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A Proposal for Broadening the Education of Power System Engineers

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2 Author(s)

Engineering education has placed its major emphasis on developing graduates with a high degree of technical competence in the traditional engineering disciplines. However, society's expectations for the role of an engineer now reflect the increased concern for inclusion of social policy considerations in engineering decision making. Engineering education must respond to these changes so that engineers will be better prepared to meet today's changes. The authors have focused their discussion on suggested modifications to the power system engineering curriculum as an example of the changing needs of a typical engineering program. The paper discusses some of the limitations the authors perceive in the present education of most power system engineers including a lack of study of nontraditional alternatives to central station power generation. Many of the suggested topics can be added to existing courses; for example, power system planning which could be expanded to cover topics such as load management systems and innovative rate designs which influence load patterns. The addition to the curriculum of a course which provides engineers with a broad overview of the laws affecting engineering decisions and the social policy these laws seek to implement is recommended. Such a course should broaden an engineer's perspective of his/her role in society. The authors feel that this overall proposal is responsive to the needs to be faced by many of the future power engineering graduates. The suggested curriculum changes and additions should aid power system engineers in understanding their role in solving society's energy-related problems.

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Education, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:24 ,  Issue: 3 )