ASU Announces New Renewable Energy Technology Program

Many North American colleges and universities are making significant strides towards creating a more sustainable educational experience; few, however, are moving forward as aggressively and creatively as Arizona State University. A two-part series in the Christian Science Monitor late last year profiled the university's plans, and the vision of its president, Michael Crow. On Wednesday, ASU announced the next step in becoming a "a new kind of university": the launch of a program in Alternative Energy Technologies at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

The program will be offered at ASU's polytechnic campus in Mesa. According to the university's announcement,

The new alternative energy program will educate students about alternative energy sources, such as solar, wind, ocean, geothermal and biomass, promoting a dual energy crisis strategy of conservation or maximizing efficiency as well as vigorous development of alternative energy sources. The new courses that make up the program will prepare students in how to engineer concepts, components and materials. This unique program also compliments other activities at ASU that have similar goals, but different approaches.
The program will also emphasize Crow's vision of sustainability solutions that are sensitive to place: for Arizona, this means focusing on the "solar-hydrogen cycle," according to faculty member Slobodan Petrovic. This also creates greater opportunities for experiential learning, which will be a foundational element of the program: "All courses will have a practical component and will rely on project-based teaching methodology fostered at ASU's Polytechnic campus," said Petrovic. "In addition, students will have opportunities to conduct and participate in a wide spectrum of research projects."

The Alternative Energy Technologies program will offer its first courses next Fall, and we're guessing that demand for them will be high: students are enrolling in college with a greater awareness of environmental challenges, and the growing demand for cleaner energy solutions will create jobs that require this combination of knowledge and skills. Programs like these won't just contribute to greener energy; they'll also ensure that students have more "sustainable" career paths upon graduation. ::Renewable Energy Access and ASU Polytechnic Campus News

Photo Source: ASU Photovoltaic Testing Laboratory

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