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2022 Hydro Think Tank™

Grand Coulee
August 16-18, 2022

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Congratulations to the winning team!

Ben Albrecht, Portland State University, and Katie Restis, from Eastern Washington University

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Students from top universities bring their talent, ingenuity and cutting edge-technology, to see if they have what it takes to win the Hydro Think Tank™.

University Regional Teams will participate in an intense week of hands on problem solving to give their best solutions to a pressing hydropower environmental issue. The week is filled with exploration, training, team work, meeting top researchers in the industry and senior level management for career development to compete for CASH PRIZES from the Hydro Foundation, and the potential opportunity for an internship, and expansion on your networking circle.

  • Students are responsible for their transportation to the competition.
  • Lodging and meals will be provided.


  • Application Deadline – May 15
  • Participating Students Notified – First week of June
  • Hydro 101 – Virtual Session – June 9, 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM MDT
  • Teams/Industry Leaders Q & A Virtual Session – July 26, 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm MDT

When: August 16-18, 2022

Where: Grand Coulee Dam in Coulee, WA

Who: Students with experience in a mix of disciplines like: trades; engineering, science and environment, computer science, students interested in an internship in hydropower.

Participating Schools: Eastern Washington University, University of Washington, Washington State University, and University of Idaho

Judging: Team efforts will be judged by a panel of industry executives, managers and Hydro Foundation members.

Incentive: The winning team will receive a cash prize from the Hydro Foundation, a great resume booster and have the potential for an internship with one of the organizations providing a hands-on experience like no other.

“As a fourth-year Ph.D. looking for a job, the connections I made were invaluable. During the competition, I learned a lot about what a MW of Hydropower can “buy” you. It put into perspective how much energy we need to power the world and the challenges stemming from intermittent renewables.”
​- Colin Sasthav, University of Tennessee

“McMillen Jacobs Associates truly appreciated the opportunity to sponsor the Hydro Think Tank. It was wonderful to engage with so many bright minds and potential future hydro enthusiasts, as they saw firsthand how our industry strives to be responsible stewards of the environment.”

– Mike Manwaring, McMillen Jacobs


Established in 1902, the Bureau of Reclamation is best known for the dams, powerplants, and canals it constructed in the 17 western states. These water projects led to homesteading and promoted the economic development of the West. Reclamation has constructed more than 600 dams and reservoirs including Hoover Dam on the Colorado River and Grand Coulee on the Columbia River. ​The mission of the Bureau of Reclamation is to manage, develop, and protect water and related resources in an environmentally and economically sound manner in the interest of the American public.

In a rapidly changing utility environment, we will provide: The Best Value for the Most People for the Longest Time
To enhance the quality of life in Chelan County by providing sustainable, reliable utility services.
Our Values
Safety (protect public and employee health and safety), Stewardship (acting on behalf of customer-owners, protecting public resources entrusted to us), Trustworthiness (competence, integrity), Operational Excellence (high-quality innovative work execution)

We are a public electric utility serving more than 40,000 customers in Grant County. We own and operate the Priest Rapids Project on the Columbia River in Central Washington. The Priest Rapids Project, comprising Priest Rapids and Wanapum dams, has the capacity to produce more than 2,000 megawatts of clean, renewable and reliable electricity. Grant PUD operates multiple generation sources and delivers power to more than 40,000 customers throughout the county.

We are an energy company involved in the production, transmission and distribution of energy as well as other energy-related businesses. Avista Utilities is our operating division that provides electric service to more than 600,000 electric and natural gas customers across 30,000 square miles in eastern Washington, northern Idaho and parts of southern and eastern Oregon. Avista’s legacy of innovation is rooted in the renewable energy we’ve generated since our founding in 1889.

We specialize in engineering, architecture, environmental and construction services. While we are most well-known for adding beauty and structure to communities through high-performance buildings and smart infrastructure, we provide much more than that. We create an unshakable foundation for progress because our multidisciplinary teams also include scientists, economists, builders, analysts and artists.

Design with community in mind. Communities are fundamental. Whether around the corner or across the globe, they provide a foundation, a sense of place and of belonging. That’s why at Stantec, we always design with community in mind. We care about the communities we serve—because they’re our communities too. This allows us to assess what’s needed and connect our expertise, to appreciate nuances and envision what’s never been considered, to bring together diverse perspectives so we can collaborate toward a shared success.

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