Iowa State students write NECA’s top green energy plan, again

The 2013 Iowa State NECA Team (from left): Justin Wenger, Lecturer Beth Hartmann, Eric Ryan, Caitlin Weber, Alex Buscher, Katie Maschmann, Alex Toth, Kate Glowacki, Bryan Whitson, Maggie Holt, and Joe Hahn.

The 2013 Iowa State NECA Team (from left): Justin Wenger, Lecturer Beth Hartmann, Eric Ryan, Caitlin Weber, Alex Buscher, Katie Maschmann, Alex Toth, Kate Glowacki, Bryan Whitson, Maggie Holt, and Joe Hahn.

For the second year in a row, civil, construction and environmental engineering (CCEE) students of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) Iowa State chapter placed first in the written portion of the annual ELECTRI International Foundation Green Energy Challenge.

The 2013 Green Energy Challenge summons U.S. collegiate teams, comprised of members of NECA student chapters, to conduct an energy audit of a parking garage on their campuses or in their neighboring communities. Iowa State students chose the Iowa State University Memorial Union Parking Ramp. With extensive study and analysis, the team suggested more efficient lighting systems, electric vehicle charging stations, and solar power systems. They also proposed a financing plan, construction schedule, and evidence of outreach to make the community desire the plan.

Students involved in the top written plan are construction engineering senior Alex Buscher, construction engineering senior Joseph Hahn, construction engineering junior Margaret Holt, civil engineering senior Kate Glowacki, spring 2013 civil engineering graduate Katie Maschmann, spring 2013 construction engineering graduate Eric Ryan, construction engineering senior Alex Toth, spring 2013 civil engineering graduate Caitlin Weber, spring 2013 construction engineering graduate Justin Wenger, and spring 2013 civil engineering graduate Bryan Whitson. They call themselves “Cyclone Energy,” and their aim is to develop an energy-saving, cost-saving construction project much like a professional contractor.

CCEE Lecturer Beth Hartmann, a licensed professional engineer and LEED-accredited professional, coaches the team. Also, Iowa Chapter NECA, Metro Electric (Des Moines, Iowa), Baker Electric (Des Moines, Iowa), and Nelson Electric Co. (Ames, Iowa) sponsor them. Students receive additional advice from other construction engineering faculty members, as well as from staff members in Iowa State’s Facilities Planning and Management and the LiveGreen! Initiative.

Iowa State, along with University of Washington and Pennsylvania State University, advances to the oral presentation portion of the competition, set to be held at the NECA Convention October 12 in Washington, D.C. Results of the oral presentation and overall national winner will be announced October 13.

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