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Winners of 2013 DOE EERE National Geothermal Student Competition Announced

2013 National Geothermal Student Competition first place winners: University of Rochester

This year’s winner in the National Geothermal Student Competition is the University of Rochester, New York. Pictured here are student team members Talor Walsh, Leah Sabbeth, and team leader David Brink-Roby. Kidus Alemayehu is not pictured.

The U.S. Department of Energy awarded the University of Rochester the first-place award in the National Geothermal Student Competition, an inter-collegiate contest that positions geothermal energy as a contender in the global race for clean energy. Now in its third year, this cutting-edge effort at America’s leading research universities harnesses the excitement of geology and geoscience to explore solutions and technologies that could reduce the cost and risks of deploying geothermal energy.

Emphasizing a White House pledge to accelerate science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education, the nationwide student competition selected four student teams based on project concepts that could lead to breakthroughs in their home states. Based on the quality of their work plan and research, semi-finalists selected to advance into the final round of the competition were:

  • University of Rochester
  • Oregon Institute of Technology
  • University of South Dakota - LTEC
  • California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

Student teams received an award of $5,500 to complete their business plans, addressing barriers to geothermal development and sound technical solutions. Winners were announced after they presented their findings before a gathering of geothermal industry leaders.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Geothermal Technologies Office (GTO) coordinates the annual competition through the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE). Learn more about the competition on the ORISE website. GTO accelerates the development and deployment of clean, domestic geothermal energy by investing in clean energy technologies that strengthen the economy, protect the environment, and reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil.

Program overview

The 2013 National Geothermal Student Competition, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, is designed to advance the understanding of geothermal energy as a valued resource by promoting innovation, exploration, and entrepreneurship among the nation’s colleges and universities. The Competition seeks to engage students in a collaborative exercise to develop a business plan for developing a geothermal enterprise. Applicants are encouraged to consider a candidate resource in their home state/region, though convincing plans for any domestic target will be considered.