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UC students recognized by U.S. Department of Energy in Solar Decathlon

The U.S. Department of Energy recently recognized University of Cincinnati students as a finalist team in the Solar Decathlon Design Challenge.

The UC team included Maggie Loeffler (civil engineering), Kevin Sherry (architectural engineering), Patrick Wagner (civil engineering), Gillian Watson (civil engineering), and Keeley Williams (architectural engineering).

The team presented its work to juries of industry experts and the students' peers in April at the Solar Decathlon Design Challenge Weekend event at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado. All finalist teams designed structures to meet industry needs and produce more energy than they consume.

Such an achievement is an example of urban impact, solving problems facing cities around the world, as laid out in the university’s strategic direction Next Lives Here.

More than 50 additional civil and architectural engineering students gained valuable experience using the Solar Decathlon Design Challenge as a capstone project. Seven teams of students worked independently to design a net-zero elementary school on a steep, West-facing slope in the Walnut Hills neighborhood of Cincinnati.

The Solar Decathlon is an international collegiate competition, comprising two Challenges – Design Challenge and Build Challenge – through which student teams design and build highly efficient and innovative buildings powered by renewable energy. Since its inception in 2002, the competition has engaged tens of thousands of students around the world.

Competing 2019 finalist teams included Yale, West Point, University of Texas and Carnegie Mellon, among others.

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