Columbia University is pleased to announce that it will be hosting its 14th annual Energy Symposium Case Competition on Thursday, February 7, 2019! The Case Competition allows teams of 3 to 5 graduate students to present creative and innovative solutions for some of the most pressing challenges facing the energy and environment sectors today. This year, the Case Competition will be developed and sponsored by NRG, on the topic of “Energy Transitions.” This is an incredible opportunity to apply your skills to solve complex challenges in the energy sector and that provides participants with an exclusive opportunity to interact with industry-leading executives, policymakers, educators, and students from across the country.

The winning team will be awarded $2,500, the 2nd place $1,500, and the 3rd place $500.


Participant Requirements


We invite graduate students from all universities to participate in this Case Competition.


  • Each team must consist of 3 to 5 currently-enrolled graduate students in established programs such as MBA, MPA, MPP, MSC, and others. Interdisciplinary teams are encouraged, but it is not mandatory. Undergraduate students are not eligible to apply.

  • At least 3 members of each team selected for Round 1 must present their proposal at Columbia University in New York City on Thursday, February 7, 2019.

  • While there is no registration fee to enter and attend the Case Competition, the Friday Conference Fee is not waived.




Signup is now closed


The Case Competition will have three rounds:


Round 1: Preliminary Round with Mini-case

All registered teams will be asked to complete a mini-case. A review committee will score your answers based on the creativity, structure, and professionalism of your presentation as well as the depth and scope of your analysis. A select 10-15 teams will advance to the Official Round.

Round 2: Official Round (Closed Session)

The teams selected to advance to the Official Round of the Case Competition will receive the full case on January 23, 2019. Teams will be invited to present their case to a panel of judges at Columbia University in New York on February 7, 2019. A judging committee will score the proposals and select 4 teams to advance to the Final Round.


Round 3: Final Round (Open Session)

The 4 teams selected to advance to the Final Round will receive preliminary feedback from the judges before being asked to refine and present their final proposal (which is open to the public) on the evening of February 7, 2019. A panel of judges will evaluate the deliverables and award the top 3 winning teams.

Event Timeline


December 21, 2018: Registration opens

January 12, 2019: Registration closes

January 13, 2019: Mini-case will be released

January 21, 2019: Deadline to submit the mini-case analysis

January 23, 2019: Teams advancing to Round 2 will be announced

January 24, 2019: The full case will be released to teams for the Official Round

February 6, 2019: Deadline to submit the full case proposal

February 7, 2019: Official and Final Round will take place on the same day. Teams will present their solutions to the panel at Columbia University

February 8, 2019: The top 3 teams will be awarded their prizes during the second day of the Energy Symposium




Light refreshments will be available for teams and judges all day, but breakfast and lunch is not included. There are many food options on both Amsterdam Avenue and Broadway, just a short walk away. 

If you have any questions about the Case Competition or the Columbia University Energy
Symposium, please contact