W. Paige Andros
Prior to this competition my primary interest was for working in automotive design specifically to increase engine efficiencies. Participation in the Solar Decathlon has expanded my view of what efficiency and design improvement means. The concepts of sustainability and innovation potential go far beyond a single project or individual, supporting the development of strong communities that work to promote self-reliance and sense of stewardship for the world around them. I would like to be involved in endeavors that not just increase model efficiencies, but that give individuals the tools they need to build self-reliance and have opportunities. Affordable, sustainable housing resonates with me, and I find it likely that I will become involved in such endeavors. I also would like to be involved in education that opens opportunities for individuals. That could fall in a number of paths. My whole course in life changed when on a whim I went to check out this odd event I read about in the Washington post called Solar Decathlon (2011). I was never satisfied with my career as a makeup artist and hairstylist after that visit. Solar Decathlon was the catalyst that moved me to pursue an education that would enable me to have a more significant impact on helping/serving others, the realm of design and invention, as well as personal growth. My mind was opened to the relevance and literal potential sustainability has, all theoretical to me before that point. As I finish my degree in Mechanical Engineering I'd like to continue to be a part of bringing those potentials to life.