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Energy Engineering Undergraduate Degree Program: Lessons Learned from Program Development and Launch

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Installation, Integration, and Development

Tagged Division

Energy Conversion and Conservation

Tagged Topic


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Paper Authors


Greg Kremer Ohio University

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Robe Professor and Chair of Mechanical Engineering, Ohio University
Program Director: Energy Engineering
Director: "Designing to Make A Difference" ME / EnE senior capstone design experience.

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In response to reports of an aging work force in the energy industry, the emergence of horizontal hydraulic fracturing as the latest technology that brings both opportunities and challenges, and discussions with industrial advisory boards about university's role in these issues, we launched an undergraduate Energy Engineering program. The goal is to prepare students to evaluate energy options (related to conversion, distribution, storage and utilization) on a system level, balancing technical considerations, energy policy, life cycle cost, and environmental impacts. A review of existing Energy Engineering programs showed many at the graduate level, and just a few at the undergraduate level. A curriculum was developed that integrated technical fundamentals and some advanced topics from existing chemical, electrical and mechanical engineering courses, economic analysis from existing Engineering Economy and Economics of Energy courses, an updated Engineering and Public Policy course, a new Applied Systems Engineering course, and a few Energy Engineering specific courses related to fuel and energy conversions. Administratively, the program is housed in the Mechanical Engineering Department. The program first began accepting transfer students in 2013, and expects to have its first graduates in Spring 2016-17.

Discussion topics include the definition of an Energy Engineer, differentiating Energy Engineering graduates from those in Chemical, Electrical or Mechanical who work in the energy industry, job placements and demand for graduates, enrollment details (including whether the program draws students from other programs, rather than attracting ‘new’ students for the college), input received from Energy Engineering Professional societies and the Energy Engineering Industrial Advisory Board, and program development and evaluation.

Kremer, G. (2017, June), Energy Engineering Undergraduate Degree Program: Lessons Learned from Program Development and Launch Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28224

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