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$250,000 NW Energy Experience Prize Winners Announced

OREGON BESTFor the 2015–2016 NW Energy Experience Prize, Oregon BEST announced 9 winners who each receive about $25,000 to support their work. The students for this year are from Oregon State University, Portland State University, Oregon Tech, and Washington State University–Vancouver.

They will collaborate on cross-university teams for one year in conjunction with utility companies to create solutions which will improve efficiency, safety, and reliability.

“We have been impressed by the level of collaboration we’ve seen between the universities and the utility partners. This experience is a fantastic opportunity for students to get a taste of the real challenges facing the industry, and play a role in finding solutions,” said Johanna Brickman, Oregon BEST’s director of collaborative innovation. 

The winners are:

  • Francesca Wignes, Washington State University–Vancouver
  • Ian Lofquist, Washington State University–Vancouver
  • Ozgenur Kavas, Washington State University–Vancouver
  • Deric Ntirandekura, Oregon State University
  • Andrew Smith, Oregon State University
  • Momtaj Khanam, Portland State University
  • Si Lu, Portland State University
  • Nick Carew, Oregon Tech
  • Dylan Seay, Oregon Tech

Oregon BEST supports clean technology by funding projects, conducting research, and providing technical expertise. The non-profit supports startups and entrepreneurs as well as universities. For example, the NW Energy Experience Prize is managed by Oregon BEST to help engineering students solve problems encountered by the power industry. Some of the prize’s sponsors are the Bonneville Power Administration and Portland General Electric.

“PGE is proud to be a sponsor of this program that engages Oregon’s homegrown talent to apply innovative solutions to real-world scenarios. By investing in this program, we are helping to develop Oregonians into a competitive economic workforce. That’s good for our students, our businesses and our communities,” said Jim Piro, president and CEO of Portland General Electric.”  The NW Energy Experience Prize is in its third year.

Encouraging innovation and young entrepreneurs is a smart thing to do because it can advance society and create new startups which in turns generates some new jobs.

Image via Oregon BEST

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