The geopolitical conflicts over energy resources during the last decades have transformed the current energy landscapes at regional, national and global scales. These shifts in energy landscapes have made the management of energy resources more complex, the development of energy policy more important and controversial, and the innovation of energy technology front-page news. Whether it is finding new traditional sources of energy (e.g., oil, coal and natural gas) or developing alternative sources of energy (e.g., wind, solar, hydropower, geothermal) we need to understand that the world is so embedded in conventional sources of energy that policies and decisions regarding alternative sources of energy depend greatly on what happens in the fossil fuel market.
An interdisciplinary and integrated understanding of energy resources is integral to finding comprehensive solutions to the management of energy systems in today’s rapidly changing world. A broad range of human, environmental, political, economic, and technological factors are at work shaping the future of current energy landscapes, and it is the mission of the Institute for Integrated Energy Studies (I2ES) to prepare students to be active participants in that emerging future. In doing so, the I2ES emphasizes critical thinking and applied approaches to analysis, while providing graduates with the skills necessary to deal with energy issues at scales ranging from local to global.
The Bachelor of Science in Integrated Energy Management (IEM) take these factors in consideration and provides students with an interdisciplinary education experience that includes the integration of both traditional fossil fuel-based and greener alternative energy. Students enrolled in the IEM degree program will be able to choose from three specializations: (1) integrated energy policy; (2) integrated energy business; and (3) integrated power systems. Courses in the BS in IEM introduce students to energy systems and resources, while at the same time providing a comprehensive understanding for the social, political, economic and environmental processes that shape energy systems. We emphasize field learning experience and an integrative approach to energy management. Majors in IEM hone their written, verbal, and analytical communication skills as part of their interdisciplinary education. Students also learn from and collaborate with faculty members supporting the Institute for Integrated Energy Studies.
Select students will have the opportunity to engage in a credit-bearing business-hosted extended (up to six months) cooperative education/apprenticeships with participating businesses. This applied learning experience happens in a student’s junior or senior year, and allows for the student to: (1) put in practice what they have learned in the classroom; (2) receive credit towards their degree; and (3) receive specialized training from a company that they may work for after graduation.
No other university in the State offers this particular type of interdisciplinary education in response to current and future professional work place needs. Upon graduation, majors in IEM will be qualified to work in a wide range of careers, including: energy policy, energy management services, inspection field technician, contract specialists, supply chain management of energy technologies, energy business, utility locator supervisor, energy plant manager, energy forecasting, and employment in private, public and non-for-profit organizations at local, state, and federal government agencies.