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Monday, November 28, 2022 | 10:02 am

University of Dayton Students Are Named As the 2022 Winners of the Energy Innovation Challenge by Aes

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University of Dayton Students Are Named As the 2022 Winners of the Energy Innovation Challenge by Aes

The AES Corporation (NYSE: AES) today announced the winners of its 2022 Energy Innovation Challenge. The winners are three graduate students from the University of Dayton: Scott Eardley, Sean Kapp, and Megan McNelly. The UD Flyers, as the students named their team, developed Project Oasis, an indoor farming system powered by onsite solar and battery storage. The prize-based competition brings together teams of graduate students with diverse backgrounds to create and present solutions to relevant problems facing the energy industry today.

“We created the Energy Innovation Challenge to encourage aspiring energy professionals to explore new and potentially untapped solutions to current and future energy challenges,” said Bernard Da Santos, AES Chief Operating Officer and advisor to the Challenge organizers. “With innovation as part of our company’s DNA, we want to accelerate new approaches to establishing a cleaner, smarter energy future. Scott, Sean, and Megan’s concept of an urban farm run on solar plus storage addresses multiple challenges facing communities in Ohio and the United States more broadly. We congratulate them on their winning project.”

The UD Flyer’s innovative project would provide both carbon-free energy and locally grown produce to the Edgemont neighborhood, both reducing emissions in the Dayton area and helping address the food desert in that neighborhood. The UD Flyers not only provided an in-depth technical solution, but the team also impressed the judges with their consideration of the multidisciplinary facets required to implement such an impactful project including financing, economic benefits, community stakeholder management, and social impact.

The second-place team comes from Johns Hopkins University (JHU) and consists of students: Alayna Nieman, Grant Taylor Miller, Jack Prill, Sebastian Gettelman, and Travis Jaramillo. The JHU team developed a solution to decarbonize steel while bringing economic and community growth back to a Pennsylvania steel town. The team’s proposed solution included deploying additional renewable energy to produce green hydrogen for steel furnaces as well as creating a circular economy within the steel market to reduce the energy required for steel production. The AC/DC team impressed the judges by demonstrating the compounding positive impacts this project could have on the community based on the team’s research and outreach to the community.

“We created the Energy Innovation Challenge to help encourage a new generation of energy industry professionals,” said Tish Mendoza, AES Chief Human Resources Officer and adviser to the Challenge organizers. “AES is accelerating the clean energy transition through innovations in technologies and approaches to greener, smarter energy. The industry is ever-evolving, and AES is committed to fostering new talent who will reimagine and build the future of energy.”

Now in its second year, the AES Energy Innovation Challenge provides students with an exciting opportunity to gain the real-world experience, skills, and insights needed to accelerate the responsible energy transition – all while networking with leaders within AES, a global Fortune 500 energy company dedicated to leading the transformation to greener energy future. This year’s challenge included teams from four universities, with 19 students pursuing degrees in subject areas such as mechanical engineering, sustainable energy, international affairs, and more.

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