This story was written by Catherine Graham, and originally appeared in the Winter 2022 edition of the Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering Magazine.
A team of Johns Hopkins University students took home second place at this year’s U.S. Department of Energy Collegiate Wind Competition, held virtually June 2–11. Dennice Gayme, a member of ROSEI’s Leadership Council and the Carol Croft Linde Faculty Scholar Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, served as a faculty advisor for the team.
This was Johns Hopkins’ first appearance at the annual national competition, which challenged 13 undergraduate teams from around the country to offer solutions to a complex wind energy problem. Over the course of the academic year, the teams designed, built, and tested model wind turbines; developed wind farm project plans; collaborated with industry experts; and raised awareness of wind energy in their local communities. Johns Hopkins came in just behind the team from Pennsylvania State University.
“Our team’s goal was to build a strong foundation in wind energy topics, and I think we were all prepared to run with the middle of the pack this year. We were surprised and excited to have finished so well in our first competition. Every single member of our team worked so hard to bring ideas and designs to the competition, and to see that recognized was a great way to end the year,” says Willa Grinsfelder ’21, leader of the Johns Hopkins Student Wind Energy Team.
The team’s strong finish in the competition exemplifies Johns Hopkins students’ growing interest in wind and renewable energy, says Grinsfelder. And that’s a good thing, because Johns Hopkins has already been selected to participate in the 2022 Collegiate Wind Competition in San Antonio, Texas.
“A great thing about the Johns Hopkins Student Wind Energy Team is that it gives senior members an opportunity to mentor underclassmen and pass on what they’ve learned,” she says. “We’re really excited about building this network and to see our members have continued success at future competitions.”