Cooper’s Solar Decathlon Team Win the 2022 Excellence in Industry Engagement Award

POSTED ON: May 2, 2022

Solar Decathlon

The Albert Nerken School of Engineering Solar Decathlon team participated in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2022 Design Challenge Competition. Out of the 55 finalist teams, the Cooper Union team received the Excellence in Industry Engagement “Smooth Operator” Award.

Teams competing in the Solar Decathlon Design Challenge work in multidisciplinary teams, and optionally with a design partner, for one or two academic semesters, to prepare creative solutions for real-world issues in the building industry.

Cooper’s team of architecture and engineering students partnered with Barrier Free Living and JCJ Architecture to design a net-zero sustainable, accessible, and affordable housing project for victims of domestic violence with disabilities. The design advanced the team to the finals at the National Renewable Energy Lab in Golden, CO where they competed in a hybrid format in the Multifamily Design Division in front of a panel of industry jurors. 

The Solar Decathlon team members include Ilias Proko CE’22, Kevin Dai ME’22, Kai Huang ARCH’22, L Naw La Seng CE’22, Aviv Kresch ChE’22, Lionel Gilliar-Schoenenberger CE’23, Sarah Coraizaca ME’23, Sophia Zhao CE’24, Matviy Zhachek CE’25, Grace Ee BSE’25, Anthony Belladonna EE’22, Vildan Cavdar CE’22, Paul Cucchiara CE’22, Minghao Du ARCH’23, Chia-Wei Hung MARCH’22, Ru Jia ARCH’24, Daniel Kim EE’22, Pei-Ju Lin MARCH’22, and Karla Meneses Garcia CE’22. The members were advised by Professors Melody Baglione, Cosmas Tzavelis, David M. Wootton, and Assistant Professor Adjunct Julian Palacio.

View the team’s final presentation here.

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.