Minnkota Power Cooperative celebrates student research in annual Freeman Competition

From left to right: Jacob Hatfield, William Moe, Elijah Riesgraf, Josiah Burkman, Gabe Carlson, Brendan Kennelly (Sr. Manager of Power Delivery Engineering, Minnkota Power Cooperative), Matthew Kuznia, Dr. Michael Mann (Associate Dean for Research, CEM), and Dr. Brian Tande (Dean, CEM).


An award ceremony, held on May 10, 2022, celebrated the senior research projects of several CEM students who competed in this year’s Andrew L. Freeman Innovation Award competition.

On the previous Friday, several undergraduate teams presented their senior design projects to industry leaders – including representatives from Minnkota, which has sponsored the Freeman Competition for more than 20 years.

The winning team who presented their project, WoundAssure, received a $2,000 award for their work. The award is supported by an endowment established in 1996 to honor Andrew “Andy” Freeman, a UND engineering alumnus and former 42-year Minnkota general manager.

“Andrew Freeman was innovative, creative, a great communicator, and preached teamwork,” said Brendan Kennelly, Minnkota senior manager for power delivery engineering, “Freeman is very well respected – not only at Minnkota, but industry-wide.”


1st Place: WoundAssure

Team members:  Adam Laakso, Gabe Carlson, Matthew Kuznia, Zachary Wenzel


2nd Place: DMVI Slushie/Margarita Vending Machine

Team members: Jacob Hatfield, Elijah Riesgraf, Daniel Vallejos, Jorge Florencia


3rd Place: The Production of Aromatic Hydrocarbons from Fuel-Grade Ethanol

Team members: Abbie Radermacher, William Moe, Josiah Burkman


About Minnkota Power Cooperative

Minnkota Power Cooperative is a not-for-profit electric generation and transmission cooperative headquartered in Grand Forks, N.D. Formed in 1940, Minnkota provides wholesale electric energy to 11 member-owner distribution cooperatives located in eastern North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota. These members serve nearly 135,000 consumer accounts in a 34,500 square-mile area, including many of the region’s homes, farms, schools and businesses.



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