A multi-disciplinary team of University of Central Florida students took a step toward bringing a class project to life when executives from OUC – The Reliable One and Orlando City Soccer Club selected their design for a solar-powered art sculpture that will grace the entry of Orlando City Stadium, the home of Orlando City in Major League Soccer and Orlando Pride in the National Women’s Soccer League.

“Gyration” was one of three sculptures created in response to a challenge by project sponsor OUC to develop an aesthetically pleasing sculpture that doubles as a source of renewable energy. “Gyration” features a rendition of a soccer ball designed with intricate gold metal that casts unique, lattice-like shadows on the surrounding ground. The sculpture, after lighting effects, will produce 1,264 kWh annually, more than enough to offset an electric-vehicle charging station – a requirement of OUC’s Emerging Technology team, which supervised the project along the way.

“Artistry and engineering go hand-in-hand. That’s why this partnership makes perfect sense for OUC and our community,” said Linda Ferrone, OUC Vice President of Strategy, Sustainability and Emerging Technologies. “The beautiful sculpture is a testament to our continued commitment to ensuring a reliable, sustainable future for generations to come.”

The student team was one of three who presented their sculptures during two presentations that included judging panels comprised of OUC and Orlando SC executives. Each team showcased a one-eighth sized model of their sculpture and then tackled questions related to their artistic approach, material selection, weight load, weather-resistance, solar power generation, and construction plan.

The winning sculpture was created by an 11-member team of mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, and art students. The full-scale sculpture will stand more than 15 feet high and almost 10 feet in diameter, and w

ill be placed at the corner of W. Church Street and Glenn Lane.

The project provides UCF students with practical experience and the opportunity to work with industry experts to bring their concept to fruition. The next step for the selected project is review by Orlando City’s Architectural Review Board. The goal is to have the sculpture in place for the 2019 soccer season.

This is the second time student teams have competed for the opportunity to place their solar sculptures in prominent locations. Last year, four student teams submitted design prototypes for a solar powered sculpture for Lake Nona’s Laureate Park Village Center. OUC and Tavistock executives selected “Sundial,” a 22-foot circular, sculpture with interactive LED lights and musical sounds that serves as a clock by casting shadows from its triangular base.