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Duke Undergraduate Team Wins 2022 Clean Energy Prize to Support Energy Terminal Media Platform
The Nicholas Institute for Energy, Environment & Sustainability and Duke Innovation & Entrepreneurship have awarded the 2022 Clean Energy Prize to undergraduate students Michael Wood III (E’23), Hope Pratt (E’24), and Aryan Kothari (T’25).
The Clean Energy Prize ($10,000) helps fund Duke students to pursue novel ideas, potential products, or services that advance an accessible, reliable, affordable and clean energy future.
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The 2022 Prize will support development of Energy Terminal, a community and media platform the team launched in January 2022 to build the next generation of leaders to advance the energy transition.
“We want to help students get insight into the energy transition and its opportunities—including how best to make an impact in their personal and professional lives,” said Wood. “By offering easily accessible, well-explained content that is shaped for student needs and interests, we are enabling students to follow their passion and jump-start their career growth in the energy sector.”
The Energy Terminal podcast, which has published 13 episodes to date, features Duke students’ conversations with energy experts who reflect on their career pathways and share advice. The students also publish a weekly newsletter, weekly reading lists, and regular social media posts on hot energy topics, and blog posts with students’ insights on the energy transition.
The Clean Energy Prize will support the team’s efforts to extend the reach and impact of these activities. Over the course of the year, students plan to create an ambassador program with peer universities, produce career development events, and dramatically expand their podcast and newsletter audiences.
“This effort was launched by members of the Duke Undergraduate Energy Club, a group that has been a catalyst for innovation throughout its eight-year existence,” noted club advisor Stacy Peterson, associate director for student and alumni engagement at the Nicholas Institute. “It’s exciting to see these students creating and sharing valuable resources to empower their generation to tackle important challenges.”
Wood, a mechanical engineering major who is pursuing certificates in energy and environment and in entrepreneurship, has interned with BP, Varea Energy, and Streamline Innovations and serves as co-president of Duke Undergraduate Energy Club. Pratt, an electrical and computer engineering and computer science major who is pursuing a certificate in energy and environment, has interned with Ford Motor Company and Aspire Power Solutions and assists with microgrid research in engineering professor Leila Bridgeman’s lab. Kothari, who is majoring in computer science and environmental science, has interned with Alga Biosciences, Flockjay and Glimpse. Both Wood and Pratt received Energy Internship Program support for some of their internship experiences.
“As Duke University prepares the next generation of energy and climate leaders, our students truly are our partners: motivated, creative and entrepreneurial in engaging their peers,” said Brian Murray, interim director of the Nicholas Institute. “We see it in student-run efforts like Energy Week at Duke and in students’ launch of platforms like Energy Terminal. I’m looking forward to witnessing how Energy Terminal will inspire and inform even more young people at Duke and beyond to accelerate a clean energy future.”
A strategic partnership with Energy Dialogues, a networking facilitator for the North American and global energy sectors, will fund the editing and production costs of the podcast for the next year. As the Energy Terminal team members build their platform further this year, they will be seeking additional sponsors.