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College of Engineering

Certificate in Engineering for Energy Sustainability

Equity and sustainability of energy resources in the face of increasing global population and economic development are key issues at the center of the public discourse today. The objective of this certificate program is to offer undergraduate students a suite of courses addressing energy sustainability that span across the engineering curriculum, with firm roots in “real world” design and engineering practices.

Students enrolled as degree-seeking undergraduate students with a minimum GPA of 2.5 and a plan of study to fulfill the certificate requirements may enroll in the program. Applications may be submitted at any time, but students are encouraged to apply early in their undergraduate careers in order to ensure successful completion of the program. However, students may take courses that fulfill certificate requirements prior to submitting an application.

Requirements for the Certificate in Engineering for Energy Sustainability

A student interested in completing the certificate program must contact a designated faculty member in his or her major department to apply. The student and faculty member must fill out the declaration of intent and study plan to enter the certificate program.

  • Required: Declaration of Intent and Study Plan
  • Sustainability Courses:
    Students must select the 16 “sustainability credits” from a suite of available courses divided into the following categories:
    • Science/Liberal Studies, 3–6 cr
    • Engineering, 3–6 cr
    • Capstone, 3–6 cr
    • Seminar, 1 cr

Students are required to take a minimum of 3 sustainability credits and a maximum of 6 sustainability credits from each of the above three categories. In addition, students must fulfill a 1-credit seminar requirement. Currently, this seminar requirement is fulfilled through the course CBE 555 Chemical Engineering Connections, which is open to all engineering majors. In the near future, a crosslisted course will be developed for this purpose. Students may also take InterEgr 60 Core Competencies for Sustainability for the seminar requirement.

Not all courses have the same number of sustainability credits as academic credits; some courses have fewer sustainability credits depending on how closely related they are to energy and sustainability. Students should review the list of preapproved courses and the sustainability credits associated with each course while filling out their study plan.

Course Authorization

Some courses may require additional approval to appear in students’ DARS reports as having fulfilled part of the certificate requirements. Students who are taking a course for the capstone requirement must fill out this DARS Authorization Form to receive the proper number of sustainability credits.

In addition, students who wish to receive sustainability credits for courses that are not currently on the preapproved list may also complete the DARS Authorization Form and explain why the course should receive sustainability credits.

Once a form is filled out, it will be sent to a body of Energy Institute faculty members for approval. To expedite the approval process, students should submit their DARS Authorization Form before or near the beginning of the semester in which they plan to take the course.

Final Course Plans

During the term that they expect to meet the certificate requirements, students must fill out and submit this course plan to the supervising faculty member of their capstone courses in their major department. The faculty member will review the course plan and make the recommendation for a certificate to the respective department’s professional advising staff.

The following faculty members have been designated as a point of contact for each department:

Richard J. Straub, Biological Systems Engineering
Robert G. Radwin, Biomedical Engineering
Thatcher Root, Chemical and Biological Engineering
Dan Noguera, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Giri Venkataramanan, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Jim Tinjum, Geological Engineering
Vicki Bier, Industrial and Systems Engineering
Dane Morgan, Materials Science and Engineering
Roxann L. Engelstad, Mechanical Engineering
Michael L. Corradini, Nuclear Engineering and Engineering Physics

When the student and faculty member have filled out and signed the Declaration of Intent and Study Plan, the student must hand them in to Room 905 Engineering Research Building, 1500 Engineering Drive. Once there, the student also needs to fill out and hand in a College of Engineering Certificate Declaration Form, copies of which are located in the drop box next to the Energy Institute office.