Leading by example

More than 200 Purdue students from several majors helped with the Purdue entry in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011. Samuel Landry, an electrical engineering technology (EET) major, was part of four-person team who designed the home’s solar-power system. His job started out as an assistant to a graduate student. As the planning progressed, Landry’s duties increased. “I became a lot more familiar with National Electric Code,” Landry said. “All of my EET courses helped me. Everything you come across is a problem-solving issue. ‘How do you attack this problem? How should it be approached?’ I also had just finished my Power Distribution and Generation course, so that information was fresh in my mind.” Landry said one of the best parts of being on the team was gaining a better understanding of other majors and how they can all come together for such an important project. He also learned the value of communication while plans for the home were being revised and updated throughout the spring semester. “The most important part for our team is to make sure we build a home that shows our hard work and the level Purdue students can operate at,” Landry said. “It’s not cutthroat. It’s good when everybody does well. We’re all on the front line of renewable energy, photovoltaic arrays and integrating them into common households. That’s exciting!” Read full coverage of the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011.