The Seattle University Senior Design team was awarded the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES*) grand prize of $25,000 for the CSI Muhuru Bay Community Microgrid project in Kenya, sponsored by Alstom. The award will create the Electrical and Computer Engineering department Humanitarian Project Fund for future SU students.
“This really a positive statement to the work that our project team and the ECE department is doing for humanitarian engineering,” Steve Szablya, SU director of maintenance and operations wrote in an email.
The electrical engineering students worked as part of a team that also included faculty, professional engineers, and other professionals to design a hybrid wind- and solar-powered microgrid system that provides electricity to a school and surrounding community in Muhuru Bay, Kenya.
The NCEES jury, which met June 3, 2014, praised the project for its strong interaction with professional engineers as well as its applications for communities in the United States and abroad.
“Seattle University is really a great example of how a university can combine an excellent undergraduate power program with effective humanitarian outreach,” CSI co-founder Robin Podmore said. “This project was both a highly motivating and a challenging growth experience for faculty and students.”
*NCEES is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing professional licensure for engineers and surveyors. It develops, administers, and scores the examinations used for engineering and surveying licensure in the United States.