The IIT NECA Student Chapter was awarded second place in the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) Green Energy Challenge held in San Francisco on October 3, 2015. Iowa State University won first place, followed by IIT, and Penn State University. The five IIT NECA student chapter members who competed in the finals, under the guidance of advisor Dr. Dan Tomal, adjunct professor in Industrial Technology and Management, were Alex Wall (Electrical Engineering), Dan Wente (Electrical Engineering), Tim Tyrrell (Industrial Technology and Management), Sam Valtierrez (Industrial Technology and Management), and Bianca Panczak (Architectural Engineering).
Each competing team was required to conduct an energy audit of a campus building. The IIT NECA Student Chapter selected the IIT Tower, completing their work as part of IIT’s Spring 2015 IPRO 338 project, in coordination with the IIT Office of Energy and Sustainability. The Electrical Contractors’ Association of the City of Chicago sponsored the IPRO, and IIT’s entry in the Green Energy Challenge. IIT IPRO Director, Jeremy Alexis, praised these students for their hard work and dedication.
There were 20 midwest universities in the initial Challenge, held in Chicago. The top three finalists earned the privilege to compete in San Francisco. The competition involved numerous hours of preparation and practice for a 15 minute formal presentation to a panel of five judges, selected from around the U.S. Making it into the national Challenge was a major accomplishment not only for this team, but also for IIT, noted Dr. Bob Carlson, Dean of the School of Applied Technology. This team's work gives recognition to IIT at a national level, especially beating out so many top-notch schools.”
At the National Conference, the IIT NECA Chapter also won second place as the Outstanding Chapter of the Year, again being edged out by Iowa State. “This is a wonderful opportunity for our University Chapter to gain out-of-class experience, especially at the national level,” said Alex Carlson, Director of IIT Campus Life. The Green Energy Challenge is an annual event, and the IIT NECA Chapter plans to enter the 2016 competition as part of the spring 2016 IPRO project. Next year’s national competition finals will be held in Boston.