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Piloting an Energy Specialist Training Program: Lessons Learned

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

Training and Workforce Needs in the Energy Sector

Tagged Division

Energy Conversion and Conservation

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.968.1 - 23.968.10



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Paper Authors


Sungwon S. Kim Minnesota State University, Mankato

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Dr. Sungwon S. Kim joined the Mechanical Engineering faculty at MSU Mankato in January of 2011. He received his Ph.D. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University (2008), working in the area of synthesizing carbon nanotubes, his M.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), working in the area of designing and analyzing double spiral heat exchangers, and his B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Korea University (2000).

Before joining MSU Mankato, Dr. Kim was a Visiting Assistant Professor in the School of Engineering at Purdue University, teaching courses in the thermal fluid sciences, and conducting research in nanotechnology. His research expertise and interests lie in the controlled synthesis of CNTs for thermal and biological applications. While at Purdue, he was actively involved in research sponsored by DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) in the development of carbon nanotube (CNT) enhanced wicks for vapor chambers (Thermal Ground Plane Program), and in enhancement of thermal interfaces using CNTs (Nano Thermal Interface Program).

Currently, his research activities are concentrated in the area of engineering education, with the purpose of promoting interest in engineering and fostering the next generation of engineers.

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Patrick A. Tebbe Minnesota State University, Mankato

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Patrick Tebbe is a Professor and Chair of the Department of Mechanical and Civil Engineering at Minnesota State University in Mankato. Dr. Tebbe received the B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in Mechanical Engineering as well as the M.S. in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Missouri – Columbia. He is currently a member of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), 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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Piloting an Energy Specialist Training Program: Lessons LearnedEngineering undergraduate students at the junior and senior level are exposed to many technicalelectives that are related to topics in energy. Traditionally, these classes have been limited toclassroom instruction, however, making it difficult for students to obtain experiences that arecloser to real world situations. Instructors have found it difficult as well to include outside of theclassroom experiences for students.This paper describes the implementation of a state funded project to provide an outside of theclassroom opportunity for students to receive training on calculating building energy efficiencythrough exposure to Energy Star, Portfolio Manager and brief content on the Leadership inEnergy and Environmental Design (LEED) program. Students studied the energy consumption ofseveral buildings in the vicinity both on and off campus and calculated their respective energyefficiency ratings, which they reported back to the building facility managers. Through thistraining, students received real world exposure to building operations and maintenance activities.Assessment of student experiences through this project was conducted through surveys whichrevealed that the students had an overall positive experience, including an increased interest inthe energy efficiency field. As a pilot program this project demonstrates how such a buildingenergy efficiency training program could be continued in the future on a periodic basis, andprovides directions for further expansion of this type of training program so that engineeringstudents who are interested in continuing their careers as energy specialists have the opportunityto expand on their classroom instruction to real world applications. Lessons learned during theorganization and delivery of the Energy Specialist Training Program, in addition to the lessonslearned about student needs and interests in such a program and the impact to the students arepresented.

Kim, S. S., & Tebbe, P. A. (2013, June), Piloting an Energy Specialist Training Program: Lessons Learned Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--22353

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