In Fall 2109, SiDi Lab successfully organized the first design contest at the University of Arkansas campus on the topic of solar energy systems design. The motivation of this design contest is to prepare next-generation engineers to be skillful system designers and system thinkers. The contest relies on a computer-aided design (CAD) based framework to cultivate knowledge in the field of solar energy and the capability of synthesizing knowledge from different disciplines. This year, the participants were asked to engage in an authentic solar energy systems design for an on-campus architecture – Pomfret Hall on Stadium Drive. See more detail about this design contest here.
There were a total of 42 participants including undergrad students, graduate students and staff members. 35 participants successfully submitted their design solutions before the deadline. The top three winners were awarded during the awarding ceremony and two participants were recognized with special awards due to their significant time commitment in the design contest. This design contest sets forth a workable mechanism on how engineering education and design research can be synergistically integrated. SiDi Lab is looking forward to scale up the context in 2020 by collaborating industry partners, particularly local electric utility companies, such as Ozarks Electric Cooperative and Southwest Electric Cooperative.