Alternative Energy

Alternative Energy

Alternative energy news, and information about renewable energy technologies.

Dec 31

College Students Pursue ‘Clean Energy’ Careers

Posted in Energy Economy | Energy Industry | Future Technology

College Students Nowadays students are not oblivious to the hazards of global warming. They are quite keen on pursuing a ‘clean energy’ career. Now the concern about climate change is stimulating more undergraduate students to show interest in science and engineering. We can watch the trend of the rising interest in renewable energy. As leaders from various schools such as Arizona State University, Indiana University and the University of Colorado confirm that energy and sustainability are the hottest topics for their students. But another fact which can’t be guaranteed is whether their keenness for renewable energy will remain so into graduate school and further on in life.


Vijay K. Dhir is the dean of the engineering school at UCLA. He explains the situation, “We have a shortfall of people to do cutting-edge research and do the innovations we need. But the potential is there.”

Politicians too are creating a conducive environment for research and development. President Obama is quite keen on developing alternative energy. He is responsible for a multi-billion-dollar push to boost “clean energy.” It is thought that this step will create millions of jobs in clean and green energy field. The endeavor includes stepped-up support for graduate students doing research in the area.

If we watch the statistics of U.S. science scene, this country is struggling in the last two decades to produce enough scientists and engineers to meet demand. Students pursuing the graduate engineering programs dropped more than 5% from 2003 to 2005. But countries like China and South Korea are realizing the importance of science and technology and their number of students are swelling up, both in size and quality. Graduate science enrolments in the U.S. are also on the increase in the last two decades. But more than 50% of the seats are occupied by the foreign students, who don’t stay back in the country. Another catch is, the rate at which American workers with science and engineering proficiency retire is expected to triple over the next decade. Karen Harbert, is the executive vice president and managing director of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for 21st Century Energy. He says, “The most critical challenge over the long-term is people and brainpower.” Taking all these facts into account, the National Science Board said in a 2008, If that trend continues, “the rapid growth in [research and development] employment and spending that the United States has experienced since World War II may not be sustainable.”

Obama is pumping huge funds in the form of economic stimulus package. This package includes $20 billion for fundamental and applied science research. We are familiar with the fact that much of the research work is completed by graduate students. It may lead us to cheaper solar cells, more efficient wind turbines and longer-lasting batteries. Obama’s federal budget intends to triple the number of graduate research fellowships.

Yannis C. Yortsos is the engineering dean at USC. He says, “In the past, very talented kids would go into business school, to Wall Street, get big bonuses. That may not be the case for a while. They may go into engineering instead.” Yortsos has witnessed a rise in freshman and graduate-student interest in renewable energy research. He thinks that it is due to “social awareness” of sustainability issues and climate change. Loni Iverson, 21, a mechanical engineering senior at USC reaffirms Yannis C. Yortsos belief. He is assisting a professor’s research into fuel cells that run on bacteria. He says, “I became an engineer because of alternative energy and the potential it had to solve problems. In high school, I kept hearing about America’s dependence on foreign oil and the war in Iraq and gas prices rising.”

There is a strong link between patent productions and economic growth. Some really innovative patents emerge out of graduate research and start-up firms are needed to make the patented technologies commercially viable.

University presidents and deans are emphasizing on encouraging U.S. students to pursue science and engineering graduate degrees. They are also trying to retain the foreign students who often leaves due to quality jobs or legal complications involved in securing U.S. residence. According to Alice P. Gast, president of Lehigh University, the immigrant scientists and engineers who study in the U.S. seem to pursue risks and start new companies. Earlier Gast was vice president for research and associate provost at MIT. There she spotted a trend in a 2005 faculty newsletter that the university had seen a rapid increase in patent disclosures with at least one international student involved.

Obama’s energy secretary, Steven Chu, is in agreement that a bright future lies ahead for those going for alternative energy. He said in a recent interview that he sees “a new cadre of idealistic people who want to work on [energy] in any way they can.”

Chu is of the view that, “You have to start the long-term now. The long-term is being aware that a lot of students want to study science and engineering for this issue, to support them. That requires patience.”

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/peterruoss Peter Ruoss

    Hello:
    I am very impressed with your “airfoil” cross section, I think it could be incorporated into the idea I have about a Darious Wind or Water Turbine. I see great potential to make the airfoil reversible by, instead of alternating the attack angle of the whole airfoil I have, we would just reverse the attack angle of the airfoil itself by twisting your connection center plate of the airfoil the opposite way, thus changing the airfoil shape into reverse.
    Pete


Advantages of Renewable Energy at Macro and Micro Level

Advantages of Renewable Energy at Macro and Micro Level

It is now certain that the current energy systems and technological advancements available in the world are not sufficient to make the planet free from the carbon dioxide that

Increase Renewable Energy Sources – Generate More Jobs

Increase Renewable Energy Sources – Generate More Jobs

This has been the slogan that GE, one of the leading power suppliers and energy delivery technology pioneers, propagated all through the ‘Capture the Wind’ tour across US. GE

More Energy-Efficient Communications Networks

More Energy-Efficient Communications Networks

Reputed companies are always conscious about their brand image and what a great way to build great brand by taking clean and green route! Bell Lab is the division

Renewable Energy ‘Supergrid’ coming to Europe

Renewable Energy ‘Supergrid’ coming to Europe

UK’s energy and climate change minister, Lord Hunt shares his opinion, “We recognise that the North Sea has huge resources, we are exploiting those in the UK quite intensively

Green Heating and Cooling Technology from Carbon

Green Heating and Cooling Technology from Carbon

Carbon is a substance environmentalists love to hate. It is the major ingredient of environmental damage. Scientists and environmentalists are working hard to decrease the amount of carbon emission

German Smart Grid Leads the Way in Conservation

German Smart Grid Leads the Way in Conservation

There is an obvious push on not only using less energy, but in finding other forms of energy that will allow the world to recover from the years of

Potential for 1.9 Million Renewable Energy Jobs

Potential for 1.9 Million Renewable Energy Jobs

Three universities of the USA have conducted studies related to renewable sources of energy and it has produced some interesting facts. The first and most important one is that

US Navy plans Green Fleet

US Navy plans Green Fleet

According to the Department of Defense News report, the Defense Department’s total energy costs for fiscal 2006 and 2007 was above $13 billion. In the year 2008, due to