Skip to main content

STEWARD STORY: The BYU Club that Harnessed the Wind

BYU Wind Energy Club

September 2021 — Last fall, inspired to pursue a career in renewable energy, undergraduate James Cutler (top right) founded the BYU Wind Energy Club. Just three months later, the club received a $20,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy and a chance to compete in this year’s Collegiate Wind Competition against just 12 other teams, including Texas Tech, Virginia Tech, and Penn State.

Assembling a multidisciplinary team, Cutler went to work. The club developed a turbine prototype. They designed a site plan and cost-of-energy analysis for a 100-megawatt wind farm in western South Dakota. And in June, they presented their work to a panel of judges made up of leading wind energy professionals. Before passing the baton to new club president David McClintock, Cutler earned his team an invitation to compete again in 2022, this time at a national clean energy conference in San Antonio.

"I was afraid we wouldn’t qualify because it was so rushed," said Cutler, who is now earning his PhD with the BYU FLOW Lab. "I think we turned in the proposal literally two minutes before the deadline. But I’m glad to see the BYU CWC team is still going strong."

For the latest updates, follow the club on Facebook or Instagram.