Engineers in Large Numbers are Needed to Realize the promises of renewable power generation, energy storage, reliable delivery, efficient end use, and the smart grid. However, many professional, trade, and research organizations including IEEE, Edison Electric Institute, and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) are predicting massive workforce shortages in the electric energy area. Just when inevitable large-scale retirements loom in the power industries and an effective power education system is most needed, power programs at many universities have stagnated and are in need of major reform, and power faculty members are nearing retirement age.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
In developing a new, integrated curriculum at the University of Min-nesota (UMN) with funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF), NASA, and the Office of Naval Research (ONR), we recognized that many of the answers to the challenges in the electric energy area lie outside the traditional borders of the field, for example, in nanotechnology, digital control, and semiconductor fabrication technologies. In the reformed cur-riculum being promoted by UMN, the three subareas of electric-energy systems (see Figure 1) are integrated into a single focus area to exploit their
Over the last 15 years, UMN has executed a series of highly successful programs designed to reshape and revitalize power engineering education across the United States. This effort has reached a large number of educators in numerous universities and has been a significant factor in the revitalization of power engineering education in many of these institutions. We have been actively disseminating the curricular reform through grants from ONR and NSF and have organized 19 workshops for this purpose. These workshops are attended by large numbers of faculty members; for example, the most recent workshop (February 2010) had nearly 150 participants, out of which approximately 30 were ECE department heads whose concurrence is needed to implement curricular reform in their respective universities; some of the par-ticipants are shown in Figure 4.