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“Power the Community” International College Design Competition

Do you want to make a difference in future innovative community building? Are you interested in engineering, business, architecture, urban design, public policy, sustainability, or all of the above? Do you want to compete to win over $31,000 in prizes?If any of these apply to you, we invite you to register for the “Power the Community” International College Design Competition, hosted by Energy Mentors!

Energy Mentors is a 501(c) nonprofit founded by past ExxonMobil Chief Process Engineer and UConn ’81 Alum, Don Victory, who built the organization to support and inspire the next generation of rising energy professionals.Energy Mentors, along with Founding Sponsors EY, Aspen Technology, and Chart Industries, Inc., and Software Sponsor MathWorks, invite ALL college students globally to join the “Power the Community” design competition.

This competition offers a unique chance to gain valuable skills, collaborate with peers, and create a positive impact in your community. Don’t miss out on this challenge to shape a brighter future. Good luck!

The Task

Design the energy infrastructure for a community of 2,000 families, each supported by the combined salaries of a nurse and a schoolteacher. Your design must be affordable, reliable, and sustainable, aiming to enhance community lives with clean, safe, and efficient energy access. No “professional” design experience needed!

The Design Challenge

The “Power the Community” design competition challenges student teams worldwide to design a livable community for 2,000 or more families. To succeed in this challenge, teams must take an integrative, cross-disciplinary approach to community infrastructure and housing design, focusing on achieving great living underpinned by affordable, reliable, and sustainable energy supply. 

‚ÄčThe competition is about integrating innovative approaches to energy and energy infrastructure at the community level. The scope includes how the community accesses energy sources, their distribution, and how families use energy in their homes.¬†

‚ÄčThe competition also requires designing a prototypical residence that exemplifies the community’s energy and sustainability practices in daily living. The residence should be affordable, energy-efficient, sustainable, and meet the local community’s needs.

‚ÄčAdditionally, teams can consider aspects of community planning, such as people transportation, water, and waste management, public spaces, etc.. Still, the primary focus should be energy use and infrastructure during daily living in the planned community.

Team Eligibility

  • Teams may form ad hoc and need not be officially sponsored by a university, or their university can sponsor them. 
  • Each team should have a team name and indicate their location, such as their university.
  • Teams can decide on the number of teammates themselves. 
  • Team members may include undergraduate students, graduate students, and persons who are not degree candidates. 
  • Teams may draw on the knowledge and advice from any resources they wish. However, faculty and working professionals should not contribute to directly producing results and deliverables.

Submission Guidelines

  • The community should be designed for approximately 2000 or more families. 
  • A typical family consists of around four people, plus or minus.
  • While the community could have a full range of income and assets, the target family should be able to afford housing and living expenses based on two employed adults: one being a nurse in a large hospital and the other a high school teacher. 
  • Consider that a typical family may have two young children, plus or minus, who could be of different genders and who will live in the housing unit from birth through high school. 
  • All components of the conceptual design must be available for purchase from worldwide sourcing as of the competition submission deadline.
  • The community design should consider access to food/groceries, drug, and other retail stores, manufacturing, offices, medical care, social meeting spaces, recreation, places of worship, etc. Such need not be provided within the new community, and if not, the design should consider people and supply chain flow.

Submission Deadline

May 15, 2024. That gives you ample time to brainstorm and refine your solution. The winning team receives a US$10,000 grand prize and the chance to showcase their design to industry experts. The total prize pool is US$31,000, rewarding the best submissions.