The Hopkins Student Wind Energy Team (HSWET) was among those from 13 colleges and universities selected to compete in the 2023 Collegiate Wind Competition (CWC), an annual contest that aims to prepare college students for jobs in the wind energy workforce through real-world wind energy technology, project development, and outreach experience.

Thirty teams competed in Phase 1 of the competition, which is managed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory on behalf of Department of Energy’s (DOE) Wind Energy Technologies Office. Phase 2 of the CWC will take place from May 15-19 at the University of Colorado-Boulder.

“We were very excited to learn that our team had made it to Phase 2 of the competition,” Kathy Cao, a mechanical engineering senior and HSWET vice president, said. “This was the first year the competition organizers decided to split the competition into two phases, so we were a little nervous about making it to the second phase. But our team worked hard throughout the first semester and we’re very happy to see that our efforts were recognized by the judges.”

Phase 2 groups were selected based on evaluation by a committee of their preliminary design reports for prototype wind turbines, preliminary designs for a hypothetical offshore wind farm site, community education and outreach plans, and reports on the relationships each team has established with members of the wind industry.

During Phase 2, teams will complete their wind turbine prototype design reports and the wind farm site designs they started in in the competition’s first phase. In addition, they will build and test their turbine prototypes and continue to forge connections with the wind energy industry and their communities. The Phase 2 teams will be given additional funding to complete their projects and attend the final event.

The Hopkins team members hope to perform well at the competition, but say they also have bigger goals involving renewable energy efforts at Hopkins.

“We want to raise interest at Hopkins in renewable energy careers,” mechanical engineering senior and HSWET president Isaac Lee said. “Joining the team is a great way to learn about career options in the industry and connect with students and industry professionals passionate about renewable energy.”

The team is advised by Dennice Gayme, a professor of mechanical engineering and a core faculty member of the Ralph O’Connor Sustainable Energy (ROSEI), and Rui Ni, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering and affiliated researcher with ROSEI.

While all subteams are open to interested students, HSWET is especially looking for undergraduate students interested in social outreach, event planning, and social media management for the team’s outreach subteam. One-third of the competition is an outreach contest, and as a result, the team is hoping to have more students join this subteam to help with developing the team’s social media presence and planning events to engage the local community with wind energy. Interested undergraduate students can contact Cao and Lee for more information.