Solar Decathlon team opens Sept. 4 meeting to all faculty, students

September 03, 2008

University Park, Pa. — Seeking an integrated approach involving students and faculty from academic disciplines across the University, the 2009 Solar Decathlon team will hold its first informational meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday (Sept. 4) in the jury space of the Stuckeman Family Building on the University Park campus.

The Solar Decathlon joins 20 college and university teams of faculty and students in a biannual competition sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy to design, build and operate the most attractive and energy-efficient solar-powered house. The homes will be displayed on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., during the competition next fall.

Penn State's project, dubbed Natural Fusion, will create a solar-powered home with a holistic integration of elements. That philosophy extends to the design and construction, as the team will involve students and faculty from a number of different areas, not just engineering and architecture.

"Anyone can participate and we encourage any faculty or students to get involved with Natural Fusion," said Gretchen Miller, communications and public relations director for the Penn State team. "All of the team members are, in fact, encouraged to engage in multiple facets of the project to widen their horizons. For students there are terrific opportunities to gain experience and explore new areas. For faculty, there is tremendous research potential."

Penn State's first Solar Decathlon project, MorningStar Pennsylvania, took fourth place at the 2007 competition.

For more on Penn State's Solar Decathlon team, visit

Faculty interested in research opportunities should contact Jeffrey Brownson, assistant professor of energy and mineral engineering, at

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated March 19, 2009