Green-tech course devised in partnership with GE Energy, Airtricity, ESB and Bord Gáis, plus Wavebob.
Minister Eamon Ryan TD launched the B.E. Programme in Energy Systems Engineering today at NUI Galway (NUIG). The course has been developed in partnership with energy industry providers, including ESB, GE Energy, Airtricity, Bord Gáis, and the wave energy technology firm Wavebob and consulting engineers’ practices Arup and RPS. The new degree programme can be applied for through the CAO and is still available as a Change of Mind option until 1 July 2010.
Speaking today, Ryan said: “The Government has set out ambitious plans for energy, and particularly renewable energy over the next 10 years. For these plans to come to fruition, we must seek to build on our technical expertise, and continue to add to the highly skilled energy workforce in this country."
For Ireland to transgress from its current level of 15pc renewable electricity to 40pc by 2020, he said building a strong academic platform with practical, onsite experience would be vital.
As well as having a very practical element by linking up with some of Ireland’s key energy providers, the Energy Systems Engineering course will also support innovation and technology transfer, working with a cluster of energy companies in the west of Ireland, including Wavebob, Eirecomposites, Enerit and C&F Engineering.
The course will be given in the new Engineering Building on NUIG’s campus. The building itself will also host sustainable energy and environmentally friendly features, as well as providing a real-life experimental environment for students of the new programme.
Aspects of the programme will include traditional civil, electrical and mechanical engineering, with an emphasis on energy policy, economics, environmental issues and a strong focus on informatics. It will also include a range of additional optional modules, giving students the flexibility to opt for diverse career paths in the green-tech field.
The Energy Systems Engineering course will culminate in integrated design projects that address the sourcing, conversion and use of energy. Subjects on offer will also include strong elements of civic engagement and service learning, with, for example, student volunteers travelling to India and Africa to install solar systems. Students will also study a range of related subjects, including economics, sociology, politics, law and science.
Prof Gerry Lyons, dean of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway, said the course has been designed to meet Ireland’s future demand for graduates in the emerging energy sectors.
“These energy graduates are critical to Ireland’s recovery and can play a crucial role in the emerging fields of renewable energy and smart grids.”