UD students win Energy Dept kudos

Mithun Mohan Nagabhairava, a software developer, and mechanical engineer Dustin Pohlman won the “Popular Choice” second prize and $4,000 in the department’s “Apps for Energy” competition. UD said the two will travel to Washington, D.C., this summer to demonstrate the software tool to government representatives and utility companies.

The software they developed is designed for homeowners with solar panel systems. “Families can save up to a third on their electricity bills as demand and time-of-day pricing become more prevalent, the engineering students estimate,” the university said in a statement.

In all, the department awarded $100,000 in cash prizes in the contest, which drew 57 entries.

“We were kind of surprised, but thought we might end up in the top five given the responses we had been getting from people,” Nagabhairava said in UD’s announcement.

Contest participants were asked to create mobile and web applications that will help consumers save money.

UD has teamed with Wright State University, Central State University and the Air Force Institute of Technology to offer the “only renewable and clean energy graduate program in the state,” UD said.

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