A/L/I alumnus, Justin Kang (11), described his work with the Solar Decathlon as follows.
While in graduate school at USC, I had the privilege of being on the USC Solar Decathlon Team. The Solar Decathlon is a biennial competition held by the US Department of Energy (DOE) to educate the public on sustainable living and technologies. The DOE selects 20 schools from around the world and awards each a prestigious $100,000 grant to start up the project. I was one of the core members who started at USC’s project’s inception and was placed in key leadership roles throughout the project.
Upon graduation in May 2013, USC hired me to serve as project manager for the 2013 USC Solar Decathlon. This was an experience like non other because I worked on the project from conceptual design through design development, construction documents, construction and final presentation of the project. This project taught me more than any classroom setting because my duties included construction management, site supervision, health and safety, budgeting, scheduling, and managing all workers and sub contractors. We’ve also had the pleasure of working with industry leaders and experts such as ARUP, IBE, and Bernards. This not only taught me more about architecture but also about construction, finance, engineering and public speaking.
The final stage of the competition began on September 23, 2013, with the start of assembly at the Orange County Great Park in Irvine, CA, and concluded on October 14 with the modules being shipped out of the park. A total of 19 collegiate teams showcased their solar homes. The entire event was called the xPo, which also featured pavilions that demonstrated sustainable technologies and educated the public on sustainable living.
Team USC is proud to have finished in the top 10 and especially proud of receiving the 3rd place Architecture award. USC has also placed 1st in the Appliances category and tied 1st for Energy Balance.
Over the past two years this project has molded me in a well-rounded designer and taught me valuable skills unattainable in any classroom environment. It has been a great experience and has prepared me to join the professional work force. Through this project, I have had firms and companies offer me interviews for possible positions and will be sorting through the offers when I come back from vacation in December 2013.
See one story about the project here.
“Even though Team USC did not win (first place), the members say the experience helped them create a solar family.”
left: Justin Kang standing in the 2013 USC Solar Decathlon under construction
right, in center: Justin Kang with two other USC Team members (holding one of their awards) at xPo in Orange County Great Park