CWC’s challenges. The first is designing their fixed-bottom 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 $5,000 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 the CLEANPOWER Conference in New Orleans in May 2023.
Join the CW Team
The Rutgers undergraduate team includes Nathaniel Greengart, Adrian Aranda Alzamora, from the School of Arts and Sciences; Shreya Srikanth from the School of Engineering; and Khalid Mujahiddeen from Rutgers Newark. Faculty advisors include Bilgen and MAE colleague Laurent Burlion, Victoria Ramenzoni from the Department of Human Ecology, and Josh Kohut from the Department of Marine and Coastal Sciences. The project is also mentored by Juan Lopez-Muro, a Ph.D. student.
“We are still welcoming undergraduate team members,” says Bilgen. “Anyone interested in joining the team or in sponsoring us, please contact student lead Nathaniel Greengart at firstname.lastname@example.org.” More information about the CWC, is available here.