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Renewable Energy Revives Electronics & Computer Engineering Technology

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Curricular Developments in Energy Education II

Tagged Division

Energy Conversion and Conservation

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.1239.1 - 22.1239.16



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Paper Authors


Joyce M van de Vegte Camosun College, Victoria, Canada

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Electronics & Computer Engineering Technology

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Alan P. Duncan Camosun College, Victoria, Canada

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Electronics & Computer Engineering Technology

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Renewable energy revives electronics & computer engineering technologyConcerns about greenhouse gases and dwindling fuel supplies have given rise to aggressiveenergy efficiency policies and renewable energy initiatives worldwide. New industry in thissector demands technicians, technologists and engineers with training in alternative energies.Between now and 2017, Canadian labour force requirements are expected to more than double inwind, solar photovoltaic and bioenergy, and triple in solar thermal industries. Globally, a 9%growth rate in renewable energy demand is predicted to persist for at least the next two decades,with an attendant US$2.5 trillion investment in renewable energy power generation.Colleges and universities across North America are hastening to develop programs that willserve these workers and industries. _________ College in ___________ has offered anelectronics & computer engineering technology program since 1972. Two years ago, the two-and-a-half year program was revitalized through the addition of a renewable energies course andthe modification of existing courses to incorporate a renewable energy focus. The renewableenergies course is a twelve-week survey of: solar photovoltaic, solar thermal, wind, hydrogenfuel cell, geothermal, wave, tidal, hydroelectric, and bioenergy technologies. A technicalapproach that permits rudimentary system designs and comparisons is taken, and lectures aresupported by weekly labs. Renewable energy content has also been injected into: circuit analysis,semiconductor devices, system control, power electronics, and computer engineering courses.The electronics & computer engineering technology program changes have produced severaldesirable outcomes: (1) giving graduate technologists the skills they require to serve asrenewable energy system design consultants (rather than installers of such systems); (2)responding to the needs of local employers; (3) increasing student enrolment, due to a perceptionof greater program relevancy; (4) heightening program interest among prospective femalestudents; and (5) preparing graduates to be conversant in renewable energy matters and to engagemeaningfully in public energy debate.

van de Vegte, J. M., & Duncan, A. P. (2011, June), Renewable Energy Revives Electronics & Computer Engineering Technology Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18568

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