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Winners of 2012 DOE EERE National Geothermal Student Competition Announced

The U.S. Department of Energy announced the top three winners in the 2012 National Geothermal Student Competition at the 36th Annual Geothermal Resources Council Meeting in Reno, Nevada. This student competition challenged teams at universities across the country to conduct cutting-edge research in geology, geoscience, chemical and bio-molecular energy, and engineering that could lead to breakthroughs in geothermal energy development.

  • First place: Idaho State University
  • Second place: Boise State University
  • Third place: Southern Methodist University Geothermal Laboratory
Geothermal power station

First place winners: Idaho State University
Photo courtesy of the Geothermal Resources Council

Geothermal power station

Second place winners: Boise State University
Photo courtesy of the Geothermal Resources Council

Geothermal power station

Third place winners: Southern Methodist University Geothermal Laboratory
Photo courtesy of the Geothermal Resources Council

Program overview

Through the National Geothermal Student Competition, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) seeks to advance geothermal education and spark interest in geothermal careers by providing a forum for hands-on learning. In addition, some of the data and analysis resulting from the competition may be valuable to industry and the development of new geothermal sites.

For the 2012 National Geothermal Student Competition, students developed professional-quality research reports using exploration technologies to further geothermal power development of the Snake River Plain in Idaho. Findings were presented in conjunction with the Geothermal Research Council’s spring/summer meeting in order to provide an audience and networking opportunities for the students.

The teams were ranked on the basis of the reports and presentations, with awards (to be provided by industry) going to the top three places. Research should was based on analysis using one or more of the following exploration technologies:

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry
  • Remote sensing
  • Geology