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A Multidisciplinary Undergraduate Course in Energy Engineering

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2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

ECCD Technical Session 3: Energy and Multidisciplinary

Tagged Division

Energy Conversion and Conservation

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Paper Authors


Radian G. Belu Southern University and A&M College

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Dr. Radian Belu is Associate Professor within Electrical Engineering Department, Southern University, Baton, Rouge, USA. He is holding one PHD in power engineering and other one in physics. Before joining to Southern University Dr. Belu hold faculty, research and industry positions at universities and research institutes in Romania, Canada and United States. He also worked for several years in industry as project manager, senior engineer and consultant. He has taught and developed undergraduate and graduate courses in power electronics, power systems, renewable energy, smart grids, control, electric machines, instrumentation, radar and remote sensing, numerical methods, space and atmosphere physics, and applied physics. His research interests included power system stability, control and protection, renewable energy system analysis, assessment and design, smart microgrids, power electronics and electric machines for non-conventional energy conversion, remote sensing, wave and turbulence, numerical modeling, electromagnetic compatibility and engineering education. During his career Dr. Belu published ten book chapters, several papers in referred journals and in conference proceedings in his areas of the research interests. He has also been PI or Co-PI for various research projects United States and abroad in power systems analysis and protection, load and energy demand forecasting, renewable energy, microgrids, wave and turbulence, radar and remote sensing, instrumentation, atmosphere physics, electromagnetic compatibility, and engineering education.

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Fred Lacy Southern University and A&M College

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Dr. Fred Lacy earned his B.S.E.E. from Howard University in Washington, DC in 1987, his M.S.E. from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD in 1989, and his Ph.D. from Howard University in 1993. Upon completion of his Ph.D., Dr. Lacy joined the Bioengineering Department at University of California, San Diego from 1994 – 1998 as a postdoctoral fellow. Upon completion of his postdoctoral research, Dr. Lacy held a position as a medical device reviewer at the US Food and Drug Administration. Dr. Lacy joined the faculty at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in August 2002 and is currently a professor and chair of the Electrical Engineering Department. Dr. Lacy specializes in developing, manufacturing, and characterizing electronics based microsensors for various applications (including sensors for biomedical applications).

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Power and energy engineering are experiencing a fast growth due to the transition to smart grids, penetration of renewable energy, or energy conservation and efficiency issues. A novel multidisciplinary undergraduate course at junior level on energy engineering that addresses gaps in current power and energy engineering education, providing knowledge and hands-on skills as required by the local energy and power industry was proposed and approved by department, college and university curriculum committees. The course structure and content matches topical coverage with what the energy industry are expecting, e.g. the mandatory training in energy engineering for new hires, working in a nuclear power plant. The course goals and objectives, offered at junior level are to cultivate energy literacy, skills and knowledge to all engineering students, regardless the program, creating a formal basis for energy engineering education. Given the requirements of typical undergraduate engineering course plans, adding general energy engineering course to the existing undergraduate programs is not trivial. We need to find creative ways to fold this course to all engineering students and eventually be offered as elective to the students enrolled into sciences and teacher education programs. We are discussing the lessons challenges and issues to structure the course, selection of the most important energy engineering topics, the pedagogical approaches and the planned course activities. We are actively looking to engage others in this effort and any suggestions are highly valuable and appreciated.

Belu, R. G., & Lacy, F. (2020, June), A Multidisciplinary Undergraduate Course in Energy Engineering Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34022

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