September 12, 2011

Two LSU engineering students represented Baton Rouge this summer at Iowa State University’s Wind Energy Science, Engineering and Policy Symposium. Randy Dupuis, electrical engineering senior, and Matthew Galeano, mechanical engineering senior were two of eleven students chosen to work collaboratively in interdisciplinary teams with ISU faculty to gain valuable training and research experience that addresses the critical, long-term national needs in wind-energy related areas.

Over the course of the 10-week program, participants attended class lectures, took field trips and met with industry and government representatives. Participants visited the Clipper Windpower manufacturing facility in Cedar Rapids, Ia., and the Midwest Independent System Operator (MISO) in St. Paul, Mn. among others.

“My favorite part of the experience was meeting and working with 10 other students from such diverse geographic and academic backgrounds,” said Galeano. “This was a very interdisciplinary program. For example, there were atmospheric science, journalism and electrical engineering students from California, Puerto Rico and Pennsylvania.”

Participants were also required to perform individual research as well as group research on a topic outside of their disciplines.

“The program really focused on multidisciplinary work,” said Dupuis. “I enjoyed learning about different majors and how complex the wind industry is.”

For his individual research, Galeano wrote “A Brief Overview of the Impacts of Wind Turbines on Crops.” His group presentation focused on “Extreme Weather Effects on Wind Turbines,” and Galeano was able to work with meteorology students putting up towers that record data such as wind speed, leaf wetness, etc.

“To me, this program gave me insight into wind turbine energy and all the different aspects of it that is becoming more important for the future of the US,” added Galeano. “I feel that this experience has connected me to many professionals that can later provide me with opportunities in either academics or industry.”

Although Galeano has always been interested in renewable energy sources, he had very little experience researching or discussing the topic. But he strongly encourages all students who are interested to apply.

“Do not hesitate to apply,” Galeano said. “Despite my little experience, I was chosen. The program is looking for students who are eager to learn and advance the wind energy research.”

Echoing Galeano, Dupuis added, “I would recommend this program to anyone who would like to work in the wind industry.”

For more information about the Symposium, click here.

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For more information, contact Cassie Arceneaux, College of Engineering, carcen6@lsu.edu or (225) 578-0092.



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