College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

New graduate certificate program in energy systems engineering approved, available next spring

As world energy consumption grows followed by increasing environmental awareness, Iowa State University students will have a new opportunity to develop knowledge, skills and abilities specific to energy system design, evaluation, construction and management.

The College of Engineering will be offering a graduate certificate in energy systems engineering starting January 2014. It can be earned on-campus and online through courses offered by Iowa State’s Engineering-LAS Online Learning (ELO).

“This new graduate certificate is important because energy is so pervasive in everything we do,” said Ted Heindel, Bergles Professor of Thermal Science and director of graduate education for the new program in energy systems engineering.

Tom Brumm, professor-in-charge of ELO and associate professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering, says the certificate program essentially begins training the next generation of professionals about “how we use energy.”

Heindel and Brumm agree that having knowledge and skills for using energy will help any engineer advance in his or her career.

“As engineers, I can’t imagine any system we work on that doesn’t use energy,” Brumm said.

Engineers that understand how we use energy can design and develop more energy efficient systems, which has local and global impacts.

Brumm says energy efficiency at the local level can financially benefit businesses and corporations and reduce greenhouse gas emissions that affect global climate change.

The certificate program requires students to take two core classes—ME 531: Advanced Energy Systems and Analysis, and ME 510: Energy Engineering Economics and Policy—and choose two additional elective courses from a pool of selections offered by different departments at Iowa State.

Heindel says prospective students must have a thermodynamics course (three credits) in their undergraduate degree from Iowa State or another university to qualify for the program.

Admission into the certificate program requires a 3.0 undergraduate grade point average along with official documentation from previous studies that meets the requirements of the Graduate College. Prospective students must also have a bachelor of science degree in engineering OR a bachelor of science degree, non-engineering with undergraduate coursework in math, physics, chemistry and engineering sciences.

Admission and application procedures can be found on the Graduate College website.  Students may take up to nine credits as a non-degree seeking student, so it is possible to begin the studies before formal admittance into the program.

Heindel adds that the certificate program fulfills many course requirements for students who might later pursue a degree in a currently pending master of engineering in energy systems, which he says should be approved sometime in spring 2014.

You can find more information about the graduate certificate program here.