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Board 91: Work-in-Progress: A Systematic Gap Analysis of the Australian Power Engineering Curriculum

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2023 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Baltimore , Maryland

Publication Date

June 25, 2023

Start Date

June 25, 2023

End Date

June 28, 2023

Conference Session

Energy Conversion, Conservation and Nuclear Engineering Division (ECCNE) Poster Session

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Energy Conversion and Conservation and Nuclear Engineering Division (ECCNE)

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Paper Authors


Nisaka Munasinghe University of New South Wales

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Nisaka Munasinghe is an enthusiastic undergraduate student at the University of New South Wales. She will be graduating with a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering (Hons), 2023, with her thesis project presenting research for improvements to the Australian Power Engineering Curriculum. Since 2020, she has been working in construction as a cadet engineer with Sydney Trains, helping deliver and commission railway signalling projects for the NSW transport system. Outside her professional and academic pursuits, she also tutors mathematics at a primary and secondary level.

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Hua Chai University of New South Wales

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Hua Chai received his dual Bachelor's Degrees in both Electrical Engineering and Project Management from North China Electric Power University, China, in 2014. He received his Master's degree (Master of Philosophy) in Electrical Engineering at the University of New South Wales, Australia, in 2019. He is currently a Ph.D. student in the Energy Systems, School of Electrical Engineering and Telecommunications, UNSW. His research interests include power engineering education, curriculum design and development, and condition monitoring of power system equipment.

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Jayashri Ravishankar UNSW Sydney

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A/Prof Jayashri Ravishankar is a Scientia Education Fellow and Associate Dean (Education) in the Faculty of Engineering at the University of New South Wales (UNSW), Sydney. Her teaching and research interests include power system modelling, analysis and control, renewable energy integration, smart grids and micro grids.
Jayashri has a deep interest in learning and teaching, and consistently implements strategies using technology innovations and industry partnerships to improve students’ active learning. She is institutionally and internationally recognized for the impact of her innovative, research-led and highly effective teaching and leadership. She leads best practice advanced teaching in electrical engineering through imaginative initiatives, including blended industry lectures, teamwork and flipped mode strategies. Esteem indicators include Senior Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy awarded by Advance HE (UK), UNSW Teaching Excellence Awards and the Australian Awards for University Teaching Citation.

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Australia is currently undergoing a transition to a new energy model that relies on renewable and clean energy resources, as part of a global effort to combat climate change. Despite setting a target to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, the energy sector continues to heavily depend on professionals who possess expertise in fossil fuels. Consequently, a significant shift is required in the necessary knowledge base and technical skills within the modern power industry. The existing knowledge and skills gap between what is taught in the higher education curriculum and what is required by the renewable energy industry is one of the prevalent issues that needs to be addressed. Australian universities now have the responsibility to equip upcoming power engineering graduates for the imminent demands of an evolving energy industry. This paper presents a systematic gap analysis (in progress) that assesses how well current power engineering curricula addresses the concerns of building a competent workforce that can resolve the technical challenges of a changing energy industry. The methodology involves collecting data from selected power system related subjects and programs at Australian universities and comparing them against responses from seasoned industry professionals through interviews. The preliminary results of the study demonstrate the specific knowledge and skills required by power engineers, highlighting the need for educational institutions to continually update and improve the curriculum framework to bridge the gap. This contribution aims to inform educators on what can be included and redesigned in power engineering courses to adequately prepare a workforce that benefits the global energy transition.

Munasinghe, N., & Chai, H., & Ravishankar, J. (2023, June), Board 91: Work-in-Progress: A Systematic Gap Analysis of the Australian Power Engineering Curriculum Paper presented at 2023 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Baltimore , Maryland. 10.18260/1-2--42995

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