June 14, 2009
June 14, 2009
June 17, 2009
Energy Conversion and Conservation
14.394.1 - 14.394.9
Curriculum Changes Resulting in a New Bachelors of Science in Renewable Energy Engineering
In 2005, the Oregon Institute of Technology (OIT) began offering its new Bachelors of Science in Renewable Energy Systems program (BSRES) at its satellite campus in Portland, Oregon. The BSRES degree was the first of its kind in North America, and it was created to prepare graduates for careers in the various fields associated with renewable energy. These include, but are not limited to, energy management, energy auditing, energy systems planning, energy economics, energy policy and development, carbon accounting and reduction, and energy-related research, as stated in OIT’s 2005-2006 catalogue.
In 2008, however, the BSRES degree was discontinued and replaced by the Bachelors of Science in Renewable Energy Engineering (BSREE). Analysis of the market place and observed growth in career options across the renewable energy fields revealed significant opportunities for graduates with a solid energy engineering education. This paper discusses these and other motivating factors that convinced the Oregon Institute of Technology to change track and begin offering the Bachelors of Science in Renewable Energy Engineering, another first-of-its-kind in North America. The paper also discusses the program objectives, program outcomes, curriculum, and the current enrollment status of the program.
In 2005, the Oregon Institute of Technology introduced the nation’s first Bachelor of Science in Renewable Energy Systems (BSRES) at its Portland campus. Within two years, the BSRES program saw an increase in enrollment from 4 students to 55. By Fall 2007, students from more than twenty states had moved to Oregon specifically to earn the BSRES degree. OIT Portland is a commuter branch campus.
In 2008, however, the BSRES degree was discontinued and replaced by the Bachelors of Science in Renewable Energy Engineering (BSREE). Analysis of the market place and observed growth in career options across the renewable energy fields revealed significant opportunities for graduates with a solid energy engineering education. By design, the original BSRES program was built atop a firm engineering foundation, and the curriculum could generally be described as near engineering-level. But the title of the degree, Renewable Energy Systems, a dearth of 300- level mathematics coursework and the absence of several key engineering fundamentals courses prevented the degree from being considered a full engineering degree, particularly one that could be accredited as an ABET EAC program. By stating engineering as a principle programmatic focus, the career potential for graduates expanded beyond those previously stated to also include engineering-related career paths such as electrochemical systems engineering, energy systems design engineering, building systems engineering and modeling, hydronics engineering, power electronics engineering, HVAC engineering, and power systems engineering.
Bass, R., & White, T. (2009, June), Curriculum Changes Resulting In A New B.S. In Renewable Energy Engineering Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. https://peer.asee.org/4930
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