UPPCO, Michigan Tech collaborate to offer students real-world experience

UPPCO/MTU Collaboration at Prickett Hydroelectric generation project – Pictured are...
UPPCO/MTU Collaboration at Prickett Hydroelectric generation project &amp;ndash; Pictured are Michigan Technological University students, faculty and UPPCO representatives involved in the senior design project. Kneeling from left to right in the front row are: UPPCO employees and MTU Alums Virgil Schlorke and Dave Tripp, and Michigan Tech faculty Stan Vitton and Michael Drewyor.<br />Photo courtesy: UPPCO (WLUC)
Published: Nov. 29, 2017 at 4:59 PM EST
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A group of students are getting real-world experience as part of their senior design project through a collaborative effort between Upper Peninsula Power Company (UPPCO) and Michigan Technological University.

For their project, students are investigating the possibility of adding a new generator at UPPCO’s Prickett hydroelectric generation facility to take advantage of bypass flows that are required under the company’s existing operating license. Students will complete a hydrology analysis, design the generator and penstock, review existing structure stability and evaluate site access constraints as part of the project.

“UPPCO is excited about this collaboration with Michigan Technological University,” said UPPCO’s Director of Generation and Environmental Services, Virgil Schlorke. “It’s win-win anytime we can work together with the engineers of tomorrow to plan and develop projects that create wide-ranging benefits, including the production of more clean, renewable energy.”

Michigan Tech faculty Michael Drewyor and Stan Vitton have been supervising the student project along with support from a consulting firm. “Thanks to UPPCO and ILF Consultants for providing the students with an opportunity to work on a real project for their senior design,” said Drewyor. “This type of project gives the students a chance to work with real budgetary and schedule constraints in a regulatory climate while interacting with design professionals and clients.”

UPPCO’s Prickett Dam and hydroelectric generation assets cover 773 acres in Baraga County and can produce up to 2.2 megawatts of clean, renewable energy. Prickett also provides fish and wildlife habitat, recreational opportunities for U.P. residents and tourists and supplements the local tax base.