2014 Participant Breakdown

Countries represented at SISE 2014!

61 participants from around the United States - and the world! - were selected from a pool of 100 applicants to join us from August 6-20 at the University of Illinois at Chicago. SISE'ers are all offered free lodging with us on campus, and many are offered partial travel scholarships so they can attend the program with minimal financial impact to them. (And, there's no program fee!)

There were slightly more male participants than female (57%/43%). 42% identified as a racial minority - including Asian, African, or mixed descent - and 13% identified as Latinx. 2/3 of participants were in their early 20s, and 90% were still enrolled in school, primarily at the graduate level. They represented 38 different majors and came from 45 different academic institutions. Check out the stats below!

2014 SISE on O'Hare Airport tour.

2014 SISE on O'Hare Airport tour.

Academic Background

College of Charleston
Columbia University
Florida International University
Florida State University
Georgia Institute of Technology
Grinnell College
Hawai'i Pacific University
Illinois Institute of Technology
Immaculata University
Indiana State University
Johns Hopkins University
Northeastern Illinois University
Northwestern University
University of Vermont
Princeton University

Robert Morris University
Southern Illinois Unversity-Carbondale
Standford University
Stanford University
Syracuse University
Tennessee Technological University
The Evergreen State College
Universidad Europea de Madrid
University of Arkansas
University of California at Irvine
University of California at Berkeley
University of Delaware
University of Edinburgh
University of Florida
University of Hawaii

University of Houston
University of Idaho
University of Illinois at Chicago
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
University of Kentucky
University of Michigan
University of Notre Dame
University of Oklahoma
University of Oregon
University of Pittsburgh
University of South Florida
University of Texas at San Antonio
University of Washington
University of Wisconsin-Madison
University of Texas at Arlington


Academic Affiliation

Advanced Energy and Fuels Management
Aerospace Engineering
Agricultural and Applied Economics
Applied Health Sciences
Applied Physics
Business Management
Chemical Engineering
Civil and Environmental Engineering
Civil Engineering
Community and Regional Planning

Electrical Engineering
Energy and Environmental Policy
Energy Engineering
Environmental Policy
Environmental Resources
Energy Systems Engineering
Engineering Science
Environmental Dynamics
Environmental Managementy
Environmental Science
Environmental Studies

Global Leadership and Sustainable Development
Materials Science and Engineering
Mechanical Engineering
Natural Resources
Political Science
Power and Energy Systems
Renewable Energy
Social Ecology
Sustainability and the Built Environment
Urban Planning and Policy



The Program

The program this year focused broadly on urban energy issues. SISE'ers spent two weeks with us to:

  • engage with presentations and SISE faculty, drawn from awesome Chicago-based speakers and local organizations;
  • tour Argonne National Laboratory, the UIC Urban Visualization Lab, O'Hare International Airport, and the IIT Wanger Institute for Sustainable Energy Research;
  • network and socialize, as they did at Clean Energy Trust sponsored networking dinner, and the annual closing convocation at the Crystal Gardens at Navy Pier; and
  • tackle real-world issues facing UIC, Chicago, and the world by developing unique visions through large and small, competitive, team-based research projects.




2014 Gallery

"We're all winners."



2014 Memes

Some inside jokes included.



Project Results

On August 19, twelve groups of SISE'ers provided twelve unique visions to solve four different research projects related to energy distribution, urban innovation, Chicago's Fisk Power Plant, and the new Complete Streets project in Chicago. Each vision was developed over the two weeks with the help of mentors and the expertise of our 2014 SISE crew. Each project was presented before a panel of judges on the final day. 

Group #8 (ReLeaf) took first place overall, while Group #2 (GreenLinks), Group #4 (Turn Up), and Group #12 (Hermes) placed best in their categories... even though, at SISE, we're all winners.

Check out the single PPT slides that our participants used for their elevator pitches they gave at our annual ending convocation!


What They Thought

At the conclusion of each SISE program, we take a couple hours and ask participants to assess the program through a written survey, and then in a "think tank" environment where our director, George Crabtree, moderates a group discussion about the program. We pride ourselves in taking the suggestions of our participants seriously and implementing changes annually, and SISE has become what it is now after seven years of comments and surveys. While we can't divulge most of the comments on the surveys, we can share two figures that we have seen time and time again: our participants found SISE to be a truly unique experience.


2014 Testimonials