Energy Systems Engineering becomes the first ABET Accredited Program of its type in the United States
The University of Wyoming’s College of Engineering and Applied Science recently achieved accreditation for its innovative Energy Systems Engineering (ESE) Bachelor of Science degree program. The ESE program has a novel curriculum introduced by the University to support the region’s energy-dominant economies, and is the first program of its kind in the United States to earn ABET accreditation from the Engineering Accreditation Commission.
The goal of the Energy Systems Engineering program is to prepare graduates to address one of the United States’ foremost challenges; to achieve energy independence and continue to meet the growing demand for energy, while simultaneously addressing critical environmental concerns. Coursework is similar to that taken by mechanical engineering students, but with more focus on environmental, ethical, economic, legal, and especially permitting aspects of energy conversion systems. Students may elect to take various courses in alternative energy systems that are expected to play an even larger role in a carbon-constrained future. The overarching goal of the curriculum is to present a comprehensive, or “systems” approach to addressing new energy challenges.
The ESE degree program is offered by the Mechanical Engineering Department. The Department consists of 15 faculty members and six research staff, 50 students enrolled in ESE, and 300 undergraduate and 50 graduate students enrolled in Mechanical Engineering. The program has proven to be particularly attractive to women students as evidenced by it having the second highest percentage of women students of any of the College’s nine degree programs. To date, there have been 14 graduates from the ESE program, with all readily finding energy-related positions or moving on to graduate school. Employers of ESE program graduates include Halliburton, WY Completion Technologies (design of well service tooling), Kiewit mining, the Alaska Dept. of Environmental Conservation, the Alliance for Green Heat (a non-profit lobby), KB Energy (meteorological data acquisition for potential new wind energy sites), and Stanley Consultants (wind, solar, and hydro-electric control systems).