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An Industrial-Academic Partnership for an Eyes-on Electrical Energy Experiences Class

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Curricular Innovations in College-Industry Partnerships

Tagged Division

College Industry Partnerships

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.166.1 - 25.166.9



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Paper Authors


Donald G. Colliver P.E. University of Kentucky

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Donald Colliver is professor, Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering Department and Associate Director Power and Energy Institute of Kentucky and Associate Director of the Kentucky Industrial Assessment Center, University of Kentucky.

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Lawrence Holloway University of Kentucky

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Lawrence Holloway is TVA Professor and Chair, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Director, Power and Energy Institute of Kentucky (PEIK).

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An Industrial-Academic Partnership for an Eyes-On Electrical Energy Experiences ClassDeclining 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, and others. To address these challenges willrequire engineers across multiple disciplines, but all sharing a fundamental core of knowledge onpower and energy.In response to this need for a power and energy engineering workforce, with advice and guidancefrom an Industrial Advisory Board, the authors were part of a team that established two Powerand Energy Certificate programs, one for undergraduate students and one for graduate students.Both certificate programs are multidisciplinary across engineering, including electrical,mechanical, chemical, civil, computer, materials, mining, and biosystems engineering. Allstudents take a core of common classes to give them a base of knowledge across powergeneration, transmission and distribution, economics, and public policy. Our Industrial AdvisoryBoard emphasized to us in the development stages that it was valuable for the studentsgraduating from the program that they should also have a broader vision of the energy area thanjust what they would normal learn in textbooks. They indicated it would be important for thestudents to have actually visited and learned about various sites related to energy production,distribution and use.This paper will discuss the course developed for the students to initially gain an understanding ofwhat they would be visiting, then actually visit, learn, and write a journal of their visits toregional power and energy related sites such as different types of generation facilities (coal,hydro, natural gas, bio-gas, wind, solar, pumped storage, and nuclear plants), transmission anddistribution facilities (system-wide control and dispatch and smart grid demonstration), and otherenergy related facilities (net-zero-energy building, gas fracturing, geothermal districtheating/cooling and a carbon capture and sequestration site). Assessments from the studentsabout the course and its learning opportunities will also be presented, as well as feedback fromthe industry partners. The class represents a potential model for exposing students to industryfacilities as a form of learning laboratory, and to industry experts who can speak on the issuesand technologies in the current power industry. This paper will also discuss some of thechallenges in developing and executing the course, and issues that may occur for otherinstitutions who may consider replicating such a course.

Colliver, D. G., & Holloway, L. (2012, June), An Industrial-Academic Partnership for an Eyes-on Electrical Energy Experiences Class Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--20926

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