Energy Systems Engineering Curriculum

Energy Systems Engineering Curriculum Information:

Integrative Science (9-12 Credits)

Required Courses (9 Credits)
Course Offerings (3 Credits)
  • Model-Based Systems & Design
  • Integrative Thinking
  • Socio-Technology
  • Global Engineering Leadership
  • Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Career Pathways (9 Credits)

Course Offerings
  • Energy Generation, Distribution, and Usage
  • Transportation Power
  • Chemical Energy Conversion
  • Environmental Stewardship of Energy Resources

Program Core (6 Credits)

Course Offerings
  • Materials for Energy Solutions (MES)
  • Energy Technology Manufacturing (ETM)
  • Energy Sustainability and Process (ESPS)
  • Energy Systems Platforms

Immersive Practice (3-6 Credits)

Course Offerings

TOTAL CREDITS: 30

* Please Note: ISD cannot guarantee these courses are available every academic year or every term; these lists are updated on an on-going basis.

Integrative Science

(9-12 Credits)

Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Innovation and entrepreneurship drive today’s engineering world. Fueling this growth from global corporations to small businesses and national governments to local governments is a need to build sustainable products, services, and technologies. In this field, you will integrate concepts of innovation and entrepreneurship with engineering, science, and design in pursuit of opportunities to innovate solutions to highly complex problems. Here, you will learn how to be the next industry “true innovators” in strengthening market uptake of raw materials solutions and building a bigger platform for a greener future

Key Competencies:

  • Knowledge of market forces
  • Financial insight (understanding numbers)
  • Strategic thinking
  • Negotiation
  • Persuasion
  • Ability to influence
  • Creativity
  • Business planning and integration

Relevant Course Information:

Model-Based Systems Engineering and Design

Solving complex problems requires deeper levels of systems understanding. Modeling helps designers/engineers work at greater levels of complexity to support system requirements, design, analysis, verification and validation activities beginning in the conceptual design phase and continuing throughout development and later life cycle phases. In this field, you will strengthen your ability to create and implement models to support every stage of the engineering and design process as well as drive learning for modeling, analyzing, and solving complex problems.

Key Competencies:

  • Modeling complex systems
  • Optimization
  •  Data analytics
  • Behavioral models
  • Business/Dynamic modeling
  • Qualitative models
  • Digital twins development
  • Evaluate data quality

Relevant Course Information:

Integrative Thinking

Integrative thinking requires seeing problems from multiple viewpoints, taking them all into consideration, and searching for creative solutions through a transformative approach. It  requires shifting the focus to the vulnerabilities and capacities of single systems or sectors to interconnected systems and how these will shift over time, taking into account multidirectional interactions of projected changes, responses, and effects. This leads to understanding how to compose a holistic view of a problem, co-construct new knowledge, explore alternative views and methods of problem analysis, and synthesize them into a coherent solution. In this field, you will discover how to integrate across multiple boundaries for the greater good.

Key Competencies:

  • Broad technical, business, management, and education experience
  • Ability to construct and correlate models that are abstractions of interactions and to evaluate data against the model
  • “Big picture” thinking
  • Understanding, at least at the top level, what knowledge domains are relevant and prioritizing their importance

Relevant Course Information:

Global Engineering Leadership

Engineering leaders are needed to strategically think and act globally based on an integration of academic excellence in engineering and business, experience in a variety of settings and environments, and the ability to lead across cultures and within organizations of varied sizes. In this field, you will strengthen your ability to develop engineering and business practices, develop cross-cultural leadership competencies, learn how to work within a global community, and lead with purpose, strategy, and vision in the development of sustainable global products, services, and processes for the common good.

Key Competencies:

  • Ability to scope and identify unique challenges of global engineering projects:
    • Global regulatory issues
    • Internationally-recognized engineering and manufacturing quality norms
    • Managing technology and legal contracts
    • Global Supply Chain Issues/Outsourcing/ Offshoring/
    • Re-positioning of Corporations and Subcontractors
    • Risk Management
    • Cross-cultural decision making
    • Understanding consequences/impact of decisions
  • Provide tools for taking corrective actions (within context of “real-world” global problems)
  • International Cultural Competency
  • Multicultural team management and global team leadership

Relevant Course Information:

Socio-Technology

Engineers are needed to design within social, political, economic, and cultural contexts. In this field, you will design things that participate in complex systems that have both social and technical aspects, study the intersection of society and technology as a grouping of social engineering and management science and learn how to develop new technologies to meet challenges in energy, environment, food, housing, water, transportation, safety, and health. You will also learn the societal impact of engineering and design decisions at the intersection of science and technology. 

Key Competencies:

  • Socially engaged decision making
  • Operational understanding of the impact of technology on society, world, environment (vice versa)
  • Global awareness

Relevant Course Information:

Program Core

(6 Credits)

Materials for Energy Solutions (MES)

Driven by a growing population and an increasing standard of living, the large fraction of energy will continue to be generated from fossil fuels. This will inevitably lead to increased CO2 emissions, with dramatic consequences on our environment and the quality of life. This business-as-usual scenario can be reversed only through an integrative systems approach to power a dramatic increase in the renewable energy inputs in our energy infrastructure. In this field, you will learn how modern energy technologies require a range of novel and costly materials. You will also understand the physical characteristics and chemical properties of these materials to navigate the modern energy manufacturing space.

Key Competencies:

  • Chemical characteristics of materials for energy conversion
  • Physical properties of materials for modern energy technologies
  • Supply chain for the materials for energy technologies

Relevant Course Information:

Energy Technology Manufacturing (ETM)

Energy Technology Manufacturing is for you if you are looking for an environmentally friendly, efficient, safe, and interdisciplinary approach in the economical extraction, conversion, transportation, storage, and use of energy targeted toward yielding high efficiency while skirting side effects on humans, nature, and the environment. In this field, you will learn how modern energy technologies can benefit from advancements in manufacturing and discuss development of the new areas of manufacturing, including 3-D printing, layer-by-layer deposition, extruding, and electrospinning.

Key Competencies:

  • Limitations of the current approaches to manufacturing of modern energy solutions
  • Manufacturing at nanoscales
  • Modern manufacturing technologies

Relevant Course Information:

Energy Sustainability and Process (ESPS)

A dramatic change in our energy infrastructure requires the development of renewable energy technologies and their integration into the energy landscape, including wind and solar power, CO2 capture, and chemical upgrading, biomass conversion, energy storage, among others. In this field, you will learn how modern energy technologies use environmental sustainability as the critical figure of merit, how the environmental impact of energy technologies is a critical objective, and gain a deeper understanding for public policy, life cycle, and pricing.

Key Competencies:

  • Deeper understanding for how public policy and economics impacts energy technology
  • Life cycle analysis associated with energy technologies
  • Pricing externalities

Relevant Course Information:

Energy Systems Platforms

Energy systems supply energy services to satisfy consumer demand for energy in the forms of heat, fuels, and electricity. In this field, you will study how modern energy technologies are integrated into larger systems, including electrical grids and vehicles. You will also learn about alternative and conventional energy technologies, the societal and environmental impact of technology developments, and the economic benefits of those developments. Studying how these platforms function within these larger systems is critical to understand their advantages and limitations.

Key Competencies:

  • Modern tools aiming to analyze integration on larger scales (i.e., smart grid integration) 
  • Systems controlling seamless integration in vehicles

Relevant Course Information:

Career Pathways

(9 credits)

Energy Generation, Distribution, and Usage

The global economy, security, and health and safety of the world’s populations depend on the reliable delivery of electricity. Electricity is not freely available in nature, so it must be produced through power plants, primarily driven by heat engines fueled by combustion, nuclear fission, or kinetic energy (wind or solar). In this field, you will learn about today’s grids and smart grids, energy technologies (fossil, nuclear, wind, hydro, solar, etc.), the environment and social impact of energy technologies, economies of energy technologies, remediation, international treaties on energy, standards and regulations. 

Key Competencies:

  • Energy policy
  • Energy technologies
  • Grid
  • Life cycle analysis 
  • System level analysis

Relevant Course Information:

Transportation Power

Most major automakers have vowed to transform nearly all of the world’s cars to electric over the next few decades — or sooner. In fact, one of the world’s largest automakers pledged to stop making gasoline-powered passenger cars, vans and sport utility vehicles and instead make only electric vehicles by 2035. In this field, you will learn what is driving this historic change to a greener future will be knowing how to make improvements in battery and fuel cell technologies, vehicle electrification, environmental regulations, catalytic converters in combustion systems, driverless vehicle technology.

Key Competencies:

  • Battery and fuel cell technology 
  • Catalytic converter technology 
  • Regulatory frameworks 
  • Vehicle controls 
  • Vehicle design

Relevant Course Information:

Chemical Energy Conversion

Research and innovation to develop second-generation biofuels is gaining steam in the world, spurred by volatile oil prices and energy policies. Biofuels are energy fuels derived from organic sources created by plants and living things, which can be grown and harvested over and over again. Biofuels used to replace non-renewable energy fuels are sourced chiefly from agricultural and vital harvesting, woodlands, and residue streams. In this field, you will understand the role of energy and feedstock sources for the chemical industry, Shale gas and liquid resources, biomass as a chemical feedstock, chemical conversion technologies, CO2 capture storage and use, waste plastics remediation, and conversion.

Key Competencies:

  • Biomass and plastics science
  • Chemical industry feedstock
  • CO2 science and technology
  • Technologies of chemical energy conversion
  • Technology

Relevant Course Information:

Environmental Stewardship of Energy Resources

Resource selection in the energy sector is increasingly driven not by the energy density or accessibility of fuel resources, but rather by the environmental impacts and consequences of their use.  A sustainable energy portfolio requires adoption of energy sources that have lower life cycle environmental footprints, as well as the implementation of new pollution control technologies to mitigate unavoidable air and water emissions from energy production and consumption. In this field, you will learn about technologies to control energy-related emissions of greenhouse gases and other pollutants; the design of energy-efficient buildings; systems for the production, conveyance, and storage of renewable energies; life cycle analysis principles; and regulations relevant to energy policy.

Key Competencies:

  • Greenhouse gas emission reduction technologies
  • Air and water pollution control technologies
  • Energy-efficient building principles
  • Renewable energy and energy storage systems
  • Life cycle analysis
  • Energy policy and environmental regulations

Relevant Course Information:

Immersive Practice

(3-6 credits)

ISD Capstone

Work for leading industry partners to apply what you learn during your ISD coursework in a semester- or year-long project to contribute new ideas and knowledge to high priority engineering and technical issues. Learn more about this component of the ISD Curriculum on the ISD Capstone page.

Take up to 3 academic credits per semester for up to two semesters.