Wind Energy Initiative


Undergraduate Wind Energy Courses

The College offers a variety of courses that provide a good foundation in wind energy and knowledge of component design and manufacturing, electric generation, transmission, and grid operations.  All skills and concepts students learn are directly applicable to roles as wind industry planners, manufacturers, developers, utilities personnel and maintenance providers.

Collegiate Wind Competition

Iowa State University was selected in a competitive bid process to compete along with 11 other schools in the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s 2018 Collegiate Wind Competition to be held May 8-10 in Chicago, IL. The competition consists of 4 “contests”: Business Plan, Technical Design, Turbine Testing, Siting Challenge. In order to be competitive in these activities, the must come up with an innovative concept that will provide a unique solution to the complex wind energy challenge provided to us. In order to do so, we will have to develop a business plan, a technical design and build a scaled prototype turbine that will be tested in a wind tunnel during the competition. Successful participation in the competition will also require us to do some outreach activities, educate people and raise awareness of wind energy. Track CyWind’s progress here!

Research Experience for Undergraduates

Each summer Iowa State invited undergraduate students from all over the country to an intensive 10-week-on-campus research program in Wind Energy Science, Engineering and Policy (WESEP), funded by the National Science Foundation.  Students investigated wind energy topics, which included wind turbine materials, environmental impacts, and analyses of how wind will become a major U.S. energy source.  To learn more about the program visit the WESEP REU page. Applications are no longer being accepted.

WESEP PhD program

Iowa State has developed the nation’s first Ph.D. degree in Wind Energy Science Engineering and Policy.  This program is partly funded through a $3.1 million Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) award from the National Science Foundation.  This award will support the work of 30 WESEP Ph.D. students over the 2012-18 period in interdisciplinary coursework and research focused on wind energy.  For more information about WESEP and IGERT, please visit