Program to Highlight Green, Sustainable Energy
By Edwin L. Aguirre
Responding to the growing needs of the marketplace, the Francis College of Engineering will offer a new minor in energy engineering for undergraduate-degree programs starting next fall.
The interdisciplinary minor will provide students with training and education in the areas of energy generation, storage and usage.
“Our faculty has developed an extensive set of coursework and research related to energy engineering,” says Prof. David Kazmer, the engineering associate dean.
This includes core subjects in thermodynamics, electrical circuits, engineering economics, energy policy and energy conversion systems as well as two technical electives in nuclear engineering, solar energy engineering, photovoltaic manufacturing, aero/wing engineering, electric vehicle technology or green and sustainable civil engineering.
“The minor aims to attract higher-quality students interested in emerging disciplines and distinctive programs,” says Kazmer. “It will also recruit undergraduate students to continue studies in graduate-degree programs, specifically energy engineering, and foster interdepartmental faculty collaboration for teaching and research of energy-related programs.”
Dwindling Supply of Energy Professionals in the Industry
According to a report compiled by the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE), entitled “Green Jobs: 2011 — Survey of the Energy Industry,” 32 percent of the energy professionals surveyed plan to retire in the next 10 years while 67 percent indicate a “heightened shortage of qualified professionals in the energy efficiency and renewable energy fields in the next five years.”
At the same time, the AEE also cited a separate report predicting that by 2020, “clean energy will be one of the world’s biggest industries, totaling as much as $2.3 trillion.”
This equates to a lot of employment and job growth opportunities for qualified graduates.
“UMass Lowell’s energy engineering minor will provide a focused field of study to differentiate our undergraduate students and prepare them for the competitive job market,” says Kazmer.