US WPTO Picks Teams for Marine Energy Collegiate Competition

Photo by Andy Baumgartner, courtesy of the U.S. Department of Energy

The U.S. Department of Energy Water Power Technologies Office (WPTO), announced 15 teams selected to participate in the first ever Marine Energy Collegiate Competition (MECC).

The MECC challenges interdisciplinary teams of undergraduate and graduate students from a variety of programs to identify new market opportunities and ways for marine energy to reduce energy limitations across the growing blue economy.

The students can choose to explore desalination, offshore marine aquaculture, ocean observation, or any of the other markets identified in DOE’s “Powering the Blue Economy” report.

Teams of undergraduate and graduate students will get real-world experience exploring these innovative marine energy solutions to address power needs across the blue economy. Students will:

  • Develop a 15- to 25-page market research-supported business plan and conceptual-level technical design of a marketable device that powers a sector of the blue economy;
  • Present a 15-minute public pitch that will be shared at the International Conference on Ocean Energy (ICOE) 2020;
  • Create a nonworking yet visually representative table-top scale model of the technology concept to be displayed at ICOE 2020, along with a poster summarizing the technical and business plans.

Teams will deliver their written submissions, market assessment, business pitches, and preliminary technology designs for their chosen market opportunity at ICOE in Washington, D.C., in May.

The Pacific Marine Energy Center and Oregon State University’s Design Engineering Laboratory will host a webinar for the teams on November 20, 2019 to walk through different methodologies that will guide students through the design process.

The colleges and universities selected to take part are:

Columbia University, partnering with Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
University of New Mexico
College of the Florida Keys
University of Minnesota – Duluth, partnering with University of Minnesota – Twin Cities
Universidad Ana G. Mendez
University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
Delhi Technological University
University of New Hampshire
North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, partnering with Virginia Tech and the University of The West Indies Cave Hill Campus
Center for Energy Harvesting Materials and Systems at Virginia Tech
University of Hawaii at Manoa
University of California, Berkeley
University of North Florida
Boise State University

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