UNT Mechanical and Energy Engineering graduate students Joseph Koruth and Carlos Pena-Sanchez demonstrated the strength of UNT's energy engineering program beating out students from the world's top schools at the Vestas Winnovation Challenge 2012 case competition in Aarhus, Denmark, on Feb. 3.
The students made the 14-hour journey home from Denmark as members of the first place and runner-up teams in the competition, which is sponsored by leading wind-energy company Vestas and challenges graduate students to develop out-of-the-box ways to tackle real wind energy industry challenges in the areas of quality excellence within product development, supply chain management and production.
Koruth and Pena-Sanchez are both scheduled to graduate in May 2012, and are considering joining Vestas' Graduate Programme soon after. Both students have been mentored by Drs. Srinivasan Srivilliputhur and Kuruvilla John. Koruth and Pena-Sanchez said the mentoring they received helped them to anticipate what they faced during the competition. They also took their mentors’ advice to “have fun,” and they said they enjoyed participating in competition, talking about UNT and meeting students from other universities.
John is an associate dean of the College of Engineering and a faculty member in the Department of Mechanical and Energy Engineering, and Srivilliputhur is a professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering.
John said, “Carlos’ and Joseph’s successes at the Winnovation 2012 highlight the caliber of our students and the outstanding graduate programs we have at UNT. Their achievement is a testament to their hard work, creative abilities and solid technical training as they excelled over students from world-renowned institutions such as Harvard Business School and MIT. I am very proud of their accomplishment, and I wish them the very best as they move on to bigger things in life.”
Both students are working with John to conduct research on air pollution in Texas for their master's thesis. Srivilliputhur says working with faculty from different departments helps the students understand the need for an inter-disciplinary approach to solving to the world's most challenging problems.