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An Integrated Utilities Masters Of Engineering Program

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Emerging Trends in Engineering Education Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

11.197.1 - 11.197.5



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Paper Authors

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Frank Barnes University of Colorado-Boulder

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract



Engineers and managers of electric, water, gas and transportation utilities face severe challenges associated with security, quality, availability, reliability and profitability issues. They must solve interrelated system problems with respect to generation of electricity, transportation of fuel, and potable and wastewater. To solve these problems, engineers and managers of utilities will be required to be proficient in a broader range of disciplines than the traditional engineering Master of Science, MS, in electrical or civil engineering. The University of Colorado is addressing this educational opportunity with an Integrated Utilities Management Program for master of engineering, ME, candidates. The ME program consists of three interdisciplinary courses covering utility history, management, law and policy, and economics. These courses include topics on business, management, and legal issues as they relate to federal and state regulation, as well as people-related leadership issues. The electric utilities option of this program will be centered on three core courses that include conventional and renewable energy sources, transmission and distribution, security and availability, power quality and reliability. Elective courses will include courses on power electronics, data communication, and control systems. A planned capstone course consists of either operations research or the investigation and resolution of a pending utility project such as the right-of-way of transmission lines, specification of new power plants, retrofitting of power plants or their impact on the environment. The Civil Engineering portion of the program has a similar core of courses related to water resources or transportation and includes courses on life cycle engineering and civil infrastructure systems. The Interdisciplinary Telecommunications Program has a core of communications courses center on data communications, wireless, and security. A unique feature of the proposed program is bringing students with these three diverse areas of interest together to share experiences and different approaches to common problems.

It is expected that candidates for this MS Program or ME will have a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering or science and many will be currently employed by utilities, in private industry and public agencies. Full-time students or part-time students can complete the ME program within one or two years of intensive study, respectively. Courses will be taught both on campus and nationwide via the distance education facilities of the Center for Advanced Engineering and Technology Education (CAETE) of the University of Colorado.


The utilities are all facing major changes including the changes in the technologies available to them and the changes in society’s expectations and structure. Optical and wireless communications along with very cheap computing power change the way we can operate large water, power, sewer and traffic systems and they are completely changing our communications systems. Security is an issue in away we have not faced for more that half a century where there are groups of people who want to cause

Barnes, F. (2006, June), An Integrated Utilities Masters Of Engineering Program Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--1044

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