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Integrating A Renewable Energy Degree Into An Existing Mechanical Engineering Program

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

ME Education Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.780.1 - 10.780.7



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Paper Authors

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Robert Rogers

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John Anderson

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Corey Jones

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

Integrating a Renewable Energy Degree into an Existing Mechanical Engineering Program

Corey Jones, Robert Rogers, John Anderson

Department of Mechanical Engineering Oregon Institute of Technology Klamath Falls, OR 97601


The following paper will discuss the need to integrate renewable energy programs into technology-based colleges. Illustrated in this paper is the basis of a renewable energy program, which can be adapted to an existing mechanical engineering or mechanical engineering technology degree. Many of the courses offered at major technological colleges in their mechanical engineering programs will fit the proposed curriculum. Technological colleges will be the focus of education because of their “hands on” educational approach. Oregon Institute of Technology will be used as the foundation of a typical technical college. The paper will also give an overview of the many different possible studies of renewable energy, such as biomass energy, fuel cells, geothermal, hydroelectric, solar electricity, solar thermal, and wind energy; however, an emphasis on biomass in the form of ethanol fuel research is given.

I. Introduction to integrating a renewable energy degree

The renewable energy industry continues to rapidly expand. A key component in the drive to developing a sustainable energy supply is the training of a large number of renewable energy engineers. The photovoltaic industry has been growing at a rate of 30% annually.1 In addition, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the National Center for Photovoltaics predicts that within 20 years, the photovoltaic industry will employ more than 150,000 Americans in the domestic, high-tech photovoltaic industry.2 Many technology- based schools often overlook educational programs in renewable energy engineering. This can lead to a shortage of appropriately trained engineers in such fields. Implementing a renewable energy-engineering program will give the student a solid foundation in fundamental physics and design-installation techniques required to work with renewable technologies. The field of study will be considered in many categories including biomass energy, fuel cells, geothermal, hydroelectric, solar electricity, solar thermal, and wind energy. Learning would include hands-on training in a modern computer-based laboratory setting where engineering standards would be emphasized throughout. Employment opportunities exist in small renewable energy businesses, energy companies, equipment supply companies, oil & gas field service companies, utilities, and international agencies. The growth of system installations is outpacing the training of qualified technicians. A personnel shortage is expected to increase demand for employees who are familiar with the science behind the technology and who are able to adapt to rapid changes in the field. The goal of such a

Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education

Rogers, R., & Anderson, J., & Jones, C. (2005, June), Integrating A Renewable Energy Degree Into An Existing Mechanical Engineering Program Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--14997

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: © 2005 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