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Engineering students take 2nd place at Collegiate Wind Competition

Wed, 05/28/2014

Contact

Cody Howard
School of Engineering
785-864-2936

LAWRENCE — A team of students from the University of Kansas School of Engineering claimed second place in a national wind power competition. The team, known as Jayhawk Windustries, was one of 10 teams from universities around the country selected for the Department of Energy’s inaugural Collegiate Wind Competition, which was earlier this month in Las Vegas.

The competition challenged students to design, fabricate, test and develop a business plan for lightweight, portable wind turbines intended to power small electronic devices. KU earned first-place awards in both the Design and Turbine Performance category and the Business Plan category.

“We did remarkably well, especially for this being the first year of the competition and our first experience with this. We’re all really proud,” said Mary Pat Whittaker, a team member and 2014 graduate in aerospace engineering.

The strong showing from KU is yet another point of distinction for the university in national aerospace design competitions. KU aerospace students continued a long-running tradition of exceptional performance in AIAA student design competitions in fall 2013, when they earned top honors in a total of four team and individual competitions.

“The success by Jayhawk Windustries says a lot about strength of our design programs. KU has a great history in aerospace design competitions, but we’ve never done anything like this,” said Whittaker. “It involved a lot of learning as we went and plenty of trial and error, but it was a lot of fun and a great experience overall.”

Jayhawk Windustries’ performance also marked another accomplishment for KU mechanical engineering students, who have competed in the Shell Eco-Marathon and other national competitions, and played a key role in developing and testing many features of the wind turbine.

The project was part of senior capstone courses taught by Rick Hale, professor of aerospace engineering and project principal investigator, and Christopher Depcik, associate professor of mechanical engineering. A total of 31 business, mechanical engineering and aerospace engineering students made up the fall semester team. Ten students (seven in aerospace engineering and three in mechanical engineering, as part of the KU EcoHawks) participated in the spring semester. 

Team members:

  • Katie Constant, Roeland Park
  • Alejandra Escalera, La Paz, Murillo, Bolivia 
  • Andrew Lichter, Topeka
  • Julian McCafferty, Lawrence
  • Evan Reznicek, Goff
  • James Sellers, Benton
  • Alex Sizemore, Douglass
  • Michael Strickland, Liberal
  • Emily Thompson, Sagle, Idaho
  • Mary Pat Whittaker, Kansas City, Missouri.


KU in the news
The Huffington PostWed, 07/30/2014
Inside Higher EdWed, 07/23/2014
KU has extended the Yellow Ribbon program to out-of-state veterans. Now all veterans who qualify for the Post-9/11 GI Bill will pay no out-of-pocket expenses to attend college. http://bit.ly/1mRLu8H The University of Kansas is one of only six Association of American University schools with this type of program. Tags: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs #KUcommunities #KUstudents #Veterans #College #HigherEd #YellowRibbon #Kansas
Inside KU: Military language training, bullying, arthritis and KU's Panorama "Inside KU" explains how a Department of Defense grant is helping to provide real-world language training to military personnel soon to be deployed around the world. Learn more about KU Graduate Military Programs at (http://bit.ly/1rZHgAh). Also: KU researchers are working with Kansas schools to develop policies to stop bullying (See http://bit.ly/1jvhpxL). Bioengineering students at KU work on a potential treatment for arthritis (See KU-BERC at http://bit.ly/W1zAR5). The historic Panorama in KU's Natural History Museum is being expertly preserved (See http://bit.ly/1mPqJNd). The Time Warner Cable Sports Network's "Inside KU" is hosted by Jeannie Hodes.


One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
26 prestigious Rhodes Scholars — more than all other Kansas colleges combined
Nearly $290 million in financial aid annually
1 of 9 public universities with outstanding study abroad programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
46 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
—ALA
$260.5 million in externally funded research expenditures
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times