YSU-NECA’s poster prevails

Students in Youngstown State University’s chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association proved they could compete on the national stage this fall, winning first place in a sustainable energy poster competition.
YSU-NECA beat out Pennsylvania State University and Purdue University in the finals of the poster session of the Green Energy Challenge, a national competition that challenges students to develop energy-efficient solutions to real life problems.
Ted Bosela, professor of engineering technology and YSU-NECA adviser, expressed satisfaction with his team’s performance.
“I think it’s fantastic! We went up against some big name schools, so to speak, and placed first,” Bosela said. “I think it shows that our students can compete on the national stage. First place is pretty respectable and it gives some recognition to the university; it gives some recognition to our program and to our students.”
Ethan Parks, president of YSU-NECA, agreed with Bosela and added that a first-place award is a “big deal.”
“We are competing against other schools from California, Washington, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Purdue — I mean, big name other schools that poster went up against, and YSU was able to come out first out of all of them. That’s why it’s a big deal,” Parks said.
This year’s Green Energy Challenge asked students to propose energy-efficient upgrades to a local parking garage. YSU-NECA developed a hypothetical proposal to make changes to YSU’s M-1 parking deck, suggesting that electric vehicle charging stations be installed and that inefficient lighting be swapped for LED light fixtures.
Nick Gealy, co-vice president of YSU-NECA, explained that the group’s poster serves as a visual representation of their proposal.
“It’s like our project all condensed into one poster. It’s roughly an eighty page proposal, and we condense it all into the poster for display,” Gealy said.
Bosela explained that completing this proposal for the Green Energy Challenge allows students to obtain important hands-on experience in the field.
“Students really enjoy working on this. It’s a real project. It’s a real structure, a real facility,” Bosela said. “They are applying a lot of the concepts they have learned in the classroom to a real world situation.”
The Green Energy Challenge consists of two parts: a poster competition and a proposal competition. While YSU students won the poster competition, they were not finalists for the proposal competition.
Mark DeMartino, co-vice president of YSU-NECA, concluded that his group’s success benefits the entire university.
“It’s really important for us just to get our name out there — to get our school name out there. We are starting to get national recognition as an engineering program just because we are able to win in these competitions,” DeMartino said.