Hydro Think Tank organized at Rocky Reach Dam in Wenatchee, Wash.

The Hydropower Foundation organized another Hydro Think Tank competition, this time in Wenatchee, Wash., U.S.

On Aug. 13-15, 2019, 11 undergraduate students from the University of Washington, Walla Walla Community College, Washington State University and Portland State University were brought to Rocky Reach Dam for an intense week of hands-on problem solving to give their best solution to a pressing hydropower issue presented by Chelan County PUD, Grant County PUD, Avista Utilities, HDR and McMillen Jacobs.

The week is filled with exploration, training, teamwork and development to compete for the grand prize of an opportunity for cash prizes, a resume booster and opportunity for potential internships and/or positions with these companies.

The teams were made up of three to four undergraduate students. Teams were judged by a panel of company executives and industry engineers on ingenuity, practicality of solution, and presentation. This opportunity offered students the chance to practice with real-life business and engineering skills, hone individual talents and apply knowledge to solve a pressing need in our river systems.

The foundation is continuing to work with the hydropower industry to offer the Hydro Think Tank event as an opportunity for other utility companies to secure interns and/or fill job openings with quality competing students. This event will be taking place in the northeast U.S. in spring of 2020.

The Hydropower Foundation was established in 1994 and became an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation in 1996. Formerly the Hydro Research Foundation, the name changed in 2019. The foundation’s objectives are to facilitate research and to promote educational opportunities related to hydropower.

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