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Montana State University Wind Application Center Pioneer Installs Turbines: A Wind Powering America Success Story

Posted Oct 14 2010 12:00am
Date: 10/14/2010

Rubin Muechel is a pioneer of sorts. As one of the first students to participate in the Wind Application Center at Montana State University (MSU), he was a member of the first Wind Application Center-sponsored mechanical engineering technology (MET) wind capstone project team that focused on various wind issues and provided Wind for Schools project support.

"When I attended MSU, there were no renewable energy classes, but since then, professors have implemented them," Meuchel said.

Although classes in his field were not yet available, Meuchel was able to participate in a project that would familiarize him with the wind energy industry and provide an experience that would prepare him for his future career.

"I chose the Wind for Schools capstone project during my senior year. This was a great experience and exposed me and other students to small-scale turbine hardware and allowed us to get a basic understanding of how they work," Meuchel said.

During the capstone project, Meuchel helped plan the installation, including the budget, for a Skystream wind turbine for the MSU campus. He also helped install turbines at Livingston High School, Fairfield High School, and the Stanford school district.

Meuchel graduated from MSU with a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering technology in May 2008. Soon after, he found employment with the Montana Research and Development firm Two Dot Wind. With Two Dot Wind, Muechel contracts, repairs, and installs projects throughout Montana. Earlier this year, he assisted with the installation of a 50-kilowatt Endurance turbine at the MSU-Great Falls campus.

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