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UW Launches Two Energy-Related Undergraduate Degree Programs

January 23, 2009

Two new University of Wyoming energy-related undergraduate degree programs will provide a well-trained workforce to help develop conventional and alternative energy sources while addressing growing social and environmental concerns.

The UW Board of Trustees today (Friday) approved B.S. degree programs in Energy Resource Science (ERS) and Energy Systems Engineering (ESE).

"Both degree programs will prepare students to meet the challenges of a complex energy future, in which we will have to develop new science and technology to meet the world's needs," said Myron Allen, UW provost.

Both degree programs will require students to meet rigorous academic requirements, Allen told the trustees. Students can start taking courses toward the new degrees beginning next fall.

The Department of Mechanical Engineering in the College of Engineering and Applied Science (CEAS) will serve as the home of the ESE program.

"Courses from outside the department will provide engineering students a broad exposure to the political, economic, social and environmental issues related to energy development," said Rob Ettema, CEAS dean. "For example, in considering new energy projects, engineers are frequently confronted with permitting issues, aspects of environmental law, and analyses of energy economics. ESE graduates should be well-positioned to immediately evaluate these considerations while also determining the technical feasibility of proposed projects."

The interdisciplinary ERS program is offered through the School of Energy Resources (SER) collaborating with the colleges of Arts and Sciences, Engineering and Applied Science, Agriculture, Business, Education and Law, and the Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources.

"The goal of the ERS degree is to offer a diverse curriculum that combines engineering, science, business, law, and natural resources content to build a fundamental understanding of interaction and tradeoffs between energy, environment, policy and the economy," said Mark Northam, SER director.

"Society faces many difficult decisions regarding production and consumption of energy," Northam said. "Many of these decisions will require analysis by people with strong, multidisciplinary scientific backgrounds."

Posted on Friday, January 23, 2009

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