The University of Texas at Dallas

Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science


UTD Students Shine in National Competitions

UTD Students Shine in National Competitions

UT Dallas Collegiate Wind Competition team

Some members of the UT Dallas Collegiate Wind Competition team are pictured with Dr. Todd Griffith (bottom left), the team’s faculty advisor.

A University of Texas at Dallas student team is one of 13 nationally and two in Texas to advance to the final round of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Collegiate Wind Competition (CWC). The 40-member team will present its designs for a turbine and hypothetical offshore wind farm plus a community education and outreach plan to a panel of judges in May in Boulder, Colorado.

This will be the first time UTD will compete for awards in the CWC after it participated last year as a noncompeting team.

Dan Bouzolin, a mechanical engineering senior in the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science, said the team has kept in constant communication to stay on track.

“In addition to regular team meetings, our subteams have open lines of communication that facilitate quick responses to any change in the design,” said Bouzolin, turbine design lead for the team. “This strategy, coupled with our members’ motivation for the work that they do, makes us a strong contender for this year’s CWC.”

Fernando Harmjanz, an electrical engineering senior and electrical engineering team lead, said working on the project has taught students the practical applications of engineering concepts.

“Participating in the competition and working with such foreign and often complex concepts has trained us to be able to find the answers to questions like ‘What does this do?’ and ‘Why does something work like that?’” Harmjanz said. “It’s opened our eyes to the real beauty of electrical engineering and wind energy.”

The Connection Creation Contest team responsible for education and outreach has provided community workshops to teach younger students about wind energy.

“I can’t wait to present the results of our community outreach efforts at the competition, and I can’t wait to hear about the collective impact the competitors will have made on our communities,” said Alyssa Tran, a mechanical engineering freshman who leads the Connection Creation Contest team.

Students are putting long hours into the competition, which is an extracurricular activity for most.

“Our team’s enthusiasm is what helps make a good project great,” said Jose Marquez, a mechanical engineering senior.

Dr. Todd Griffith, the team’s faculty advisor, said he has been excited to see how the team has grown in the past year.

“The Wind Comets team’s dedicated effort has resulted in a more mature design, while expanding students’ knowledge and growing the team — and having lots of fun,” said Griffith, associate professor of mechanical engineering in the Jonsson School.

A version of this story appeared in News Center.