Asee peer logo

Educating Students about Energy: A Practical Approach

Download Paper |


2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

Energy Conservation and Conversions for Green Buildings

Tagged Division

Energy Conversion and Conservation

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.448.1 - 24.448.11



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Masoud Fathizadeh P.E. Purdue University Calumet (College of Technology)

visit author page

Dr. Fathizadeh has been with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology since 2001. He has worked over 15 years for both private industries and national research labs such as NASA, Argonne and Fermi National Laboratories. Dr. Fathizadeh has established his own consulting and engineering company in 1995 and performed many private and government projects. His areas of interests are, control systems, power systems, power electronics, energy, and system integration.
Dr. Fathizadeh is a registered professional engineer in the State of Illinois.

visit author page

Download Paper |


Educating Students about Energy: A Practical ApproachIndustrial and commercial building consume majority of energy. The energy consumption ofindustrial buildings is tied to the production line. Improving the efficiency of such buildingsmay need production line upgrade and equipment replacement. However, commercial buildingsaccount for 19% of the energy consumed in the United States. The types of buildings that usemore than two-thirds of that energy are office and retail buildings, educational and health-carebuildings, and lodging. More than half the energy used by commercial buildings goes towardheating and lighting. Opportunities for commercial buildings include improving the operationsand maintenance of existing buildings, and finding ways to deal with the split incentives thatoften occur between the bill-payers and the tenants of the building. Additionally, in many cases(particularly in schools and public buildings) capital is not always readily available for efficiencyimprovements. At a national level; energy inefficiency poses steep economic and environmentthreats. On a local level, increasing energy efficiency is important to small businesses for theircontinued success. On a more tangible level, improving energy efficiency can lower utility costsfor building and operation of the business. Due to decline in economy in recent years, tenants oflarge building have difficulties in paying their utility bills. To help stay attractive and relevant topotential new businesses, commercial building must stay cost-competitive with other markets.Incentives from utilities, local and federal governments provide opportunity to increase energyefficiency and lower energy usage costs of commercial buildings. The value of energy efficiencyin properly implemented construction standards is universally recognized as the easiest and mostcost-effective way to help consumers save energy and money, make housing more affordable,and reduce air pollution. Buildings can benefit from the incentive and lower energy usage.Students graduating these days need to be educated about energy and energy management. Toaddress this issue a graduate course is developed to address the energy management, efficiencyevaluation and their implementation. Furthermore, the graduate program in EngineeringTechnology at Purdue University Calumet developed a focus area in the energy with fourrequired courses. This paper presents the energy focus program, courses and their topics.Students in the program are required to present a practical project to apply the energy efficiencyprincipals and examine different available potentials to improve building energy efficiency andprovide recommendations for further cost savings. A real case study is presented to demonstratethe implementation of these principals. The energy efficiency improvement needs auditing,mitigation, pinpointing the culprit, finding remedy, calculating the incentives, implementing thesolution and measuring the energy usage. At the conclusion, evidences are provided todemonstrate the effectiveness of this graduate program.

Fathizadeh, M. (2014, June), Educating Students about Energy: A Practical Approach Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--20339

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2014 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015