SPC students to participate in Phase 3 of 2024 Collegiate Wind Competition

LEVELLAND – Students from South Plains College’s Industrial Manufacturing and Emerging Technologies (IMET) program will participate in Phase 3 of the U.S. Department of Energy’s 2024 Collegiate Wind Competition from May 5-9 at the American Clean Power Association’s CLEANPOWER Conference and Exhibition in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

SPC students participating in this year’s competition include David Ellis, Qianna Favila, April Oliva, Iven Ramirez, Mark Resendez, Vanessa Romero and Daniel Yelton.

Bill Tackett, SPC associate professor and program coordinator of IMET, said SPC is serving as Texas Tech University’s college partner. During last year’s event, which was the first time when partners were allowed, Tech was the only university to work with a college.

Wind Competition

“Texas Tech comes to SPC for building the hardware and connecting it, and we tend to do the automation,” Tackett said.

Participants in the competition design and build windmills that will function under various conditions, Tackett said. During this year’s event, SPC students are helping Tech students make windmill blades out of carbon fiber.

“For the rest of this semester, the SPC students will also design the control box, get it programmed and ready and take it to Tech,” Tackett said.

Wheeler Osborne, SPC IMET instructor, said a big takeaway for the students participating in this competition is the exposure to real working conditions.

“At SPC, we try to show students what this real-life exposure is going to look like,” he said.

Osborne, who will be traveling with the students to Minneapolis, said they will not only get the chance to work with engineering students from Tech but will also get opportunities to meet professionals affiliated with the U.S. Department of Energy.

“The competition opens their eyes to a whole new area that most students don’t get exposure to,” he said. “I’m very thankful for Tech reaching out to us. It has opened doors for different avenues of study.”

For more information about the 2024 Collegiate Wind Competition, visit https://www.energy.gov/eere/collegiatewindcompetition/collegiate-wind-competition.