OSU energy engineering program grows in Bend
By Lee van der Voo
An energy management engineering program at Oregon State University's Cascades campus is one of just a handful in the country.
The Oregon State University - Cascades campus in Bend will welcome 20 transfer students in the fall, all of them headed to a one-year-old program designed to train the next generation of energy systems engineers.
The Energy Systems Engineering program launched last September in partnership with Central Oregon Community College. It’s intended to pair complex engineering with business concepts and identify solutions for energy efficiency. Graduates may land in jobs running wind farms. They might also evaluate the economic viability of new solar installations, manage complex energy conversion and distribution systems, work to improve energy storage or manage efficiency at large companies and manufacturers.
“I think it's for a student that's interested in making a difference with energy. It’s going to be a long-term challenge that’s with us forever and I think it’s a broad, flexible degree. It's going to offer you a lot of options with your career,” said Robin Feuerbacher, assistant professor and Tykeson Endowed Faculty Scholar of the Energy Systems Engineering program.
OSU-Cascades worked with local industry and related companies to design the curriculum. In addition to coursework that combines industrial and mechanical engineering studies with instruction on the business and financial side of energy, including incentives, it also emphasizes the secondary effects of energy usage, including environmental and economic impacts, and global climate.
Students in the program pursue six-month internships with companies sponsoring interns. Those companies include Advanced Energy, which has its solar energy headquarters based in Bend, and Bend-based fuel-cell maker IdaTech and medical research firm Bend Research.
If you are commenting using a Facebook account, your profile information may be displayed with your comment depending on your privacy settings. By leaving the 'Post to Facebook' box selected, your comment will be published to your Facebook profile in addition to the space below.