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Managing a Multi-Institution Block Grant for Renewable Electricity Research

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2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

Energy Conversion and Conservation Division Technical Session 2

Tagged Division

Energy Conversion and Conservation

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Paper Authors


Patrick A. Tebbe Minnesota State University, Mankato

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Dr. Patrick Tebbe is a professor and chair of the Department of Mechanical and Civil Engineering at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Dr. Tebbe received B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in Mechanical Engineering as well as the M.S. in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Missouriā€“Columbia. He is currently a member of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), student branch advisor for the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), the American Nuclear Society (ANS), and a student branch advisor for the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).

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Bruce Allen Peterson Minnesota State Energy Center of Excellence

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Bruce Peterson
Dean for Energy Technologies
Executive Director, Minnesota State Energy Center of Excellence
Minnesota West Community and Technical College

Bruce has been engaged in higher education for 40 years as a teacher, curriculum specialist, and administrator. Over the past 24 years he served as Academic Dean at three colleges and as program director over several major grants. In his current position, Bruce is responsible for Energy related programs across Minnesota West campuses. At the state level, he administers implementation of 9 research projects in renewable energy as well as serving as Executive Director of the Minnesota State Energy Center of Excellence.

Bruce is a leader of collaborative efforts in the Minnesota system. He has been an initiator of many efforts of statewide influence. As a charter member of the Minnesota Energy Consortium, he has served on the leadership steering committee since the inception of the group. His leadership led to establishing the Energy Technical Specialist program, a multi-college program leading to industry positions in energy production in solar, wind, bio-fuels, fossil and nuclear fields.

Current focus areas of the Minnesota Energy Center include education for high school faculty to bring energy training into their classrooms, developing programming around emerging energy technologies, promotion of career awareness activities, and working on diversity challenges in the energy industry workforce.

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The Xcel Renewable Development Fund (RDF) was established in 1994 by the state legislature to support renewable energy development. It is supported by the Xcel Energy ratepayers. In 2012 higher education institutions were allowed to apply for a block grant which could be used to fund multiple smaller projects. The xxx Energy Center of Excellence received one of these block grants to promote research at xxx Colleges and Universities across the state.

This paper will review the administrative and organizational challenges of the project. This includes helping smaller community colleges develop well-structured research projects, establishing an appropriate peer review and project monitoring system, and managing potential issues of conflict of interest between institutions. An overview of the projects funded to date will also be presented. Each project is focused on renewable electricity generation and all projects are managed by educational institutions where undergraduate and graduate students play a major role in the work.

Tebbe, P. A., & Peterson, B. A. (2019, June), Managing a Multi-Institution Block Grant for Renewable Electricity Research Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--33081

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