A Clemson University center where researchers work to advance sustainable energy was named a “Global Best Project” by a leading engineering magazine. The SCE&G Energy Innovation Center is receiving an ENR 2015 Global Best Projects Award from the Engineering News-Record.

The competition identifies and honors the teams behind outstanding design and construction efforts during the past year. Other winners include a Jeep assembly plant in Brazil, a U.S. Embassy compound in the Laotian capital and a road in Panama City.

The SCE&G Energy Innovation Center won in the “power, industrial” category and was among 15 winners in 14 categories. One winner will be selected as “Global Project of the Year.” One winner will be selected as “Global Project of the Year.” Winning teams plan to collect their Global Best Project awards on Sept. 10 at the ENR Global Construction Summit in New York City.

Nikolaos Rigas, executive director of Clemson University Restoration Institute, said he was honored to see the SCE&G Innovation Center win. “I’d like to thank the judges, and our industry partners,” Rigas said. “This was possible only with the help of Choate Construction Co. and AEC Engineering, Inc. “We’ve long known the SCE&G Energy Innovation Center is a world class facility. It’s good to get some outside confirmation.”

The center houses the world’s most-advanced testing facility for wind turbine drivetrains. It is capable of full-scale, highly accelerated mechanical and electrical testing. Also at the center is the Duke Energy eGRID, which stands for Electrical Grid Research Innovation and Development. The eGRID can simulate the electrical grid of any country in the world. It is used for education, research and economic development to speed new electrical technologies to market.

Among those extending their congratulations on the award was Anand Gramopadhye, dean of the College of Engineering and Science. “This is a great recognition and testament to the team Dr. Rigas has assembled,” Gramopadhye said. “Kudos to all at the Clemson University Restoration Institute.”

Scott Blair, the West Coast bureau chief for the Engineering News-Record, announced the winners in a blog post on the magazine’s website. He wrote that the competition was judged by a panel of five industry veterans with extensive global experience. “The winners they have selected exemplify the challenges, risks and rewards of designing and constructing throughout the world,” he wrote. All of the winning projects and judges will be spotlighted in the magazine’s September 7 issue, Blair wrote. The judges looked at projects in 14 categories, ranging from bridges and tunnels to manufacturing, according to Blair. The “power, industrial” category was the only one to have two Global Best Project Award winners.

Accompanying the Clemson facility in the category was the Quest Carbon Capture and Storage Project, located in Alberta, Canada and submitted by Fluor . Judges evaluated each project’s safety performance, innovation, contribution to the community, design/construction excellence and how well the project team overcame challenges, Blair wrote. They also looked at teamwork, and gave special emphasis to project teams comprised of firms based in a variety of different countries, he wrote.

Link to full article: Clemson University energy research facility wins Global Best Project Award