Winning with wind

Wildcat Wind Power Club

K-State’s Wildcat Wind Power team wins Collegiate Wind Competition

Wildcats win with wind power! For the first time in club history, Kansas State University’s Wildcat Wind Power team blew past the competition at the 2022 annual Collegiate Wind Competition.

Having worked toward this accomplishment since 2014, what does the team attribute its big win to? “It’s a balanced focus between the four competition elements, logical and iterative design thinking and exhaustive testing of all systems,” said club vice president Hayden Dillavou.

Wildcat Wind Power is one of 21 competition teams in the Carl R. Ice College of Engineering. All teams receive support from donors, enabling students to participate in competitions and gain career-enhancing skills.

Thriving on competition and teamwork, the club provides members the opportunity to hone life and career-enhancing skills.

 “Wildcat Wind Power gives students the chance to practice design thinking in a practical setting. Additionally, it offers a collaborative learning environment,” said club president Eric Christman.

The organization’s competitive nature drives students to develop advanced skills that are derived from a combination of teamwork and relationship building.

“Because the organization is led by members of the team,” Hayden explained, “students learn how to lead — and be led — by their peers in situations where proper communication and development of ideas is critical.”

Collaborating with team members exposes students to new ideas while enriching their knowledge and expertise.

“Students learn a great deal about wind energy and gain solid technical design and fabrication skills, but also develop soft skills that can translate to a professional environment,” Hayden said. “We work collaboratively, we work around deadlines and we work toward a strict set of design requirements and performance goals. This organization presents one of the best chances any of us get outside of the workplace to design, construct, test and be scored on an engineering project as a team.”

Advancing careers

With a wide array of knowledge and information being shared across all points of the group, Eric hopes that students gain deeper insight into the world of wind power and relate it to their future careers.
“I hope that students are able to apply their learning in a meaningful way and develop professional relationships within the wind industry,” Eric said.

By winning a championship trophy, these K-Staters have mastered career-launching skills and made key connections.

“Students get many opportunities to connect with federal agencies, industry professionals and alumni,” says faculty advisor Hongyu Wu.

Engaging in competition teams such as Wildcat Wind Power enriches students’ professional understanding of wind power and prepares them to become future leaders in one of the most promising fields.

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