• YEAR: Senior
  • MAJOR: Nuclear Engineering
  • HOMETOWN: Ludington, Michigan

Anthony Wurl

When Anthony Wurl walked through commencement ceremonies last month, the degree in hand symbolized hard work paying off. From jobs at Subaru to Subway, Anthony worked full time to put himself through Purdue. But hard work still lies ahead as he takes his first steps into a career. Last year, he started the Purdue Energy Forum, a campus-wide group that quickly grew to some 150 student members. The forum's mission: to promote sustainability through all aspects of life. Building more energy-efficient homes ranks high among the club's causes.

Son of a salesman

The son of an automotive services salesman, Anthony says his family moved about every two years. He was born in Michigan but lived all over the Midwest, graduating from high school at the Missouri Military Academy. He developed a gregariousness that allowed him to meet people easily, complementing a scientific side that made him naturally curious about how things worked.

Over several summers, Anthony worked for a large home builder. "That's where I became passionate about providing quality dwellings for a home buyer while keeping in mind the future use of the home," he says.

Sustainability builder

"After many years, energy inefficiency can increase in structures, ultimately putting stress on the power grid and sometimes resulting in blackouts," Anthony observes. As president of the Purdue Energy Forum, Anthony put that sustainability philosophy to the test.

The group organized the Collegiate Energy Summit, which brought U.S. Senator Richard Lugar to campus last fall. A Sustainable Urban Planning Day, work on an electric plane and plans to construct a net-zero energy building continue to drive this diverse group of students. Anthony has also attended conferences around the country and in Canada to help deliver the green message.

Nuclear spokesman

Like almost any student enrolled in the School of Nuclear Engineering, Anthony had to become a bit of a spokesman for the industry, helping to debunk fictions when it comes to the subject of nuclear energy. "Outreach became part of my curriculum," he says. "I've always wanted to help build nuclear power plants, which I believe are America's energy future and the greatest energy source to be utilized by humankind. The Purdue Energy Forum became an extension of what I learned in nuclear engineering."

Becoming a power source

Though his exact path remains unclear, Anthony knows he will stay focused on the energy front. And it's not likely to be simply a 9-to-5 endeavor. "The most important thing for me is to work toward a sustainable future," he says. "From home building to fuel resource consumption. Looking out for the many generations to come is a goal we should all embrace."