This week’s Student Spotlight is featuring Kyle Buzby, a civil engineering major who recently graduated.
How did you get involved with Solar Decathlon?
I first heard about the Solar Decathlon in 2011 from several students working on the house built by Parsons and Stevens. After Stevens placed 13th and I heard that they were planning on building another house comprised entirely of Stevens students, I wanted to do anything possible to get involved.
Are you excited for the Xpo in Irvine, California? What are you planning on doing during your stay?
Yes! Currently, I do not know if I will be able to attend the expo, due to unset post-graduation plans at the time. However, if I am able to attend, besides seeing Stevens climb the leaderboard, I would love to travel as much of the coast as time allows.
What is your major and how are you contributing your skills to the project?
I am a Civil Engineering major, and a part of the structures subteam. Our team is responsible for designing the skeleton of the house, and making all of the innovative designs stand.
Are you planning on aiding in the construction of the house?
Designing the house in the first place has already been a rewarding experience, but being able to see that design come to fruition would be even better. However, as I said before, my post-graduation plans are still unset and this will play a major role whether or not I will be able to continue my involvement through helping to build the house.
Once the seniors graduate, do you think the Stevens team will be able to still accomplish it’s goals?
I think that the teams are putting a decent effort into making sure that their work does not go unfinished, whether that is through creating 100% detailed drawings and descriptions or through recruiting other undergraduates to help pick up the work once they are gone. Ultimately, I think the time will do just fine and be very successful in California.
What skills have you acquired throughout the preparation for Solar D? How will you use these in your future career in industry or academia?
The Solar Decathlon competition has given me many valuable real-world skills. I have learned extensively about Building Information Modeling, a design practice that is quickly gaining ground; timber construction design, something that Stevens undergraduates don’t typically come across in the curriculum; and the experience of a start to finish construction project, we have had to design and redesign many times to accommodate changes, much like we would in a real-world project.