Q&A with last year's Student Project Showcase winnersApril 15, 2016
In the spirit of this year's 2016 Student Project Showcase we checked back with last year's winning team — Cory Boulet, Tyler Selvig, and Joel Newman (Electrical Engineering Technology graduates) — to get their perspective about the experience, and what they're up to now.
Q: What was your project?
A: Our project was about the feasibility of a chemical battery energy storage system with integration on a wind farm. We ended up modelling an industrial-scale battery bank with software and observed how it would aid in smoothing the volatile wind energy on Alberta's electrical grid. We then analyzed the market and set out to determine if this was something that the Alberta grid needs at this time.
Q: How did you all benefit from the experience?
A: The group benefited by learning about the regulations involved with the market and specifically how batteries can play a part in that. We were able to gain a better understanding of the Alberta electrical grid and realize how useful energy storage can be from a grid operator's standpoint.
Q: What did you enjoy about working with an industry partner while you were students?
A: Cory — I enjoyed the networking opportunities that came with working with the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO), one of our industry partners.
A: Tyler — The thing I enjoyed was seeing the theoretical knowledge we gain from our studies being put into practice.
A: Joel — I found that working with experts in the field was very interesting.
Q: What advice would you give to students embarking on innovative projects?
A: Cory — I would say that once you pick your project, narrow your scope and make sure you put a plan in place and stick to it.
A: Tyler — Just work on something you are interested in, it will make it much easier to do your project if you find it engaging.
A: Joel — Don't be afraid to ask the teachers or your industry partners if you don't understand something. They are there to help and will most likely be able to help with your understanding.
Q: What are you all doing now?
A: Currently, we are all at the University of Victoria pursuing electrical engineering degrees. We are in our third year right now, we bridged over through Camosun College in the summer.