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Integration Of A Wind Power Assessment Project Throughout The Undergraduate Curriculum

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

New Trends in Energy Curriculum

Tagged Division

Energy Conversion and Conservation

Page Count


Page Numbers

12.935.1 - 12.935.12



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Paper Authors

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Bradley Rogers Arizona State University

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Mark Henderson Arizona State University

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Chell Roberts Arizona State University

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

Integration of a Wind Power Assessment Project throughout the Undergraduate Curriculum Abstract

In the summer of 2005, simultaneous with the initial admission of a freshman class to a new general engineering program at the Polytechnic campus, ASU entered into an agreement with the Hopi nation in northern Arizona to assess the potential for development of wind energy resources on Hopi land. This provided a unique opportunity to involve students at the freshmen level in a problem based learning experience as they received one credit for assisting with the initial phase of the project, which included the erection of a 50 meter instrumentation tower on the reservation. At this point (January 2007) approximately ten month’s worth of data has been obtained, and the analysis of this data is proceeding. Consequently, since the analysis of wind data requires substantially more technical maturity than that which was required for the first phase, there is another opportunity to involve students, but this time at the sophomore level. In this paper, the ongoing problem based learning experience based on the Hopi wind assessment project at ASU Polytechnic is described.

The series of annual time scales necessary to complete wind power assessment and development projects serendipitously coincide with academic time scales. In addition, if the data indicates that wind power development is economically and environmentally feasible on the Hopi reservation, the project will have entered the development phase as these students approach graduation. As a result, simultaneous with increasing levels of engineering ability, these students have the opportunity to be involved in an applied research and development effort at correspondingly increasing levels of technical responsibility throughout their undergraduate experience.


Beginning in the fall semester of 2005, an multi-disciplinary engineering program was initiated at the Polytechnic campus of Arizona State University. A key feature of this program is the emphasis on a Problem Based Learning (PBL) approach to engineering education. Under this pedagogy, students are assigned engineering projects that are carefully planned by the faculty so that their completion requires mastery of specific sets of traditional engineering topics. Whenever possible, needed topics are presented by faculty members on a “just in time” basis throughout the curriculum, so that students immediately apply theoretical knowledge to real world engineering problems. This paper presents an example of the implementation of this pedagogy in a course designed to involve students in an ongoing research project.

In the fall of 2005, a project to assess the possibility of wind energy development on the Hopi nation in Northern Arizona was initiated in partnership with the tribe.1 The location of the Hopi nation is illustrated on Figure 1 by the green outlined area in the northeast portion of the state. As figure 1 also illustrates, macroscopic evaluation of the climate for wind energy in Arizona is not promising. However, microclimates caused by the rugged topography of the high desert on which the Hopi reservation is located do have such promise, and this project seeks to accurately evaluate this potential.

Rogers, B., & Henderson, M., & Roberts, C. (2007, June), Integration Of A Wind Power Assessment Project Throughout The Undergraduate Curriculum Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--1965

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