Design Day is an annual showcase of students’ creativity, optimism, innovation, and ability to translate their theoretical knowledge into solutions to real-world problems. The event is hosted by the Whiting School of Engineering every spring.
As renewable energy gains popularity in the United States, there is increased interest in the potential for generating this resource in the Gulf of Mexico, where existing oil and gas infrastructure can be repurposed for offshore wind farms. This year, one Design Day team from the Department of Environmental Health and Engineering has designed a wind farm off the Louisianna coast.
The Design Day wind farm group’s project was prompted by the 2023 Collegiate Wind Competition, which is organized by the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Team members are part of the larger Hopkins Student Wind Energy Team. The Hopkins team has reached the second round of the USDOT competition. To advance, the team will develop a three-part site assessment to investigate offshore wind farm siting through an environmental engineering lens.
“This project is allowing us to explore the viability of wind farms in the assigned area while gaining the skills necessary to work in renewable energy industries.”
- Julia Choe
The first part of the site assessment will include three quantitative models to address scour and sediment transport near turbine foundations, biofouling, and the environmental impacts of noise. These models will connect to a broader environmental impact assessment.
The second part of the plan will include a community impact analysis that measures attitudes toward wind energy using survey data. The final portion of the plan will detail the proposed optimal wind farm design and layout.
Team members are seniors Adriana Pena, Marisa Thomas, and Julia Choe.
“Understanding the environmental and community impacts of building wind farms is crucial for creating thoughtful plans to implement wind energy projects across the nation,” says team member Julia Choe. “This project is allowing us to explore the viability of wind farms in the assigned area while gaining the skills necessary to work in renewable energy industries.”
Environmental Health and Engineering is a cross-divisional department spanning the Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Whiting School of Engineering. This hybrid department is uniquely designed to lead pioneering research and prepare the next generation of scholars to solve critical and complex issues at the interface of public health and engineering. Learn more about our programs.