UI Student Team Wins Alliant Energy Innovation Competition

A team of six undergraduate Industrial Engineering and Mechancal Engineering students from the Fall 2017 Wind Power class won the 2017 Alliant Energy Innovation Competition November 3, earning a $3,000 first place award.

The student team included Amanda Wootonn; Daniel Pesman; Anthony Walker; Jiancheng Rong; Cody Leclere; and Nicolas Chapman.

Andrew Kusiak, UI professor of mechanical and industrial engineering, presented the keynote address.

The competition was based on Alliant Energy's long term plan to deliver cleaner energy to its customers and provide them with options, tools, and information they need to better manager their own energy usage.

The UI team's proposal recommended and defined the best strategy that grows Alliant Energy's business, provides access to more renewable energy for all customers, and integrates new customer-installed technologies such as solar, micro grids, or wind.  The recommendations addressed changes to design Alliant Energy's operation of the distribution grid through such concepts as engineering design changes, new technologies, new market price signals, and other strategies while maintaining reliability, affordability, security, and and customer options.  They also addressed identification of new business opportunities for Alliant Energy that complimented the student team's changes to the system.

Alliant Energy Corporation is a Midwest U.S. energy company that provides electric and natural gas services to almost one million electric customers within 1,200 communities across Iowa and Wisconsin.  Alliant Energy is a corporate partner of the College of Engineering.