The Catholic University of America

Media Advisory

CUA to Name Winner of Student Solar-Design Competition
WHEN: 11 a.m., Thursday, April 22, the 40th anniversary of Earth Day
WHERE: The Catholic University of America
Edward J. Pryzbyla University Center, Great Room
620 Michigan Ave., N.E.
Washington, D.C.
  One team of students designed the “Orb” as its idea for a picnic table capable of generating and storing solar power.

A team of CUA students will be chosen the winner of a solar-design competition after weeks of considering how to create a functional picnic table capable of supplying and storing power generated by solar-energy panels.

Designs and prototypes are on display until April 21 in the third-floor atrium of the Pryzbyla Center.

At 11 a.m. on April 22, teams will make 15-minute presentations about their designs. A winning team and its design will be announced shortly after the presentations.

Fifteen CUA faculty and staff members and executives from Standard Solar Inc. and Washington Gas Energy Services (WGES) will judge entries based on functionality, aesthetics, marketability and the team’s ability to communicate the benefits of its design.

The winning team will receive $3,000, provided by the schools of architecture and planning and engineering and WGES.

CUA is one of Washington, D.C.’s largest solar-energy producers after adding solar panels to the rooftops of four buildings in fall 2009. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has named CUA as a 2009-2010 Individual Conference Champion for using more green power than any other school in the Landmark Conference. 

The solar-design competition is sponsored by the School of Architecture and Planning, the School of Engineering, and the Office of Facilities Maintenance and Operations. For more information, contact Scott Mathews, associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science, at 202-319-6943 or

The competition is one of several Earth Day-related events on campus:

  • On Tuesday, April 20, students will be planting herbs in pots at 7 p.m. in the Food Court of the Pryzbyla Center. The event is sponsored by Dining Services and the student Green Club.

  • On Wednesday, April 21, the Center for the Study of Energy and Environmental Stewardship is hosting the annual Thomas and Marie Rojas Earth Day Lecture. Kevin Forbes, associate professor of business and economics, will speak about “Renewable Energy, Cap-and-Trade, and Carbon Emissions” at 3 p.m. in room 126 of Gowan Hall.

  • On Thursday, April 22, the CUA chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council hosts an Earth Day Barbecue from 2-6 p.m. on the lawn of the Pryzbyla Center. The event features food, games, crafts, a raffle and a faculty potato sack race. Tickets including a meal and a raffle ticket are $5.
MEDIA: To cover Earth Day events, contact Katie Lee or Mary McCarthy in the Office of Public Affairs at 202-319-5600.