An interesting and new growth area within the broad discipline of engineering is energy engineering. Energy engineers are being sought after in the emerging and rapidly developing renewable energy industries across the world. This field involves a mix of mechanical and electrical engineering, to solve energy problems.
Countries around the word are increasingly looking at renewable energy sources as an alternative to oil and gas. Wind, solar and hydro energy are the most common alternative energy sources being explored. Energy engineers are primarily concerned with conserving energy, reducing environmental impact, and identifying renewable energy sources to meet the growing energy needs of people.
Master’s or Bachelor’s degrees in renewable energy engineering is offered by many U.S. universities to international students keen on pursuing a career in this field. The undergraduate courses begin by helping you build a solid foundation of physics, chemistry and mathematics, which pave the way for coursework in electrical and mechanical engineering. The curriculum then steers towards renewable-energy specific subjects such as photovoltaics, energy management and auditing, biofuels, wind power, renewable-energy transportation systems, and green buildings. These degrees prepare graduates for engineering careers in the broader energy sector, and specifically in renewable energy.
The master’s degree provides advanced knowledge and skills in the field of renewable energy, and prepares students to take up a wide range of technical leadership roles. The master’s programmes include research activities in the field.
For example, the Centre for Energy and Environmental Studies at Boston University allows students to work closely with the faculty on research programms in energy and environmental modelling, power systems engineering transportation of energy, etc.
Research subjects offered for the postgraduate students studying energy resource engineering at the Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis include geothermal energy, oil and gas recovery, natural gas engineering and pipeline transportation.
As a graduate of the programmes, you will be prepared for further study or for immediate employment as energy auditors, field engineers, renewable energy system integrators for homes and businesses, designers for components and subsystems, local and state government renewable-energy inspectors, planners and other positions in the energy field.