Published on

Published in: Technology, Business
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide


  1. 1. 1 Abstract — The emerging clean-energy smart grid environment in the electric power sector has necessitated that related educational programs evolve to meet the needs of students, faculty, and employers alike. In order to prepare the next generation of power engineering professionals to meet the challenges ahead in the electric power sector, a new curriculum must be developed that includes core power engineering principals coupled with emerging aspects of smart grid technologies and clean energy integration. Such curriculum also needs to consider not only the end-use side of the power system within the smart grid definition, such as smart metering, communications and demand response aspects, but also other key enabling technologies throughout the whole transmission and distribution system and the entire energy supply chain. These include areas such as energy storage technologies, advanced power electronics at the transmission and distribution levels, networked control systems, automation, renewable and alternative energy systems integration, system optimization, real- time control, and other related topics. In addition, the evolution of power programs and curriculum in this emerging area must take into account significant input from industry constituents engaged in the manufacturing, implementation, operation, and maintenance of the new smart grid technologies and systems. By working collaboratively with industry to meet future employer needs, programs with newly developed course offerings will be able to better prepare students and existing professionals alike for the rapidly growing clean-energy, smart grid environment. This paper will provide an overview of a potential model for program structures and course developments in this critical area, including examples of initiatives already being developed and deployed. I. INTRODUCTION Part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is focused on building, operating, and maintaining a modern electricity delivery system, with the evolution toward a future clean-energy smart grid infrastructure, as illustrated below in Figure 1. In order to achieve this goal, it is necessary to establish and to begin implementing smart grid education models that take into account traditional core principals of power engineering education, while at the same time introducing new and relevant principles and courses for a modernized program curriculum. Gregory F. Reed and William E. Stanchina are with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in the Swanson School of Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh, 348 Benedum Engineering Hall, Pittsburgh PA 15261. (email: reed5@pitt.edu ; wes25@pitt.edu ) Such programs will need to immediately address industry needs over the next five-to-ten years, in order to train the ‘next generation’ of the electric power workforce. This workforce needs to be trained with both a solid technical background and the innovativeness to address national energy-related challenges, and in turn provide global leadership in this sector. One model that would work towards achieving many of these goals is based on a post- baccalaureate certificate program in electric power engineering, with a focus on clean-energy smart grid technologies, principles, and systems integration. “Smart Grid” Technologies - Control, Commun. Automation, Prot. Figure 1. Smart Grid Technology Integration for Enhanced Energy Efficiency and Clean Energy Integration II. BACKGROUND At the University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering, post-baccalaureate engineering certificate programs in the areas of nuclear engineering and civil engineering have been highly successful in meeting similar education and workforce development goals. Based on these experiences, the concept for a post-baccalaureate certificate program is considered here as a model for modern curriculum development in electric power engineering. There exists a critical need for such a program and other workforce development initiatives in the electric power sector, as highlighted in the IEEE PES Power and Energy Engineering Workforce Collaborative Action Plan of 2009 [1]. Based on the findings in the Collaborative Action Plan report, it is necessary to not only increase undergraduate student programs at the university level in electric power, but Smart Grid Education Models for Modern Electric Power System Engineering Curriculum Gregory F. Reed, Member, IEEE; William E. Stanchina, Member, IEEE 978-1-4244-6551-4/10/$26.00 ©2010 IEEE
  2. 2. 2 also at the graduate level. These will be graduate-level educated professionals that are needed to meet industry employment needs, bring innovation to the future challenges, and take advantage of the tremendous opportunities that are rapidly developing in the electric power sector, especially in the clean-energy smart grid arena [1], [2]. III. PROGRAM MODEL FOUNDATION AND INDUSTRY PARTICIPATION By identifying the emerging clean-energy smart grid of the electric power sector as an area of need for educational development, models for new curriculum development are therefore required. The smart grid can be defined as ‘the implementation of various enabling power system automation, communication, protection, and control technologies that will allow real-time interoperability between end-users and energy providers, in order to enhance efficiency in utilization decision-making based on resource availability and economics.’ Everything from improved energy efficiency in buildings to effective implementation of transportation electrification to the integration of higher penetration levels of renewable resources will be enhanced through effective smart grid implementation, as depicted in Figure 1. Key areas of initial educational development are in the areas of smart grid integration and real-time control with grid operators at the interface. Establishing an understanding in these areas, and how they relate to clean energy integration and growth, will in turn help to define the standards and specifications of the emerging technologies required for smart grid benefits, from smart meters at the end-use level to energy storage technologies at the resource level to power electronics-based controls at the transmission and distribution level, to name just a few. The University of Pittsburgh’s Power & Energy Initiative provides a basis for establishing a modern curriculum in this area, while addressing industry needs for the needed workforce skill sets [3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8]. Pitt’s Power & Energy Initiative was developed over the past several years in direct response to electric power and energy industry workforce issues, with tremendous support and input from several regional power-related companies, including the electric utilities and system operators (e.g., Duquesne Light, Allegheny Power, FirstEnergy, and PJM Interconnection); several major manufacturers (e.g., Eaton Corporation, Westinghouse Electric, CONSOL Energy, BPL Global, Converteam, ABB, Siemens Power T&D, Mitsubishi Electric, and others); and a major government research facility (U.S. DOE National Energy Technology Laboratory). These companies and organizations are all engaged in various aspects of the clean-energy smart grid evolution. Building from this foundation to address the power engineering workforce talent gap that has developed over the past several decades, many of the companies in the power and energy industries located in the Southwestern Pennsylvania region and beyond, have supported the efforts of the University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering to develop new and renewed programs in the areas of Electric Power Engineering, Nuclear Engineering, and Mining Engineering at the undergraduate and graduate levels. These programs comprise the Pitt Power & Energy Initiative and include both education and research components, along with strong outreach and service activities. The education programs have been developed with significant input and participation from industry partners. In addition to support with new course development, some of the courses are taught by industry experts serving as adjunct professors within the Swanson School of Engineering. Many of the new courses are offered through state-of-the art distance learning techniques, allowing more opportunities for greater diversity in overall student participation. The research components also involve strong industry collaborations, and have rapidly developed through funding support from industry, government, and other constituents. Some of the key areas of advanced research work being conducted are in future directions of energy supply, delivery, and end-use; including smart grids, renewable and green energy integration, energy efficiency, energy storage, advanced energy materials, and other emerging areas. As the foundation example for modernized curriculum development, Pitt’s electric power engineering concentrations at the undergraduate and graduate levels currently consist of the following courses and requirements. The undergraduate electric power engineering concentration consists of a four-course sequence: Required Courses: • Power System Engineering & Analysis I • Electric Machines • Linear Control Systems Electives (one of the following): • Electrical Distribution Engineering and Smart Grids I • Power Generation Operation and Control • Power Electronics • Cost and Construction of Electrical Supply • Introduction to Nuclear Engineering The graduate level offerings currently consist of the following: Core Power Courses: • Power System Engineering & Analysis II • Power System Transients I and II • Power System Steady-State Operation • Power System Stability • Power Electronics – Circuits and Systems • Electrical Distribution Engineering and Smart Grids II • Renewable and Alternative Energy Systems • Special Topics in Electric Power Recommended Electives: • Optimization Methods • Linear Systems Theory • Stochastic Processes • Embedded Systems
  3. 3. 3 IV. SMART GRID EDUCATION MODEL APPROACH A model then, for a modern post-baccalaureate curriculum in the smart grid area, is derived from successes with existing undergraduate and graduate program efforts and offerings. By expanding an already established set of traditional core electric power engineering graduate courses, a post- baccalaureate certificate provides a model that can achieve several key goals – including a means to retrain currently displaced workers, train existing workers, and provide an incentive for baccalaureate graduates to pursue advanced engineering degrees in the clean-energy smart grid area. Specifically, a set of eight courses could provide the initial basis and offerings for a program model. These courses would supplement an already robust graduate power systems curriculum. A key aspect of such a program would consist of offering the courses via distance learning, in order to expand the reach and opportunity for potential students. The curriculum would provide a clear and immediate pathway for professional smart grid skills development, and could consist of the following course offerings, along with brief descriptions, as examples: 1) Introduction to Smart Grid Technologies and Applications: The introduction to smart grid technologies and applications course would provide an in-depth overview and understanding of the various enabling technologies, components, equipment, and integration of systems that are applied to achieve greater levels of power system and end-use interoperability, efficiency and reliability. 2) Introduction to Clean Energy Systems and Grid Integration: The introduction to clean energy systems and grid integration would provide an in-depth understanding of various clean energy technologies and systems, the impacts of certain types of renewable resources in relation to power system operations, and the overall aspects of power grid integration with a specific focus on integrated generation management. 3) Electrical Distribution Systems Engineering and Smart Grids II: Electrical Distribution Systems Engineering and Smart Grids II would be a second course in a smart grid series (the first is at the undergraduate level). The first course focuses on power system design utilizing planning and load forecasting methodology, utility design parameters, end-use patterns, and power delivery requirements - students design power distribution systems from the substation to the end user. The second course, at the graduate level would begin with the power system initial design and introduce analysis techniques to evaluate power system performance utilizing smart grid technologies and their various applications. 4) Energy Storage Technologies and Applications: This course would provide an in-depth understanding of advances in energy storage technologies for a range of applications associated with renewable energy integration, storage requirements, market regulation, and smart grid interfacing. 5) Power System Simulation of the Grid and Renewable Resources: This course would offer graduate power system engineers the experience of observing and analyzing the dynamic interactions of mechanical and electrical characteristics of an actual power system. Utility case studies and laboratory experiences would be incorporated using a fully instrumented power system simulator set-up. 6) Networked Control Systems for Electric Power Applications: The networked control system course would consist of the study of a set of dynamical units that interact with each other for coordinated operation and behavior. The study of such systems has applications in diverse areas of engineering, science, and medicine, with a focus on power network interactions. 7) Advanced Power Electronics (FACTS and HVDC) Systems and Applications: Advanced Power Electronics (FACTS and HVDC) would be a comprehensive course in the area of large- scale power electronics systems, circuits, devices, and the ever-advancing areas of technology applications, including a comprehensive treatment of turnkey system supply. 8) Electric Power Industry Business Practices in the Clean- Energy Smart Grid Environment: This course would cover modern power and energy industry business practices, as well as energy policy and future development from both national and global perspectives. The requirements for the certification would include completion of a five-course sequence from the above-listed eight course offerings. All five courses that are completed towards the successful certification could also be used as credits towards a full M.S. or Ph.D. degree. Thus, the certificate would provide options for advanced training and education beyond the recognized certification. These courses not only address the emerging clean-energy smart grid education needs, they are also complimentary to existing graduate course offerings. From a scheduling perspective, the courses could be offered over a one-year period and thus provide an opportunity for a potential student to complete the certification in a 12 month time frame. Three courses would be offered each spring and fall semester, with two courses running over the summer term. By offering each course via distance learning, geographical boundaries are eliminated, expanding the potential for student participation. This is advantageous for maintaining working professional productivity, as well as to address demanding travel schedules of some professionals, etc. Other benefits of a post-baccalaureate certificate include an opportunity to utilize the program as a training component for community college educators and high school teachers in this area, which could lead to broader outreach activities for clean- energy smart grid education in the K-12 and technical school environments.
  4. 4. 4 V. SUMMARY A post-baccalaureate certificate program in the clean-energy smart grid area provides a model for modern electric power engineering curriculum development. Such a program offers added value to students and employers alike. Newly graduated B.S. engineering students would benefit from augmenting their education, regardless of area of discipline, with a specialization in the clean-energy smart grid arena. These students would also be in a prime position to continue on beyond the awarded certificate to complete a full M.S. or Ph.D. degree early in their professional careers. More experienced professionals would be able to apply already gathered skill sets and augment them with an advanced graduate-level education in this critical area. Further, certain companies, manufacturers, suppliers, consultants, and others that have not traditionally been engaged in the electric power and energy industries are finding new markets in this growing and dynamic space. Through the revolutionary changes occurring in the electric power sector, many new products, technologies, and advanced skill sets are needed and are finding their way into the clean- energy smart grid growth. The potential for these companies is tremendous, whether they be in the areas of communications, devices, conventional and advanced products, or applied knowledge; they would all gain great value from employee training through such a modernized program. Thus, employers would stand to benefit tremendously through a low-cost, high-value investment in their technical personnel and overall training. Such a program would complement existing employer training programs in many ways, and would provide a unique path for an organization’s overall knowledge development and technical growth. By establishing a stronger formal education base in the clean-energy smart grid, many companies could add value to the entire organizational chain of engineering, research and development, business development, marketing and product development, etc. Utilities, manufacturers, consultants, government agencies, and in fact all organizations engaged in the electric power and energy sector, would benefit from investing in their employee’s futures and overall professional and personnel advancement. VI. REFERENCES [1] Bose, A., Fluek, A., Lauby, M., Niebur, D., Randazzo A., Ray, D., Reder, W., Reed, G. F., Sauer, P., Wayno, F., “Preparing the U.S. Foundation for Future Electric Energy Systems: A Strong Power and Energy Engineering Workforce,” IEEE Power & Energy Society, April, 2009. [2] Reed, G. F., Ray, D. J., “IEEE PES Works to Meet Power & Energy Engineering Education and Workforce Needs: Concerns about the Future Power and Energy Engineering Workforce,” IEEE USA Today’s Engineer On-Line, July 2008. [3] Reed, G.F., Stanchina, W., “The Power and Energy Initiative at the University of Pittsburgh: Addressing the Aging Workforce Issue through Innovative Education, Collaborative Research, and Industry Partnerships,” Panel Session on Aging Work Force Issues - Solutions that Work, IEEE PES T&D Conference and Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana, April 2010 (accepted). [4] Vilcheck, W.S., Stinson, R., Gates, G., Kemp, D., Reed, G.F., “Eaton and the University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering Collaborate to Train Students in Electric Power Engineering,” Panel Session on Aging Work Force Issues - Solutions that Work, IEEE PES T&D Conference and Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana, April 2010 (accepted). [5] Reed, G.F., “A Powerful Initiative at Pitt - The University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering Power & Energy Initiative: Building Engineering Education and Research Partnerships through Academic- Industry Collaboration,” IEEE Power & Energy Magazine, Vol. 6, No. 2, March/April, 2008. [6] Reed, G.F., “Two Solutions to Aging Workforce Issues (Pitt Power & Energy Initiative and KEMA Operations & Planning Knowledge Tools),” Power Engineering Magazine, Vol. 112, No. 8, August 2008. [7] Reed, G.F., Lovell, M., Shuman, L., Stanchina, W., “A Renewed Power and Energy Initiative Development at the University of Pittsburgh School of Engineering,” IEEE PES General Meeting, Power Engineering Education Committee ‘Education of the Power Engineer of the Future’ Panel Session, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, July 2008. [8] Reed, G.F., Lovell, M., Shuman, L., “Power and Energy Engineering Program Development at the University of Pittsburgh School of Engineering – Electric Power Engineering (I),” IEEE PES Power System Conference and Exposition, Chicago, Illinois, April 2008.
  5. 5. 5 VII. BIOGRAPHIES Gregory F. Reed (M’1985) was born in St. Mary’s, Pennsylvania. He received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Gannon University, Erie PA; M. Eng. in Electric Power Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy NY; and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh PA. He is the Director of the Power & Energy Initiative in the Swanson School of Engineering and Associate Professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the University of Pittsburgh. He also serves as the IEEE PES Vice President of Membership & Image. He has over 23 years of electric power industry experience, including utility, manufacturing, and consulting at Consolidated Edison Co. of NY, Mitsubishi Electric, and KEMA Inc. His research interests include power transmission & distribution and energy systems; smart grid technologies; power electronics and control technologies and applications; energy storage technologies; and power generation and renewable energy resources. William E. Stanchina (M’1968) Professor and Chair of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department in the Swanson School of Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Stanchina received his PhD in Electrical Engineering in 1978 from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. He joined the department after 21 years at HRL Laboratories (formerly Hughes Research Laboratories) in Malibu, CA. At HRL he was directly involved in the research, development, and low volume production of high speed (40-150 GHz clock frequency) integrated circuits (ICs) based on indium phosphide heterojunction bipolar transistor technology. Since 1997, he was the Director of the Microelectronics Laboratory – an approximately 90 person organization that conducted R&D and pilot production of cutting-edge compound semiconductor IC technology including space-qualified InAlAs/InGaAs HEMT MMICs, GaN microwave and millimeter-wave MMICs, and ultra-low power narrow bandgap semiconductor ICs along with novel high frequency antennas and tunable filter technologies. At Pitt, Dr. Stanchina conducts research that investigates both the nano- scale potential and high voltage, high temperature potential of wide bandgap heterostructure semiconductor devices and ICs. In other research he is investigating applications of light emitting diodes for solid-state lighting and medical diagnostics.