Missouri S&T is one of 15 U.S. universities chosen by the science and technology website Gizmodo as schools that offer the best energy engineering programs in a recent “degrees of the future” report.
“One of the most critical problems humans currently have is how to generate power efficiently,” Gizmodo’s editors wrote in the report, which was released Aug. 11. “We have many ways of generating electric power, but all have their drawbacks – some are devastating for the environment, some are difficult to scale, and some have been sidelined for years due to fears about safety.
“As we move away from fossil fuels, energy engineering will help us find more efficient alternatives and better ways to use existing renewable energy like wind and solar,” Gizmodo says. “The field produces innovations in energy production, storage, consumption, and distribution, and will hopefully free us from our destructive reliance on oil and gas.”
Missouri S&T is also the only university in Missouri to make the list. The energy engineering ranking was one of 25 “future-relevant” fields of study included in the report. To determine the best universities in each category, Gizmodo relied on independent surveys with faculty, alumni and students, statistical data published by the U.S. government, and data evaluating the impact of published scholarly papers by an institution in a particular field of study.
Missouri S&T offers numerous courses, degrees and certificate programs to prepare students to address future energy engineering challenges. They include civil engineering, chemistry, chemical and biochemical engineering, electrical engineering, geology and geophysics, geological engineering, mining engineering, nuclear engineering and radiation science, and petroleum engineering. University researchers also are known for expertise in areas like critical minerals for future energy needs and for the past two years has held a National Science Foundation-sponsored workshop on critical minerals production and policy for industry, university and government partners. S&T also focuses on energy research through its Center for Research in Energy and Environment.
S&T is also a leader in sustainable energy through its geothermal energy system, which has been in operation since 2014 and has reduced energy usage by nearly 60% every year since. The university is also home to six solar-powered houses designed and built by students for international Solar Decathlon competitions. The houses serve as literal living laboratories, with students living in the homes. Located in two areas, the solar complexes are equipped with solar microgrids used to demonstrate the viability of alternative energy.
Just don’t get sucked in to the false theorem that petroleum in our society is going to go away anytime soon. Unless you guys (and gals) can invent an entirely new replacement for gasoline and diesel, a degree in Petroleum Engineering will be very valuable for many years to come.
RS Fleming , MS PE ’73 and MS Engr Mgmt ’73.
Retired ExxonMobil, Retired
There is a segment of Engineering out in the real world comprised of “Energy Engineers”. These folks, of which I am one, typically take a class provided by the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE) and then take an exam to become a “Certified Energy Manager” (CEM). The jobs and companies looking for people with this certification typically work at large manufacturing plants, large university campuses, Department of Defense Air Force, Army, Navy/Marine Bases, and any other entity with very large utility bills. These folks look for opportunities to reduce utility usage and subsequently utility bills. The work may entail developing and changing a manufacturing process to use less energy, replacing equipment with more energy efficient equipment, developing renewable energy resources such as solar PV, solar water heating, Combined Heat and Power (CHP)/Co-Gen Plants, evaluating utility bill rates/structures and tariffs to qualify for a better rate, and on and on. Additionally, especially in the DOD, energy “resiliency” has become a big issue (keeping the facilities operating in case of grid power failure). Designing and building micro-grids come into play in this arena. Maybe once a year the University could have the AEE come in and offer the CEM class & test since it is a valuable certificate for job placement.
We have recently introduced new degree programs in “Carbon Managment” and “Automation Engineering” and are working on a new program in “Energy Economics”. Much of this work relies on the expertise S&T faculty have developed over the years in the “signature area” from which our university will benefit from through the next decade! Glad to see this effort is being recognized.
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