Energy Studies Minor Student Wins 2018 McCloskey Grand Prize

Rory Burke Mccloskey

Congratulations to senior Energy Studies Minor (ESM) and Student Energy Board (SEB) member Rory Burke who was a member of the winning team for the 2018 McCloskey Grand Prize. His team, Enlighten Mobility, split the $50,000 award at the McCloskey New Venture Competition on Friday, April 27. This award is given to individuals or teams of Notre Dame students or alumni with outstanding ideas for business solutions for new products, services, or technology. Final presentations for this year’s competition were given during IDEA Week and judged by a panel including Daymond John from ABC’s Shark Tank and Matt Rogers, co-founder of NEST.


The team leader for this project was Marissa Koscielski, an ESTEEM graduate student at Notre Dame, who worked with Notre Dame’s IDEA Center to create a unique medical device company, also called Enlighten Mobility. Other team members included Jacob Burger, MBA ’19 and Jeff Riney, BS ’19.


Rory is a prime example of the high-achieving students who benefit from the interdisciplinary nature of centers on campus. Just as his participation with the Robotics Football Club and the IDEA Center enabled him to find a meaningful connection with Marissa’s McCloskey team, his passion for greener energy solutions brought him to ND Energy. As a member of the SEB, Rory helped to teach energy concepts to fourth graders at Madison STEAM Academy and served as a judge at the Northern Indiana Regional Science and Engineering Fair. As a mechanical engineering major with the Energy Studies Minor, Rory will be contributing to a new ESM summer course in New Zealand that was created as a collaborative effort between ND Energy and the Minor in Resiliency and Sustainability of Engineering Systems. In his “spare time,” Rory also participates as a member of the Varsity Fencing Team.


Rory Burke Madison

ND Energy interacts with many outstanding undergraduate as well as graduate students and faculty. There are currently 87 students working on the ESM, 37 members of the SEB, 293 associated graduate students, and 80 affiliated faculty members. Our collaborations span the University, the country, and the world as we pursue our mission to “innovate, educate, and influence the world toward a more sustainable energy future.”


ND Energy is a University Research Center whose mission is to build a better world by creating new energy technologies and systems and educating individuals to help solve the most critical energy challenges facing our world today. For more information, visit the ND Energy website at or contact Barbara Villarosa, Business and Communications Program Director, at or 574-631-4776.