Universities are starting to respond to the need for engineers trained in alternative, or renewable energy, as the United States transitions into an economy geared to meet environmental and new energy challenges. The University of Toledo (UT) is one of those schools that hopes to combine some of its faculty and researchers into a new school dedicated to alternative energies, reported the Independent Collegian.
Educators are taking a close look at creating schools or programs in renewable energy technologies including solar, wind and biofuels to meet the workforce needs of these emerging markets. Not only are they training future generations of engineers and technicians that can help companies adopt these technologies, they also hope it will bring investment opportunities into their local communities.
In an effort to boost UT’s reputation for its alternative energy research, the Main Campus Provost Rosemary Hagget has enlisted the help of deans from the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Business Administration and the College of Engineering to broaden the conversation around a new alternative energy school, reported The Independent Collegian. UT is known for its photovoltaic research.
One of the biggest topics of discussion at UT concerning the creation of a new alternative energy school is whether to focus on solar energy research or include other renewable technologies like wind energy or biofuels.
The proposal for the new alternative energy school is still in the development phase, although the university hopes to have a clarified proposal by July 2009, according to The Independent Collegian.
There are several U.S. schools, including the Oregon Institute of Technology, Wisconsin’s Mid-State Technical College, John Brown University, University of Dayton, and Illinois State University, to name a few, that now offer renewable energy programs.