Purdue MEs win marine energy competition

Purdue University has won 1st place in the Marine Energy Collegiate Competition, a contest sponsored by the US Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE).



The design competition asked students to create a project that utilized marine energy technologies in a real-world setting. Purdue's team of students, led by assistant professor of mechanical engineering David Warsinger, created a system that uses wave energy to power a batch reverse osmosis system, creating fresh water out of seawater by using the sea's own waves as a renewable energy source. "This system would be ideal for remote developing island states," said Warsinger. "They get a sustainable source of clean water, and don't have to rely on generators that are expensive and contribute to climate change."

The award was announced by the US' top ranking official on renewable energy, Kelly Speakes-Backman, Acting Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. Purdue's team got to present their solution at the closing plenary of the 2021 International Conference on Ocean Energy.

The team consists of students from mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, environmental and ecological engineering, and Krannert School of Management. "We had a great group, and we're already recruiting students for next year's team," said Warsinger.