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Collaboration With Industry To Promote Energy Conservation And Education

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2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

Professional Practice and AEC Education

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

14.334.1 - 14.334.12

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Paper Authors

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Mahmoud Alahmad University of Nebraska, Lincoln

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Patrick Wheeler University of Nebraska, Omaha

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Avery Schwer University of Nebraska, Lincoln

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Dale Tiller University of Nebraska, Lincoln

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Andrea Wilkerson University of Nebraska, Lincoln

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Joshua Eiden University of Nebraska, Lincoln

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

Collaboration with Industry to Promote Energy Conservation and Education

Abstract The cooperation between academia and industry exposed Architectural Engineering students to a unique learning opportunity. The project addressed student learning and exposure to re- search while concurrently addressing energy conservation. The collaborative project allowed the expertise of University of Nebraska professors and students to be utilized in combination with the Omaha Public Power District’s (OPPD) financial and customer base support. The relationships built enriched student learning by providing real world engineering experiences. The students refined their research, communication, and presentation skills by interacting with and presenting engineering solutions to a wide range of professionals, engineering stu- dents, and the community. The students worked closely with professors to prepare profes- sional documents, analyze data, and develop future research plans. Student interaction with the community also provides real world interactions in a business environment.

The University of Nebraska in conjunction with OPPD is investigating residential energy consumption and behavior change as a result of visual and digital real-time energy and cost information. The purpose of the study is to evaluate the effect on household electricity con- sumption and determine if real-time feedback will aid residential customers in reducing their energy usage. The educational benefit of this research grant provides students with real life work experiences in research and offers an outlet for learning about energy conservation strategies and concepts. Additionally, the study will provide the utility critical information necessary in projecting the future capacity needs for peaking power plants. I. Introduction A common difficulty amongst academic engineering programs is the minimal amount of coursework that makes a solid connection to industry applications. Upper level courses should ease the transition from the university to the work place environment. There are sev- eral program models that ease the transition by exposing students to the industry environment during their education.

One program model provides students the opportunity to observe professionals in the work- place. Another program allows students to work in the engineering industry as part of their course curriculum. A third program model tells students to take time off from school to work independently for an industry partner1. With all of these options it is difficult to iden- tify the best model. Each serves to further the student’s understanding of industry challenges commonly encountered and expose students to real world problems. Substantial benefits can be realized by both industry and academia when the unique re- sources of each institution are focused upon achieving a common goal. Replicating the ex- periences and knowledge that students gain through practical application of their knowledge in an industry setting is unrealistic in a classroom environment. Many institutions have im- plemented industry placement programs as a part of their curriculum in order to expose stu- dents to industry applications. Cooperative Education for Enterprise Development (CEED) is a university-guided industry placement program utilized by some universities. The program gives the industry partner the chance to capitalize on the resources of the university and vice

Alahmad, M., & Wheeler, P., & Schwer, A., & Tiller, D., & Wilkerson, A., & Eiden, J. (2009, June), Collaboration With Industry To Promote Energy Conservation And Education Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas.

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