Two students teams from the Department of Mechanical Engineering have taken prizes in the fourth annual Marine Energy Collegiate Competition, the five-day finale to close a year-long effort held May 23-27 by the Office of Efficiency and Renewable Energy. Seventeen collegiate teams presented their marine energy device concepts and business plans to a panel of expert judges, prizes were awarded thereafter.

A collaborative team of students from both Virginia Tech and the Stevens Institute of Technology won the "Out of Tank Award" for their work in developing an autonomous boat that harvests energy from the motion of waves. This award recognized their exceptional work as one of three senior design teams to build a full-scale prototype and test it in the open waters of Claytor Lake in addition to a scaled model test in the controlled environment of a water tank.  

Faculty advisors for the team were Lei Zuo (Virginia Tech Mechanical Engineering), Yaling Yang (Virginia Tech Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering), and Muhammad Hajj (Chair, Department of Civil, Environmental and Ocean Engineering, Stevens Institute of Technology).

The Offshore Wind team was selected as the "Build and Test" winner. This team implemented technical and business insights gleaned from members of the offshore wind energy industry and tested a dual-functional offshore wind platform that is capable of stabilizing the wind turbine and simultaneously harvesting the wind-wave induced vibration energy. Faculty mentors for the team included Lei Zuo (Virginia Tech Mechanical Engineering) and Anthony Viselli (University of Maine), Matt Folley (Queen's University Belfast, Northern Ireland UK) and Feng Qian (Penn State Behrend).