Championship Belt Awarded To `Greenest' Team At Duke

Duke's first Green Devil Smackdown competition draws 63 teams

Members of the
Members of the "greengineering" team display the Green Devil Smackdown championship belt. See the slideshow below for more photos.

The champion of the first annual Green Devil Smackdown sustainability competition was crowned in a ceremony at the Nello L. Teer Building on May 3.

The "greengineering" team from the Pratt School of Engineering received a custom-designed championship belt from Executive Vice President Tallman Trask III, who serves as co-chair for the Campus Sustainability Committee.

The team, comprised of 13 staff members and one graduate student, garnered an average of 1,226 points per team member. James Gaston and August Burns led their team and all individual participants with 2,380 points each. The team beat out 62 other teams representing a total of nearly 1,200 students, faculty and staff at Duke.

"On behalf of the greengineering team, I want to say thank you," said Gaston, a program director at Pratt. "This competition really showed the importance of teamwork and the difference small changes can make if we all work together."

The team also received a certificate for $650 in offsets purchased by the university to cover the team's collective carbon emissions at Duke for one year.

Tom Katsouleas, dean of the Pratt School, joined the team to celebrate its success and took his turn trying on the championship belt with the other members of the team. The belt will remain with the greeningeering team until the beginning of the next Green Devil Smackdown.

"What a great competition this has been," Katsouleas said. "I am very proud of our Pratt team and what they have accomplished. Of course, the big winner is Duke. Through efforts like this we are becoming a more sustainable university and are getting closer to our goal of becoming climate neutral by 2024. We have taken a big step toward a smaller carbon footprint."