"One of the key constraints on the pace of technological innovation is the range of possibility that inventors dare to explore. Max Tech and Beyond is one way that DOE encourages our country's inventors to explore a larger space of clean energy technology possibility."
-Dr. Robert Van Buskirk, Initiator of the competition
The Max Tech and Beyond Design Competition for Ultra-Low-Energy-Use Appliances and Equipment supports faculty-lead student design teams at U.S. universities to design, build, and test ultra efficient product prototypes to reduce energy consumption in buildings and/or prototypes that greatly reduce the cost of such ultra-efficient products. The dual objectives of the Competition are to support the development of next-generation prototypes and the next generation of scientists and engineers who will design them.
Management and Sponsorship
The Design Competition is run on an Academic Calendar. In Spring a Request for Proposals (RFP) is sent to engineering, physical science, energy programs at universities throughout the U.S. Teams must consist of a faculty team advisor in a suitable field of study and at least three undergraduate and/or graduate students. Larger student teams are preferred. Senior engineering design teams are highly encouraged to apply. Proposals are submitted by the facutly team advisor and reviewed during the summer. Proposals must make a credible argument that their innovations will result in at least 5% energy savings over current best-on-market products or reduce the cost of ultra-efficient products by at least 20%. Selected teams receive up to $24,000 in support. The teams design, build, and test their prototypes during the academic year. The Competition culminates in a National Webinar in late Spring, at which student present the results. Final reports are reviewed an submitted by the faculty team advisor during the summer. The Competition is judged by a panel of energy efficiency experts. The winning team is announced by the end of summer.