Youngstown State University’s student NECA (National Electrical Contractors Association) chapter brought home the national championship at this year’s NECA Green Energy Challenge in Las Vegas Sept. 30 after its proposal to decrease the energy consumption at the Youngstown Historical Center of Industry and Labor was chosen as the best nationally.
The team rehearsed its finals presentation in front of a panel of local electrical contractors and IBEW electricians from NECA-IBEW Electricians – who also provided professional guidance and financial support to the team – in advance of its championship performance.
YSU’s team is comprised of 15 engineering and engineering technology students, six of whom represented the university against Georgia Institute of Technology, Iowa State University and the University of Washington in the finals. The finals team included Mike Currao (Youngstown), Jason Nutt (Cortland), Ethan Parks (North Lima), Jarrett Scaccetti (Canfield), Kalen Wallace (Youngstown) and David Wright (Washingtonville).
“As a business community it’s important to support academic programs like this because it applies the theory students learn in the classroom to practical situations like they’ll experience in the workforce,” said Thomas J. Travers, executive director, Mahoning Valley NECA. “Seeing the students excel is not only a proud moment for those involved, but it demonstrates the talent we have in the Mahoning Valley.”
The Green Energy Challenge involves performing an energy audit of a campus building’s power and lighting systems, and identifying areas for reducing energy consumption. Students prepare and present a comprehensive report that includes a proposal to make recommended improvements. Reports are judged by a panel of contractors and industry partners. YSU finished third and second, respectively, the past two years. This is its third straight year in the finals.
“Accomplishments like this put the university on the map, and this program strengthens our ties with businesses in the Mahoning Valley,” said Theodore Bosela, Ph.D., a YSU professor of electrical engineering technology and team advisor. “For the students, it teaches how to work collaboratively and how to present their ideas effectively, both vital skills in today’s business world.”
See coverage of the team’s win in the Youngstown Vindicator.