The National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) has a longstanding commitment to encouraging and supporting students who are interested in pursuing careers in the electrical construction industry.
Illinois Tech is fortunate to have one of the most active NECA Student Chapters in the United States. Illinois Tech NECA Student Chapter members major in industrial technology and management, architectural engineering, civil engineering, construction management, and electrical engineering. INTM adjunct faculty member Dan Tomal supervises chapter activities, with support from professional members of the Electrical Contractors’ Association of City of Chicago (ECA), a subsidiary of NECA.
Chapter members and the ECA have been instrumental in establishing the university’s Smart Tech Lab, which opened in 2017. The lab houses donated equipment and services from many electrical construction and contracting companies for students to use during hands-on projects related to embedded systems, wireless technologies, and green energy . In 2018 the chapter was featured in a NECA national video that showcased the lab and its cutting-edge work as well as the opportunities it provided to work with new lighting and electronic technologies.
Chapter members have also participated in Illinois Tech’s Interprofessional Projects (IPRO) Program courses sponsored by ECA. In these IPRO courses—Techno-Economics of Smart Grid Renewable Energy Technology and Developing Insights That Support Energy Efficiency Improvement Strategies for Varied Build Environments—students have designed energy-efficient plans for many Chicago landmark buildings and learned to enhance energy efficiency while adhering to the strict landmark status building codes. These buildings include Soldier Field, the historic Victory Gardens Theatre, a Chicago Public Schools building, and the Chicago Institute of Cultural Affairs. Many of the members’ projects have been entered in the Green Energy Challenge, a national competition for universities that is held at annually at NECA’s National Conferences in various cities in the U.S. Illinois Tech students have won first- and third-place finishes in the challenge over the years.
For information about Illinois Tech NECA Student Chapter membership, contact Tomal at email@example.com.