June 22, 2008
June 22, 2008
June 25, 2008
Engineering and Public Policy
13.1060.1 - 13.1060.11
Rowan University’s Clean Energy Program
Rowan University has established a clean energy program (CEP). This program utilizes undergraduate students working for credit during the semester, and for pay during the summer months, as well as graduate students – all clean energy interns, to promote energy efficiency and clean energy sources within the state of New Jersey. The CEP has been funded through various sources, allowing equipment, travel, graduate tuition and stipends, as well as summer salary for undergraduate students. Services rendered have included hosting symposia, wind and solar resource evaluation, energy audits, participation in grassroots efforts, as well as website maintenance. The strong belief that this program provides valuable services to the community has led to outstanding efforts on the part of the students.
The clean energy projects have been an excellent way to address many of the ABET A-K criteria. These team-based, multidisciplinary projects have been especially effective at driving home the importance of environmentalism and the need for engineers to be leaders and communicators during policy discussions. The projects also reinforce and expand on core academic subjects through hands-on experience. While homeowners, businesses, farmers, schools and municipalities have benefited from the collective experience of the clean energy program, the participating students, including the lead author on this paper, are preparing for the modern practice of engineering. This paper will present the societal and pedagogical benefits of the project.
Rowan University’s project-oriented curriculum allows students the opportunity to develop abilities related to the ABET A-K criteria throughout their engineering studies. The hallmark of the curriculum is the Engineering Clinic sequence1,2, which allow students to apply technical content they learn in class to real-world applications. The clean energy program (CEP), discussed herein, is one of the many opportunities for junior and senior level engineering clinic projects that students are afforded. Through the engineering clinics, paid summer internships, and in some cases graduate studies, students support the goals of the New Jersey Clean Energy Program (NJCEP) and the New Jersey Higher Education Partnership for Sustainability (NJHEPS)
These programs aim to increase and improve the local economy, reduce both the dependence of fossil fuels and imported fuels, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reduce air contaminant emissions. Rowan University’s CEP has been focused on encouraging small-scale changes through awareness and implementation of clean energy and conservation alternatives. The hope is that these grass roots efforts will eventually help facilitate large-scale changes. To this end, students have organized and run Clean Energy Symposia; performed energy audits for small business owners and farmers; erected and maintained 20- and 30-meter-tall wind measurement systems throughout New Jersey; analyzed the resulting wind data and calculated payback periods
Gillespie, J., & Bhatia, K., & Riddell, W. (2008, June), Rowan University's Clean Energy Program Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. https://peer.asee.org/3799
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