Course Descriptions

ENRGYEGR 310: Introduction to Energy Generation, Delivery, Conversion and Efficiency

This course will initially be taught together with ME 461; Energy Engineering and the Environment.

An overall introduction to energy issues as they relate to generation, delivery, conversion and efficiency. Topics include efficiencies of both new and established energy generation and conversion methods; electricity generation by fossil fuels, nuclear, solar, wind and hydropower; and alternative energy technologies. Other topics include space heating and cooling by traditional methods and by solar, transportation energy in automobiles, mass transit and freight. Topics are evaluated quantitatively by modeling and using principles of fluid mechanics, thermodynamics and heat transfer. The environmental consequences of energy choices on local, national and global scales, including toxic emissions, greenhouse gases and resource depletion are also discussed and integrated throughout the course. Prerequisite: ME 331L, or ME 512, or PHY 311, or similar thermodynamics, or consent of instructor.  Instructor: Cocks or Knight. One course. C-L: ENERGY 310. Course is not open to students who have taken ME 461.

ME/ENRGYEGR 490.XX: Special Topics - Energy for the Built Environment

Broad overview of fundamental and applied concepts of energy in the overall context of the modern and built environment. Includes mechanical and electrical fundamentals to analyze the built environment, energy flows and balances, demand and supply solutions, tools such as life cycle analysis for assessment/evaluation, and emerging issues in the built environment. Course includes design problems and case studies. Prerequisites: ENRGYEGR 310 or ME 461 or consent of instructor. Instructor: Simmons. One course.

ME/ENRGYEGR 490.XX: Special Topics - Renewable Energy Technologies

Overview of technologies and processes for renewable energy generation (excluding biological processes covered in ENRGYEGR 490.01 Bioenergy). Includes fundamental principles, review of the state of the art, design and economics, and future perspectives of the main non-biological renewable energy processes. This includes thermochemical processes, wind and geothermal energy, passive solar power and photovoltaics, hydropower, tidal and wave power, and selected renewable emerging energy technologies. Instructor: Simmons

ME/ENRGYEGR 490.XX: Special Topics - Modern Power Systems

Broad overview of fundamental and applied concepts of power generation, transmission and distribution from a systems point of view. Topics covered include but are not limited to components of power grids, their functionality, and interdependence; load modeling and forecasting; power system behavior and performance; smart grids and integration of renewable energy. Prerequisites: ENRGYEGR 310 or ME 461 or consent of instructor. Instructor: Simmons or Staff. One course.

ME/ENRGYEGR 490.XX: Special Topics - Transportation Energy

Provides an introduction to the planning, design and operations of transportation systems. Topics include design, operation, energy and yields, management, and maintenance of transportation systems and infrastructure. Evaluation of design, economical and environment impact, modeling, costing and lifecycle are introduced. Structural characteristics, loading conditions, design, specification are discussed. The course includes a team project. Instructor: Knight. One course. Prerequisites: ENRGYEGR 310

ME/ENERGYEGR 490.XX: Power for Mechanical Systems

Deals with integration of prime movers into systems for power generation, industrial applications and transportation. It focuses on the torque and power characteristics of piston engines, gas turbines and elecrtic drives, and on the physical principles that are used to model their characteristics. Instructors: Knight and Kielb. Prerequisites: Thermodynamics and Instructor Permission.


A broad overview of solar cells, including solar radiation, device theory, materials options, device fabrication and characterization, and system-level issues. Students participate in hands-on laboratory exercises related to the fabrication and characterization of organic, photovoltaic solar cells. Instructor: Stiff-Roberts. One course.


Provides an introduction to switched-mode power converters for graduate and advanced undergraduate students. Basic circuit operation, including steady-state converter modeling and analysis, switch realization, and transformer-isolated converters,  and converter control systems are covered. Course includes ac modeling of converters using averaged methods, small-signal transfer functions, and feedforward and feedback control design. Magnetics design for switched-mode applications, including basic magnetics, the skin and proximity effects, inductor design, and transformer design are covered. Prerequisites: Basic circuit analysis and microelectronic courses, or consent of instructor. Instructor: Peterchev

ENRGYEGR 490.XX: Special Topics - Other

Study arranged on a special topic in which the instructor has particular interest and competence. Consent of instructor and director of energy engineering program required. Half course or one course each. Topics vary by section and year to year. Course may be repeated if the subtitles of the courses are different. Instructor: Staff. Variable credit.