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Smart Grid, Industry Trends and Power Engineering Education

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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

23.1069.1 - 23.1069.10



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Paper Authors


Wajiha Shireen University of Houston (CoT)

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Wajiha Shireen received her B.S degree from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology in 1987, her M.S and PhD degrees in 1991 and 1993, both from Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, all in Electrical Engineering. She joined University of Houston in 1993 and currently is a full Professor and holds a joint appointment in the Engineering Technology Department and the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at University of Houston, Houston, Texas. Her current research interests are in the area of power electronics which includes advanced converters for power supplies, power quality issues, active power filter development, utility interface issues, power conditioning systems for fuel cells, wind and solar energy systems. She holds one US patent with industry collaboration. She is an IEEE Senior member and is actively involved in funded research projects while engaged in teaching, research and consulting in the area of power electronics, motor drives, power quality and clean power utility interface issues.

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Radhakrishna Kotti University of Houston (CoE)

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Radhakrishna Kotti received his B.TECH degree from Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University (J.N.T.U), India in 2010. Currently he is doing his PhD from University of Houston. His research interests are in the field of power electronics and renewable energy sources for depleting fuel sources.

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Jesus Arturo Villanueva

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Jesus Arturo Villanueva received his B.S in Instrumentation and Control Systems Engineering Technology from the University of Houston- Downtown in 2007. Currently he is working as a Control Systems Engineer in the Oil and Gas industry and is completing his Master of Science in Project Management with a directed study in Control Systems from the University of Houston 2013. His interests are power electronics, instrumentation and control automation in process and safety control applications.

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Smart Grid, Industry Trends and Power Engineering Education The power and energy industry in the 21st century is going through an evolutionary period.New developing technologies are changing the way we generate, transmit and deliver electricpower. The electric power industry has many new power grid applications in the forefront. Theconcept referred to as Power Control Automation, combines and makes use of state of the arttechnologies from the areas of network communications, power electronics and control systems.Smart grid is the platform that is the primary driver in providing more reliable and cost-efficientelectrical power while conserving energy resources in today’s new digital era. Moreover, theSmart Grid is a way to address an aging energy infrastructure that needs to be upgraded orreplaced. It is also a way to address energy efficiency by increasing consumer awareness aboutthe connection between electricity use and the environment The concept of Smart Grid is basedon the integration of the electric grid, communication network and data acquisition technologiesto monitor and control the generation, distribution, storage and consumption of electrical power.The workforce demand in the electrical power industry is also evolving. In order to be asuccessful proficient power engineer in the 21st century, one must have multiple skills in crossdisciplinary areas. The industry is demanding power engineering education to broaden in a crossfunction of areas such as networking, control systems, power electronics, data analytics alongwith information security and business, that will contribute to match the technical engineeringingenuity with the dynamics of the smart grid. The smart grid has many obstacles to overcome,such as, pricing structure, agreement on information protocol, continuing standardization ofcomponents, development of low cost smart home appliances and numerous commercial issues.The academia is witnessing the evolution in the electric power industry and is looking into waysto evolve its curriculum to train productive and qualified power engineers. The academia needsto do further research to understand the industry trends and gather information as to what haschanged and what are currently common best practices in the industry. The challenge faced byacademia is to come up with an updated curriculum at both the undergraduate and graduate levelthat provides the knowledge base of fundamental concepts along with nurturing expertise incross functional disciplines.In view of the above, this paper discusses smart grid applications as well as the current industrytrends and what employers are seeking in power engineers of the 21st century, which will helpevolve the smart gird vision of the future. The traditional power engineering curriculum isanalyzed, followed by discussion on what the industry is looking for in power engineeringeducation moving forward into the future. Based on industry feedback, key areas of engineeringstudies have been identified that needs to be incorporated into the existing power engineeringcurriculum to better align with industry demand.

Shireen, W., & Kotti, R., & Villanueva, J. A. (2013, June), Smart Grid, Industry Trends and Power Engineering Education Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--22454

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