Advanced Search

Evanston RoundTable | Evanston, IL
The Weather Network
Evanston Symphony Orchestra

home : art & life : art & life
November 19, 2019

11/15/2017 5:28:00 PM
NU Solar House Takes Two 1st Place Awards
Left to right: Loche McGurn, Suzanne Farrand, Carol VanderWilt, and Janet Duffy
Photo from Janet Duffy

Left to right: Loche McGurn, Suzanne Farrand, Carol VanderWilt, and Janet Duffy

Photo from Janet Duffy

A collaboration between Northwestern undergraduates and senior members of Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) has resulted in two first-place awards in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2017 competition.

Results of the competition, which began in 2015 and culminated in Denver last month, saw Northwestern’s first effort at the Solar Decathlon yield a total of four awards, plus friendships that developed between the Gen Y students and their Baby Boomer mentors.

When Professor Dick Co decided to enter Northwestern into the Solar Decathlon, he chose the theme “building a house for a North Shore Baby Boomer couple who want to downsize without too much compromise.”

He met with David Paul and Bruce Marx, coordinators for curriculum at Northwestern’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.

House By Northwestern (HBN) received first place for Market Potential and first place for Communications. They also took first place in the Denver Middle School students’ “Most Awesome House” award.

In awarding the first place in Communications, judges noted Northwestern students “did it all,” including “strong messaging to their target market, distinctly communicated language that meets the needs and desires of a clear audience…detail driven communications (plus) an overall strategy that considered the needs of the recipients.”

“We were lucky” said OLLI participant Janet Duffy. “We had brilliant students to work with, who relentlessly pursued excellence. These kids were focused on understanding what the seniors wanted and needed in a house – and they never took their eyes off winning.”

The first place award for Market Potential reiterated “team excellence in understanding their target client and also the broader market around the client.” The jury noted the students’ outstanding use of focus groups and in-home visits to actually see how seniors lived.

Students also returned to Northwestern with a third-place award for engineering, supported by their “excellent approach to engineering systems … showcasing favorable design for their target audience.” Judges pointed to HBN’s solar system and battery as “excellent examples of engineering masterfulness”

and noted the student presenters were able to “expertly describe the rationale for their engineering decisions.”

When Professor Co first assembled the team for the competition, he tasked them to build a “solar house.” What transpired over the course of the past year is that together, with sponsors and volunteers, they did not just build a house – they built a home – and they learned the difference.


Article Comment Submission Form

The RoundTable will try to post comments within a few hours, but there may be a longer delay at times. Comments containing mean-spirited, libelous or ad hominem attacks will not be posted.

Note: Your full name is required. Your telephone number and e-mail will not be posted. You may type your comments in the space below, or you may type them in a word document and cut and paste them in the space below.

Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Last Name:
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.

Click to View Upcoming Events
          1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
Submit Event

HomeVideosCommunity PostsObituariesClassifiedsAdvertiseAbout UsContact UsLinksLife
North Shore Choral Soc

Copyright 2008-19 - Evanston RoundTable LLC, Evanston, IL 60202, 847-864-7741, All Rights Reserved

Software © 1998-2019 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved