Published: Jan. 30, 2006

A University of Colorado student from the school's first-place Solar Decathlon team will sit with First Lady Laura Bush during the President's State of the Union address tonight.

Jeff Lyng, a graduate student in the civil, environmental and architectural engineering department at CU-Boulder who was project manager for CU's 2005 Solar Decathlon team, was invited to the event as a special guest of the White House.

The president's address, which begins at 9 p.m. EST (7 p.m. MST), will be televised on all major networks.

Prior to the address, Lyng was scheduled to meet with Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman and then to visit the White House before going over to the U.S. Capitol for the address. Afterward, Lyng expects to meet President Bush and other members of his Cabinet.

"I feel honored to represent the University of Colorado as a guest of the First Lady," said Lyng. "This is a great opportunity to spotlight renewable energy throughout the nation and the work of the University of Colorado Solar Decathlon Team."

CU won the first-place trophy in the Solar Decathlon in both years the contest has been held, 2002 and 2005. The contest challenges students to design, build and operate the most attractive, efficient and comfortable solar home, while educating the public about alternative energy technologies.

After CU's victory in October 2005, Lyng was invited to speak to the Energy Subcommittee of the U.S. House Committee on Science about the project and alternative energy technologies.

The CU Solar Decathlon project was a collaborative effort of the CU-Boulder College of Engineering and Applied Science and the CU-Denver College of Architecture and Planning. For more information visit