College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

Cyclone Energy to compete in ELECTRI Green Energy Challenge for twelfth year in a row

Six Iowa State Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering students hope to be the reigning champs for the seventh year in a row of the ELECTRI International Green Energy Challenge, which is sponsored by the National Electrical Contractors Association. 

Cyclone Energy club members and their advisors communicate virtually due to COVID-19.

The Green Energy Challenge invites student chapters from across the nation to compete and participate. 

Iowa State’s student chapter, Cyclone Energy, consists of undergraduate construction engineers Leo Brocka, Jordan Girolamo, Parker Lloyd, Andrew Roys, Alex Stadtmueller and Josh Zeien. They are working with ChildServe Childcare Center in Ames, Iowa, to create an energy awareness campaign that will benefit their programs as a whole. 

ChildServe aims to serve a variety of children, no matter their healthcare needs. ChildServe helps children through “imaginative play, songs, crafts and field trips to bring the learning to life.” The staff at ChildServe are trained in occupational therapy, childcare and speech language pathology, ensuring the children are receiving the best care possible. 

Teams are responsible for creating a technical analysis and proposal of a local business and show the potential energy efficiency upgrades and the feasibility for the facility to reach a net-zero energy status. 

“Green Energy Challenge gives us a chance to get real-world experience in applying renewable energy to our communities,” Girolamo said. “It allows us as students to get experience solving real problems we will face in our future careers.” 

Through volunteer work and creating an energy awareness campaign for ChildServe, Cyclone Energy helped to plan a picnic that was handicap accessible, as well as creating an online brochure that taught children the importance of renewable energy through coloring pages and puzzles. 

“Being able to educate others in our community is a big first step towards moving in the right direction, and I’m proud to have played a small part in it,” Roys said. 

With the unprecedented event of COVID-19, Cyclone Energy, like many others, had to find ways to remain socially distant and still achieve their goals. 

“The obstacles placed by COVID-19 have shown us how adaptable we can be as a team,” Lloyd said. “Moving forward into future semesters, I think the team will be more versatile. By using what we’ve learned from being completely virtual and mixing it with how we used to interact, we’ll really be able to optimize how we work.”

Cyclone Energy’s proposal is due in June, and the top three finalists will be announced in July. If chosen, Cyclone Energy will travel to Chicago in October to present at the NECA Convention to hopefully take home the first prize.