Carnegie Mellon University engineering graduate students (l-r) Benjamin Flath, Constantine Samaras, Inês Margarida Lima de Azevedo, Shahzeen Attari, and David Dzombak, a professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Carnegie Mellon and faculty director of the Steinbrenner Institute for Environmental Education and Research, won first place in Johnson Controls’ TEAMS Competition. (Click on the image for an enlarged view.)

MILWAUKEE - Johnson Controls Inc. announced that four students of Carnegie Mellon University are the first-place winners in its open letter-writing competition - Tomorrow’s Energy Ambassadors, Managers, and Scholars (TEAMS).

The contest challenged students to demonstrate their awareness of important energy and sustainability issues by challenging the field of presidential candidates to clarify their own positions on the topic. The students’ winning letter appeared as a full-page ad in the Nov. 20 Pittsburgh and Washington regional editions ofUSA Today.

“We challenged students at more than 200 member schools of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education to draft an open letter to the field of 2008 presidential candidates,” said Clay Nesler, vice president of global energy and sustainability at Johnson Controls. “The letter from Carnegie Mellon students in particular demonstrates that this generation is both inspired and impatient. We congratulate them for outlining an informed and timely query to the candidates.”

In addition to having its letter published in USA Today, Johnson Controls will present the Carnegie Mellon team with a $10,000 check for the school’s scholarship fund. The team will also receive a $2,500 grant from Johnson Controls and will be invited guests at the 2008 Energy Efficiency Forum in Washington.

The second- and third-place teams will receive grants of $1,500 and $1,000, respectively. Placing second in the competition was the team from Georgia Institute of Technology, third place went to the University of Montana.

To read the winning letter, visit the Web Exclusives section of Extra Edition at

Publication date:01/14/2008