I've written previously about the U of M's research in renewable energy, including wind energy. There are a lot of amazing professors here working on the problem of storing and transmitting wind energy. But when these professors retire, we need more bright minds to continue searching for new ways to tap renewable energy sources.
The U of M recently received a grant to offer coursework for undergraduate and graduate students intended to educate them to become the next generation of renewable energy experts. Ned Mohan, an electrical engineering professor here at the U of M, said, "The main objective [of the grant] is to spread the curriculum we have developed over the last 10 years." The U of M will be spreading its curriculum to almost 100 schools.
We currently offer undergraduate degrees in electrical engineering which include curriculum emphasizing renewable energy. The objective of EE 5940: Wind Energy Essentials, a course offered this semester, is "to familiarize students with various essential aspects in harnessing wind energy and its conversion and delivery as electricity."
In addition to developing curriculum to teach the next generation of researchers, Dr. Mohan is also researching what he calls the "next-generation grid" to transmit wind power across the entire country. Dr. Mohan says that there is enough wind power in North Dakota and South Dakota alone to supply half the electricity needs of our country.
Even first-year students can incorporate sustainability and renewable energy coursework into their class schedules. There is a freshman seminar being offered this semester through the Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering Department called Sustainable Housing: Community, Technology, and Environment (BBE 1906W). In this class, students "examine some of the basic principles and guidelines that are critical to designing, building and owning an energy-efficient and sustainable home."
The U of M is dedicated to ensuring that today's great minds do everything possible to prepare tomorrow's great minds to tackle the issues of of renewable energy. As a student here, you can be part of this forward-thinking, cutting-edge culture!