Green Energy Challenge Finalists to Present at NECA Show

The University of Washington team presents at the 2017 Green Energy Challenge. University of Washington won second place in 2017, and Iowa State University took the first place prize. University of Toronto won third.

NECA Student Chapters at Illinois Institute of Technology, Penn State University and Iowa State University will head to the 2018 NECA Show in Philadelphia later this month for the final stage of the Green Energy Challenge, which is hosted by ELECTRI International, the research arm of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA). 

Now in its 10th year, this year’s Green Energy Challenge tasked undergraduate student teams with creating proposals for a community facility that could achieve net-zero energy consumption. A jury of NECA- and ELECTRI-member electrical contractors and manufacturers judged teams on technical content (including an energy-efficiency analysis, schematic estimates, recommended system designs and finance plans) and outreach content, including NECA chapter interaction and community service work.

“We encourage the teams to engage their local NECA chapters while working on their project," said Joey Shorter, Director of Research for NECA. "[The local chapters] have experience that allows them to see issues and solutions that you can only see when you’ve been in the business for years.”

The community service requirement asks each team to create a volunteer plan of action and demonstrate in the proposal the activity and number of hours volunteered at the facility chosen for their team’s project.

“We wanted to find something that wasn’t only about business, but also served the community," Shorter said. "We want to make students more aware of how our industry can be involved in solutions for the wider community. It’s not always about the bottom line. Sometimes it’s about serving others and building relationships."

The final round of judging—an on-site, oral presentation—will be held at the 2018 NECA Show for the jury and NECA attendees. The three teams will have 15 minutes to make an oral presentation, covering the highlights of their project. A 10-minute question and answer session will follow. Judges will consider the technical content, the clarity of presentation, creativity and aesthetics.

ELECTRI International will give away almost $10,000 in prize money—$4,000, $3,000 and $2,000 will go to the universities of the first, second and third place team, respectively. Prize money will also be awarded in an optional poster competition and a $500 individual prize to the single best presenter from the entire final round. Finalists will also receive complimentary registration to the NECA Show and travel support to help offset the cost of attending.

The Green Energy Challenge oral presentations will be held on Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018 at 1:30 p.m. and are open to all NECA attendees, providing electrical construction companies and industry partners the chance to see some of the industry’s brightest up-and-coming workers. Results will be announced the following day at the Student Chapter Summit.

Contractors looking to hire should also visit the Student/Contractor Meet-and-Greet, held Saturday, Sept. 29 at 3:00 p.m., to recruit these students and others from NECA Student Chapters.

For more information about the NECA Show, visit www.necaconvention.org.

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