Clemson Engineering Program for Careers in Energy Management Now Offered at the Lowcountry Graduate Center

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To meet the growing demand for engineers with knowledge in energy-related fields, Clemson University now offers a Master of Science degree in Electrical Engineering with an emphasis in power engineering at the Lowcountry Graduate Center.

“Engineering is one of the largest growth sectors for graduate education in the Lowcountry, and we are thrilled that this graduate degree will be offered in North Charleston, along with the M.S. in Mechanical Engineering by Clemson and the M.S. in Engineering Management from the University of South Carolina,” said Dr. Nancy Muller, executive director of the Lowcountry Graduate Center.

Clemson developed this graduate program for engineers seeking to understand the complex, highly dynamic phenomenon present in a modern power system. The M.S. in Electrical Engineering includes courses in the areas of power systems protection, dynamics/stability, transients, and distribution. The focus of the program advances one’s understanding of new, innovative methods for wide area monitoring, protection and control, wireless communication, and smart grid systems. The courses are applicable to the requirements of any of the other four graduate degrees in Electrical and Computer Engineering offered at Clemson.

“Discussions with leaders in the power industry and academia indicate that many power engineers do not have the necessary background to tackle these challenging problems related to modern power systems. Therefore we felt it was important for us to use our resources in electrical engineering at Clemson to help serve this need,” explained Dr. Dan Noneaker, Chair of the Holcombe Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Clemson University is helping the nation reach its goal of doubling wind and solar electricity in the United States by 2025 with its state-of-the-art research at its Wind Turbine Drivetrain Testing Facility in North Charleston. This increased use of renewable energy sources represents a major paradigm shift in the electric power industry that will require the current power grid be transformed to be smarter and is a reason for every local supplier of energy and its vendors to be interested in this new graduate degree offering.

According to a 2014 report by the Association of Energy Engineers, 36% of energy engineers currently in the workforce nationwide plan to retire within the next ten years, increasing the demand for professionals trained in energy management. ““We rely on our highly trained engineers to ensure that we can continue to capably serve the two million people who depend on our electricity across South Carolina,” stated Laura Varn, vice president for human resources management at Santee Cooper. “This graduate degree can also enable Santee Cooper to remain a leader in energy generation as we look to the future of our industry.” Santee Cooper employs approximately 1,700 people and provides more than 174,000 retail customers and 28 military and large industrial customers with power throughout the Lowcountry, in addition to serving the state’s 20 electric cooperatives who have members in all 46 counties of the state. It has been in existence since 1934 and is the largest power producer in South Carolina.

To learn more about Clemson’s M.S. in Electrical Engineering degree, contact the Graduate Program Coordinator for Clemson’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at (864) 656-5902 or ecegrad@clemson.edu.

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