Since 1919

The Prairie News

Since 1919

The Prairie News

Since 1919

The Prairie News

WT Engineering Students Rank Highly in National Department of Energy Competition

West Texas A&M University engineering students Noel S. Perez, from left, Justin L. Greninger, Magali Medina and Lizet Anett ranked third in the national Solar Cup competition.

CANYON, Texas — Four recent West Texas A&M University graduates won third place in a national competition held by the U.S. Department of Energy.

The students, who all graduated May 13 with degrees in engineering technology from WT’s College of Engineering, took part in the Solar District Cup 2023 competition for the 15 weeks during the spring semester.

Team members were Lizet Anett of Bovina, Justin L. Greninger of Amarillo, Magali Medina of Dimmitt and Noel S. Perez of Amarillo.

They were tasked to design a conceptual solar panel system with battery storage.

Winners were announced May 1 by the U.S. Department of Energy; 14 student-led teams won trophies across five divisions.

The Solar District Cup, now in its fourth year, challenges multidisciplinary student teams to develop solar-plus-storage systems to supply mixed-use districts, or groups of buildings served by a common electrical distribution feeder. The competition engages students across engineering, finance, urban planning, energy technology, sustainability, and other disciplines to reimagine how energy is generated, managed, and used in a real-world district.

The competition is designed to inspire students to consider new career opportunities, learn industry-relevant skills, engage with the professional marketplace, and prepare to lead the next generation of distributed solar energy.

For the Class of 2022–2023 edition of the competition, the district use cases for which students designed solar-plus-storage solutions were Florida A&M University, Lake Nona Town Center, the Lummi Tribal Nation, North Carolina State University, and, in a new division this year, campus districts that students defined themselves.

WT’s students worked on a project for the Lummi Tribal Nation.

“The team from West Texas A&M University wrote a concise project proposal with rationale that reflected the challenging use case conditions,” one judge wrote. “They demonstrated a thorough and detailed analysis of proposed solar siting and presented comprehensive design details.”

“The students did an amazing job in the competition, which was the first time engineering technology majors participated in a competition of this caliber,” said Dr. Joshua Partheepan, assistant professor of engineering. “The students put a lot of time and effort in learning different software and consulted with multiple faculties and industrial leaders to gain more knowledge about designing such systems, thus laying the foundation for future teams to confidently participate in such competitions and bring more success and recognition to WT and the College.”

The Solar District Cup winners typify the self-reliant, courageous and resourceful students WT produces, a key value of the University’s long-range plan, WT 125: From the Panhandle to the World.

That plan is fueled by the historic, $125 million One West comprehensive fundraising campaign. To date, the campaign — which publicly launched in September 2021— has raised more than $125 million and will continue through 2025.

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