Santa Clara Students Win Big in Washington, D.C.
Tags: Jesuit, jesuits, Santa Clara University
Santa Clara University (SCU) student engineers took top honors April 23 in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s P3 Award competition, a national student design competition for sustainability focusing on people, prosperity and the planet.
The National Sustainable Design Expo is an annual showcase of cutting-edge technologies developed by college students and their faculty advisors.
In a field of 45 competitors, SCU undergraduate teammates Sandeep Lele, Michael Sizemore, Sutyen Zalawadia (mechanical engineering), Ross Pimentel and Jeff Schwartz (electrical engineering) took 1st Place with their “Regenerative Fuel Cell for Off-Grid Renewable Energy Storage.” Following the tragic death last September of their mentor and original Investigator on the project, Daniel Strickland, electrical engineering professors Shoba Krishnan and Abdie Tabrizi took on the role of advisors on the project. Along with bragging rights, the team will receive $90,000 to advance their research.
“The key element of this project was to develop an economically viable solar absorber, combined with heat exchanger, that has fewer parts and takes up less space,” explained mechanical engineering professor Hohyn Lee. According to team members, solar energy is currently abundant and easily accessible, but high costs and low yields are stumbling blocks for many homeowners. The SCU students have designed a system that is one-third the size of an equivalent photovoltaic system, at half the total cost.