US DOE opens applications for Marine Energy Collegiate Competition

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Water Power Technologies Office (WPTO) has opened applications for the sixth annual Marine Energy Collegiate Competition (MECC).

Illustration (Courtesy of Curtis Rusch; US Department of Energy)

In the 2025 MECC, multidisciplinary teams are tasked with integrating marine energy with blue economy applications like ocean-powered autonomous vehicles, aquaculture, and desalination. Teams will tackle four challenges:

  • The Business Plan Challenge, in which teams identify a promising blue economy market and determine the best marine energy device to serve that market’s needs.
  • The Technical Design Challenge, in which teams design a marine energy-powered device to serve consumers within the team’s chosen market.
  • The Build and Test Challenge, in which teams build and test a scaled prototype of their concept.
  • The Community Connections Challenge, in which teams engage with the marine energy industry and a community of their choosing.

Teams that submit all necessary MECC challenge materials can receive up to $20,000 in total cash awards and compete for a portion of the $20,000 grand prize cash pool.

Undergraduate and graduate students from various post-secondary institutions, including colleges, universities, community colleges, and trade schools, are encouraged to participate in both competitions. 

Students from non-U.S. institutions can apply but are ineligible for prizes. MECC applications do not mandate initial research or engineering.

Each team will be matched with an industry mentor, fostering deeper connections in the marine energy fields. This allows students to establish relationships with professionals offering real-world insights, technical knowledge, career guidance, and industry navigation tips.

Competitors need to submit a brief description of their team, educational objectives, and plans for ensuring diversity within their team, among other specifics, as outlined in the official MECC rules. 

Applications are accepted through the MECC website, with a deadline of May 6, 2024.

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