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Student team wins MacGyver Award in DOE Marine Energy Collegiate Competition

UNF team participating in the in the 2021 US Department of Energys Marine Energy Collegiate CompetitionA team of University of North Florida students recently won the MacGyver Award in the 2021 US Department of Energy’s Marine Energy Collegiate Competition (MECC) sponsored by the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy.

The annual competition invites 17 multidisciplinary teams of collegiate students across the nation to unlock the power of the ocean, rivers, and tides by developing a business plan and designing and testing technologies to create innovative marine energy solutions to provide power and energy at sea and help sustain coastal communities.

The UNF students received the MacGyver Award for innovation and engineering creative solutions on their Osprey CREW project, a wave energy converter that is affordable, durable, rapidly deployable, and environmentally friendly. The UNF team of one graduate and seven undergraduate engineering and business students was led by Dr. Cigdem Akan, civil engineering assistant professor, and Dr. Nilufer Ozdemir, economics assistant professor.

Marine energy has the potential to power a host of blue economy applications, from autonomous vehicles that can advance understanding of the world’s oceans, to water desalination treatment to serve coastal and island communities. Participation in the MECC provides students with invaluable industry experience and promotes workforce development by identifying the most promising near-term markets for marine energy to serve the blue economy.

“The MECC engages a diverse group of students to explore marine energy technologies in real-world technology design and business case development,” said Kelly Speakes-Backman, acting assistant secretary for energy efficiency and renewable energy at the US Department of Energy. “Through this competition, we hope to inspire tomorrow’s clean energy workforce to help us meet President Biden’s ambitious and achievable clean energy goals.”

More information on the competition can be found on the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy page.