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Master of Science in Engineering Management program to offer new concentration in Energy Management

Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Master of Science in Engineering Management program to offer new concentration in Energy Management

The new energy management concentration in the Master's of Engineering Management program will give students hands-on experience in OU INC's Clean Energy Research Center on campus. Pictured is the roof of OU's Human Health Building, the first LEED® Platinum certified building on a university campus in Michigan.
The Oakland University Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering is introducing a new master's degree concentration that will enable engineers interested in or currently working as energy managers to optimize energy distribution systems, better manage environmental resources and help their employers or business clients significantly reduce energy costs.

The Energy Management concentration within the Master's of Engineering Management (MEM) program will provide students with hands-on application of acquired knowledge that responds to a rapidly growing corporate and industrial demand. Instruction will take place both on campus and online.

Dr. Christopher Kobus, associate professor of mechanical engineering and director of engineering and energy education at the OU INC Clean Energy Research Center (CERC) on the Oakland University campus, said a primary challenge that modern civilization faces is somehow sustaining the highest quality of life that mankind has ever known.

"We need to maintain this standard but not be wasteful about it, and that is where resource management comes in, primarily in terms of energy that we need to innovate solutions to local, national and global problems and challenges," he explained.

"Energy management is at the center of conserving as much as we can while still moving forward as a civilization.”

Students in the MEM's energy management concentration will enroll in ten courses divided into four key content areas, the final three areas provide enough flexibility to allow student to tailor their study to long-term career goals. The key content areas include:

  • three energy management courses;
  • two engineering productivity courses;
  • four management courses offered by the School of Business Administration, and;
  • one engineering theory course.

The three courses of the energy management concentration begin with the Fundamentals of Energy Management course, which will examine energy usage in residential, commercial and industrial enclosures; followed by Energy Management II which will cover advanced energy storage systems. The capstone is a practicum course entitled Energy Management Project.

The three energy management courses will be offered executive style over a two-month period in May through June of each year.  “With this executive-style offering, students can go through 12 credits within two months and be prepared for energy challenges," Kobus explained.

"The energy management material is slightly lighter on math compared to heavily math-based courses, but it is higher in concept. In this way, the engineering student can take away practical material that will be invaluable in their daily lives and in their careers as well.”

Program concentration creators cite a high demand for engineering professionals who will be graduating with energy management expertise, particularly from companies that have never explored the prospect of saving energy while maintaining the quality of their facilities, products and services.

Dr. Robert Van Til, professor and chair of Industrial and Systems Engineering, said the energy management concentration represents the ISE department's first venture into a highly specialized engineering focus. He noted, however, that it will not be the last.

"I want to begin offering students these types of concentrations more and more," he said. "We will remain very flexible in terms of allowing students to select courses that will advance their career goals, but increasingly this will become an easy way for students to identify tracks already designed to meet their career needs."

The Master's of Engineering Management program is open to students from any field of engineering - mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, industrial and systems engineering, etc., and no make-up courses are required. Prospective students can enroll at any time, and begin taking classes in September, January or May. Those pursuing the Energy Management concentration will attend the three energy management courses in succession beginning in May, but can enter the program any time to begin taking their other MEM courses.