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The emerging clean-energy smart grid environment in the electric power sector has necessitated that related educational programs evolve to meet the needs of students, faculty, and employers alike. In order to prepare the next generation of power engineering professionals to meet the challenges ahead in the electric power sector, a new curriculum must be developed that includes core power engineering principals coupled with emerging aspects of smart grid technologies and clean energy integration. Such curriculum also needs to consider not only the end-use side of the power system within the smart grid definition, such as smart metering, communications and demand response aspects, but also other key enabling technologies throughout the whole transmission and distribution system and the entire energy supply chain. These include areas such as energy storage technologies, advanced power electronics at the transmission and distribution levels, networked control systems, automation, renewable and alternative energy systems integration, system optimization, real-time control, and other related topics. In addition, the evolution of power programs and curriculum in this emerging area must take into account significant input from industry constituents engaged in the manufacturing, implementation, operation, and maintenance of the new smart grid technologies and systems. By working collaboratively with industry to meet future employer needs, programs with newly developed course offerings will be able to better prepare students and existing professionals alike for the rapidly growing clean-energy, smart grid environment. This paper will provide an overview of a potential model for program structures and course developments in this critical area, including examples of initiatives already being developed and deployed.
Power and Energy Society General Meeting, 2010 IEEE
Date of Conference: 25-29 July 2010