A new degree in energy systems engineering has been introduced at NUI Galway, in light of Ireland’s increasing swerve towards energy-related industries.
This four-year degree will take its first intake in September, and will produce professional accredited engineers qualified to drive the emerging energy-related industries.
Graduates of the programme will be multidisciplinary engineers equipped to solve problems across the entire spectrum of energy systems.
The new degree programme can be applied for in the coming months through the CAO as a change-of-mind option.
The current National Development Plan and the Programme for Government have both placed a strong emphasis on addressing energy issues. Plus, the Strategy for Science, Technology and Innovation has listed energy as a research priority. Draft-building regulations for new homes have also been published, which include a mandatory minimum renewable energy requirement.
Commenting on the new course, Professor Padraic O’Donoghue, dean of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway (www.nuigalway.ie ), explained: “If Ireland is really to progress on energy issues, it needs many more graduates who are trained specifically in energy-related disciplines. This is crucial, so that renewable energy technologies and industries can be optimised for domestic and international markets”.
Dr James Browne, president of NUI Galway and of Engineers Ireland, added: “NUI Galway is well positioned to deliver such an engineering programme in energy, as it has a strong range of all relevant engineering disciplines within its College of Engineering and Informatics. The new engineering building on campus, due for completion in 2011, will provide a real-life experimental environment for students of the new programme”.
The energy systems engineering course will incorporate aspects of traditional civil, electrical and mechanical engineering, with an emphasis on energy policy, economics, environmental issues and a strong focus on informatics.
The programme will also include additional optional modules for students to choose from, in order to pursue diverse career paths within the energy sphere.
While the course is available through the CAO in 2009 as a change-of-mind option, it will be fully available through the CAO in 2010.
By Carmel Doyle