San Antonio, Texas
June 10, 2012
June 10, 2012
June 13, 2012
25.76.1 - 25.76.11
A Multidisciplinary Power and Energy Engineering ProgramDeclining enrollments in power engineering over the last decade and the anticipated loss ofengineers through retirements from the power and energy workforce have focused attention onthe need for a rapid increase in the power and energy engineering workforce. Furthermore,there are a wide variety of challenges facing the nation in power and energy, including changingmixes of energy, development of alternative energy sources, creation of a Smart Grid,minimizing environmental impacts of energy, using available fossil fuel resources in an evolvingregulatory climate, and others. Addressing these challenges will require engineers from multipletraditional disciplines to address an array of discipline-specific technical, business, and policyproblems relying on fundamental core knowledge of power and energy.In response to this need for a power and energy engineering workforce, two Power and EnergyCertificate programs were established, one for undergraduate students and one for graduatestudents. Both certificate programs are multidisciplinary across engineering, including electrical,mechanical, biosystems, chemical, civil, computer, materials, and mining engineering. Allstudents pursuing one of these certificates take a core of common classes to give them a base ofknowledge across power generation, transmission and distribution, power economics, and publicpolicy. Following the core, students take more focused courses that go deeper into power andenergy topics within their specific engineering discipline. For the graduate certificate, there is anEnergy Experiences course where students make weekly visits to regional power and energyrelated sites, including a wind farm, various coal (mine to power plant) facilities, a hydroelectricplant, a nuclear plant, a biogas (landfill) facility, a zero-energy building, a solar installation, apumped storage facility, a smart grid demonstration, and a carbon capture site. Students in theprogram also are eligible for scholarships for a six-week international renewable energy programoffered in Pamplona, Spain.These new certificate programs have gained positive interest and involvement by students, buthave presented challenges. For example, prerequisite knowledge requirements must be balancedacross different engineering disciplines, and the certificate program must be coordinated to keepadditional courseload required by the certificate beyond the discipline requirements at a modestlevel, The full paper will discuss more detail of the structure of the program, the challengesfaced in implementing the program, and how these challenges were addressed to improve theaccessibility of the program across engineering disciplines.
Holloway, L., & Cheng, Y., & Colliver, D. G., & Cramer, A., & Dolloff, P. A., & Gregory, B., & Groppo, J. G., & Liao, Y., & Lipka, S. M., & Neathery, J., & Parker, J. M., & Singh, V., & Sottile, J., & Taylor, T. R., & Andrews, R. (2012, June), A Multidisciplinary Power and Energy Engineering Program Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--20836
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