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University Honors students invited to Paris to compete as finalists in an international energy solutions case competition


Darius Emrani and Katie Gloe Darius Emrani and Katie Gloe

BLACKSBURG, Va., June 20, 2012 – Two Virginia Tech University Honors students will travel to Paris to compete as finalists in the Go Green in the City 2012 competition on June 21-22.

Katie Gloe of Leesburg, Va., a junior majoring in chemical engineering, and Darius Emrani of Greensboro, N.C., a junior majoring in computer engineering, both in the College of Engineering, are one team out of 25 selected to enter the third and final round of the competition. Approximately 600 teams from nine countries – China, Brazil, France, Germany, India, Poland, Russia, Turkey, and the United States – vied for a spot. Of those, 100 teams made it to the second round before the third round cut to 25 teams.

Gloe and Emrani will present their energy management idea, named EnerGymnasia, at the concluding event. “We were inspired by the number of students who use McComas Gym,” said Gloe. “The idea is to capture energy from stationary equipment and walk-able surfaces, then input that energy back into a gym-wide electrical grid, making the gym more energy independent.”

“We decided to think about what activities many people do and where energy is wasted,” added Emrani. “As the idea developed, we began to think about socially engaging gym-goers as they exercise.”

In addition to presenting their concept, Gloe and Emrani will get the opportunity to meet Schneider Electric executives, who will judge the case presentations, and participate in networking opportunities.

The winning team will win a trip across the world, stopping in three continents to visit Schneider Electric facilities. In addition, they will receive an offer for full-time employment with the company.

Gloe and Emrani got to know each other while living in Hillcrest, one of two Honors residential communities on campus. Both share interest in outdoor activities and are former scouting troop members, Emrani being an Eagle Scout, which helped lead to an interest in the environment, conservation, and energy awareness.

The Division of Undergraduate Education provides academic support, programs, and courses that touch on every aspect of the undergraduate experience, from recruitment to graduation and beyond. Its offices, units, and centers advocate for ways to create and nurture a vibrant and diverse community of engaged learners, while supporting the development of innovative and dynamic faculty. The division is committed to excellence in student access, retention, and success for the university’s 24,000 undergraduate students.

The College of Engineering at Virginia Tech is internationally recognized for its excellence in 14 engineering disciplines and computer science. The college's 6,000 undergraduates benefit from an innovative curriculum that provides a "hands-on, minds-on" approach to engineering education, complementing classroom instruction with two unique design-and-build facilities and a strong Cooperative Education Program. With more than 50 research centers and numerous laboratories, the college offers its 2,000 graduate students opportunities in advanced fields of study such as biomedical engineering, state-of-the-art microelectronics, and nanotechnology. Virginia Tech, the most comprehensive university in Virginia, is dedicated to quality, innovation, and results to the commonwealth, the nation, and the world.

University Honors program

    The Presidential Global Scholars traveled to Lugano, Switzerland with Paul Knox, University Distinguished Professor and Senior Fellow for International Advancement, as part of the program curriculum.

University Honors allows students an intimate, small-college environment with all the advantages of a world-leading teaching, research, and service institution. Benefits include

  • Enriched curriculum options
  • Direct and personal contact with top faculty
  • Intensive academic advising
  • Honors independent study and research options
  • Priority registration (applies after first semester)

Students from every college within the university are represented in the program. For more information, visit the University Honors website.

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