Santa Clara University


SCU takes 3rd place in U.S. Solar Decathlon!

SCU Takes 3rd Place in U.S. Solar Decathlon!

In a stunning display of engineering expertise, innovation, and student determination, SCU’s team finished third in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon held October 2007 in Washington, D.C., beating out 17 other university competitors, including heavyweights MIT, Cornell, and Carnegie Mellon. Faculty project leader Tim Hight attributes the success to the excellence of the engineering behind the project which allowed the team to score very well in the technical contests, and to the strong commitment and enthusiasm of the student team. “Whenever a new challenge arose, the team was able to find a solution and move forward,” he said. “In fact, student monitoring and management of the home’s temperature, humidity, and energy use sealed our victory.”

The impact of this success surpasses mere bragging rights, according to senior James Bickford, student project leader. “This competition focuses national attention on solar solutions. But it also shows that students can effect change—we can be the generation that turns the world away from the use of fossil fuels.”

Faculty advisor Tim Healy echoes this sentiment: “This project was a perfect example of our school’s belief in the value of project-based learning. By seating the responsibility for a positive outcome with the undergraduate student team from the outset, we provided an opportunity for them to learn and lead and surpass even their own expectations.”

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