Students from UNC Charlotte’s Lee College of Engineering won the top three spots at the 2017 Npower Forecasting Challenge, a competition that included 26 international teams and an additional 19 teams from the United Kingdom. Twelve other UNC Charlotte students placed in the top 25.
The Npower Forecasting Challenge is hosted annually by RWE Npower, a large electricity generator and supplier of gas and electricity based in the United Kingdom, as a way of recruiting summer interns. While the internships are open only to UK students, the competition is open to the world. Hundreds of students and working professionals have participated in these Npower Forecasting Challenges in the past. Students from UNC Charlotte have been winning a few top spots annually.
This year’s winning students from UNC Charlotte were Vinayak Sharma in first place, Aditya Kumar in second place and Nikkish Prabhakaran in third place. The students came from two engineering classes, Technological Forecasting and Decision Making (spring 2017) and Energy Analytics (fall 2017). Both classes were taught by Tao Hong, associate professor of systems engineering and engineering management and director of the EPIC Big Data Energy Analytics Laboratory (BigDEAL).
"These analytics-savvy courses I'm teaching are quite challenging,” Hong said. “The students had to spend tremendous amount of time to earn the credits. I'm glad they have acquired some useful skills from the class and showed off their analytical capabilities through the international competition."
More information about the Npower forecasting challenge is here.