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Electrical and Computer Engineering|College of Engineering and Applied Science

Graduate Studies in Electrical Energy Systems

Classical power engineering is important to Wyoming. Graduates with this emphasis in electrical engineering are employed in the mining industries, petroleum industry, electric utilities and several of the consulting firms in Wyoming. However, the US Power Grid is an old infrastructure that has grown rapidly as new electric energy demands have appeared. This vast system has become steadily more vulnerable, and a new requirement for sustainable energy has become a fundamental issue for US energy production and distribution. The electric energy engineer of the future will be called upon to solve these new problems and will need to be educated for interdisciplinary capability in electric power and information, communication and computer control systems to do so.

A major part of restructuring the US Power Grid will be the use of Smart Grids. A Smart Grid is a network for electricity transmission and distribution that uses robust two-way communications, advanced sensors, distributed computers and advanced control systems to improve the efficiency, reliability and safety of power delivery and use. Such an adaptable intelligent power distribution network includes the possibility to reduce power consumption at the user-side during peak hours, and to increase it during off-peak hours. Furthermore it could connect nontraditional power generation sources, such as wind turbines and photovoltaic sources, and handle new loads, such as charging electric/hybrid automobiles. Additionally, the smart grid must be able to handle energy storage as it is added to the grid. Smart Grids and storage technology combined will reduce the need for additional power generation.The Smart Grid can manage distributed generation load balancing, and provide improved reliability against component and system failures such as blackouts. The increased efficiency and reliability of the Smart Grid would save consumers money and reduce CO2 emissions.

A program of graduate study in electric energy systems at the masters or doctoral level can be formed by an interested student and an appropriate advisor. The plan of study would be created with selection of courses from the following list with 4510 and 5700 forming the base and the remaining courses chosen appropriately.

Courses Relevant to Power Systems Engineering

  • 5700 Power Engineering
  • 4550 Electrodynamics
  • 4510 Power Systems
  • 5625 Spectral Estimation
  • 5660 System Identification
  • 5640 Adaptive Filters and Signal Processing
  • 4440 Communication Theory
  • 5880 Advanced Linear Control
  • 4870 Computer Networks
  • 4075 Numerical Methods

Advisors: Mark Balas, Robert Kubichek, John McInroy, Suresh Muknahallipatna, John O'Brien, John Pierre.

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