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An Undergraduate Power Engineering Curriculum: A Unique And Practical Approach To Bridging The Gap Between Academia And Industry

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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

ECE Poster Session

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

Page Count


Page Numbers

11.211.1 - 11.211.12



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Paper Authors


Ravel Ammerman Colorado School of Mines

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Ravel F. Ammerman (Member IEEE) received his BS in Engineering in 1981 at Colorado School of Mines (CSM), Golden, Colorado. He also received his MS in Electrical Engineering (Power Systems and Control) at the University of Colorado in 1987. He has over 24 years combined teaching and industrial experience. Mr. Ammerman has coauthored and published several technical articles on Engineering Education, Curriculum Development, and Computer Applications related to Power Systems Engineering. Mr. Ammerman is an accomplished teacher having received the CSM Graduating Senior Outstanding Teaching Award in Electrical Engineering on numerous occasions. Currently, Mr. Ammerman is pursuing his Ph.D. degree in Engineering Systems (Electrical Specialty† Power Systems). His research interests include Computer Applications in Power Systems Analysis, Electrical Safety, and Engineering Education.

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Pankaj Sen Colorado School of Mines

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Pankaj K. (PK) Sen (Sr. Member IEEE) received his BSEE degree (with honors) from Jadavpur University, Calcutta, India, and the M.Eng. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from the Technical University of Nova Scotia (Dalhousie University), Halifax, NS, Canada. He is currently a Professor of Engineering and Site Director of the NSF IUCRC Power Systems Engineering Research Center (PSerc) at Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colorado. His research interests include application problems in electric machines, power systems, and power engineering education. He has published more than 90 articles in various archival journals and conference proceedings. Dr. Sen is a Registered Professional Engineer in the State of Colorado.

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An Undergraduate Power Engineering Curriculum: A Unique and Practical Approach to Bridging the Gap between Academia and Industry Abstract

Currently the electric power industry is facing a looming shortage of qualified and well-educated candidates to fill a large number of positions within the electric energy sector. The job of preparing electrical engineering students for careers in the broad interrelated areas of electrical power systems, machines and energy is a formidable challenge. This task is further complicated because it must be accomplished using very limited financial resources within the short time frame available in a typical undergraduate engineering curriculum. This situation provided Colorado School of Mines (CSM) with a unique opportunity to design a very effective undergraduate power engineering curriculum. After presenting an overview of the “power engineering option” at CSM, this paper discusses the course outline, the scope, and the methodology that was adopted to design a very successful and effective advanced power systems laboratory. Our advanced undergraduate energy systems laboratory promotes power engineering education by showcasing the modern simulation tools used by the utility sector. Working closely with industrial representatives helps to prepare the students for the real world problems they will eventually be asked to evaluate.


Established in 1874, Colorado School of Mines (CSM) is one of the oldest institutions of higher education in the State of Colorado.[1] It is known both nationally and internationally for its education and research in all areas of earth sciences including “energy.” CSM is predominantly a comprehensive engineering research university. While offering all the usual benefits of an excellent undergraduate education, CSM places emphasis on programs which lead to professional opportunities. The multi-disciplinary BS degree program in “General Engineering” offered by the Division of Engineering is relatively new. Within this General Engineering degree program, there are currently four areas of specialization: Mechanical, Electrical, Civil and Environmental Science and Engineering.[2]

Currently (2005) at CSM there are 3,846 students including 3,098 undergraduate and 748 graduate students. There are 13 divisions/departments offering ABET accredited engineering degree programs. The Division of Engineering is the largest single unit, about a third of the entire campus and currently has 1,171 students; 1,072 undergraduate and 99 graduate students. The electrical engineering specialty comprises approximately one-fourth of the Division and has eleven full-time faculty members (eight tenure/tenure track plus three lecturers). The Division graduates annually approximately 70 undergraduate students in the electrical specialty. Since CSM has a small group of EE faculty, the program focuses on two “tracks” of multi-disciplinary interest: (i) Energy Systems, Machines and Power Electronics, and (ii) Automation, Sensing and Communication. Both undergraduate and graduate programs at CSM are tailored to meet the distinct needs of the students’ professional ambitions based on the available faculty and research expertise.

Ammerman, R., & Sen, P. (2006, June), An Undergraduate Power Engineering Curriculum: A Unique And Practical Approach To Bridging The Gap Between Academia And Industry Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--271

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