UI team wins BP competition

UI team wins BP competition

URBANA — A student team from the University of Illinois will travel to Norway and the Shetland Islands after winning a contest sponsored by BP.

BP's Ultimate Field Trip is an annual competition for university students interested in tackling energy challenges. This year's challenge was to develop a technical innovation that can reduce miles per gallon per capita in the U.S. by 2030.

A panel of BP judges chose the UI team after reviewing presentations by each of the four finalist teams at BP America headquarters in Houston last week.

The UI team, which includes Michael Richards, Akash Moradia and Nick Connolly, presented a solution "to take advantage of the large price disparity between gasoline and natural gas, especially since the domestic natural gas supply is expected to exceed consumption by 2020," according to a release from BP. Their design called the "UniPump" is a system that could save approximately $5,000 over the lifetime of a vehicle from the cheaper fuel costs.

The team will join winning teams from the United Kingdom and Trinidad & Tobago in July to participate in a two-week field trip at BP facilities in the North Sea.

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