Former Big Bend student selected for hydropower competition

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Kurtis Singer

Kurtis Singer

MOSES LAKE — Former Big Bend Community College student Kurtis Singer has recently been chosen to participate in the Hydropower Foundation’s selective Hydro Think Tank competition. The week-long competition provides participants with an opportunity to practice real-life business and engineering skills, hone individual talents and apply knowledge to solve pressing hydropower issues.

The Pacific Northwest portion of the competition kicks off August 13 at the Rocky Reach Dam. Singer will join students from Gonzaga, Washington State University, University of Idaho, Eastern Washington University, Wenatchee Valley College and Walla Walla Community College, among other regional schools.

Students will be placed in teams and spend a week working together to solve a specific, real-world hydropower issue. Teams will be judged on ingenuity, practicality of solution and presentation.

The winning team will receive a cash prize and the potential for an internship with one of the participating organizations, which include Avista, HDR, McMillen Jacobs Associates and both Grant County and Chelan County PUD.

The internship component is what initially drew Singer to the competition.

“I’m interested in working at a hydroelectric dam and my performance at the competition should help me get an internship,” he said.

Singer graduated from Big Bend in June of 2018 and is currently studying Mechanical Engineering at Eastern Washington University. He is set to graduate June 2020.

“I am good at math and science and I like working with my hands,” said Singer. “After graduation, I’d like to work for the PUD at Wanapum or Priest Rapids Dam or get a job at AGEnergy.”

Big Bend Director of Transforming STEM Pathways Grant, Rafael Villalobos Jr. said Singer has a promising future in engineering.

“I’ve worked with thousands of students over the years and few standout or stay in touch like Kurtis.  He’s really grown as a student and person since we first met; being involved on and off campus in activities that impact his peers and the community,” he said. “Kurtis exemplifies the blending of service, creativity and technical skills.”