The University of Wollongong’s Solar Decathlon-winning Team UOW Australia received the Wollongong Lord Mayor’s Special Award as part of Wollongong City Council’s Australia Day Awards.

In August last year, the team won the Solar Decathlon at Datong in China, in which university teams from around the world had the task of designing and constructing a sustainable and energy-efficient building. The competition has been dubbed the ‘Energy Olympics,’ and is recognised as one of the most important sustainability competitions in the world.

Team UOW Australia, made up of students from UOW and TAFE Illawarra, was the first ever Australian team to be invited to compete in the prestigious event.

More than 35,000 people visited the Illawarra Flame house at the Solar Decathlon exhibition grounds at Datong, making it one of the most popular exhibits.

The team’s marketing manager Jack Breen speaking on behalf of fellow team members said he was delighted to be recognised with the latest accolade from the Lord Mayor.

At the time of their win, UOW Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Wellings said the team members were wonderful ambassadors, not just for their institutions, but for the Illawarra and for Australia.

The team took first place with 957.6 of a possible 1000 points (the highest score awarded in any Solar Decathlon competition). The victory generated extensive global media coverage.

Words by Elise Pitt. Originally Published on UOW Newsroom