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Department of Energy Advances Geothermal Science through Collegiate Competition

February 25, 2013 - 2:33pm


Emphasizing the Obama Administration's pledge to accelerate science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education, the U.S. Department of Energy today kicked off the 2013 National Geothermal Student Competition. The intercollegiate contest among America's leading universities is designed to advance the understanding of geothermal energy by exploring solutions and technologies that reduce the cost and risks associated with geothermal development while providing invaluable experience in the field. This year, interdisciplinary student teams will focus on developing a geothermal enterprise that could lead to breakthroughs in their home states.

Through the National Geothermal Student Competition, leading research universities harness the excitement of intercollegiate competition to position geothermal energy as a contender in the global race for clean energy. Seven semi-finalist teams will be selected in late April based on their collaborative proposals and choice of geology and geoscience disciplines. Each team will advance to the next round of the competition with a stipend of $5,500 for planning. Winners will be announced in June, based on the quality of their work plan and research.

Last year, Idaho State University students won first place for their cutting-edge research in geothermal exploration. The team developed a conceptual model of blind geothermal resources in the Snake River Plain, Idaho. Based on the quality of their work, the Idaho State team received public recognition and an award for their groundbreaking research. Boise State University and Southern Methodist University students took home second and third place in the annual competition.

Now in its third year, the National Geothermal Student Competition is hosted by DOE's Geothermal Technologies Office in coordination with the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE). Learn more about the competition on the ORISE website.

The U.S. Department of Energy's Geothermal Technologies Office invests in clean energy technologies that strengthen the economy, protect the environment, and reduce America's dependence on foreign oil through geothermal solutions.   

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