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undergraduate courses in energy and the environment

Fall 2023 ENE Course Offerings

View all undergraduate ENE courses

The Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment is pleased to announce the following ENE courses for Fall 2023.

Designing Sustainable Systems: Beating the Heat of Climate Change with New Building Paradigms

Forrest Meggers
ENE 202/ARC 208/EGR 208/ENV 206
The course presents global anthropogenic impacts on the environment and their relationship to sustainable design. It focuses on understanding principles of applied sciences, and how IoT and Digital Fabrication facilitate rapid and deployable sensors and systems to make and analyze designs. Part 1) Global Change and Environmental Impacts: studying influences on basic natural systems and cycles and how we can evaluate them to rethink building design. Part 2) Designing Sustainable Systems: address learned synergies between making buildings more efficient and less prone to disease transmission through alternative heating cooling and ventilation.

Negative Emission Technologies

Kelsey Hatzell
ENE 419/MAE 419
This course examines the field of carbon capture, conversion, and storage. The course is interdisciplinary and surveys fundamental aspects of combustion, kinetics, material science, thermodynamics and electrochemistry. The class will survey the working principles of existing and emerging technologies that aim to make a critical impact on decarbonizing energy systems. Topics related to carbon capture and negative emission technologies will be discussed.

Human Factors 2.0 – Psychology for Engineering, Energy, and Environmental Decisions

Elke Weber
ENE 475/PSY 475
Human Factors 1.0 studied how humans interact with machines and technology, bringing engineering and psychology into contact in the 1950s and giving rise to theories of user-centric design. This course will cover recent theoretical advances in cognitive and social psychology, especially in human judgment and decision making, that are relevant for engineers and choice architects as they address technical and societal challenges related to sustainability. Such psychological theory (human factors 2.0) can be creatively applied to designs decision environments that help people overcome present bias, loss aversion, and status-quo bias.

Membrane Separations for Energy and the Environment

Ryan Kingsbury
ENE 504 /CEE 504
This course explores the fundamentals and applications of selective membrane technology to water purification, waste treatment, and clean energy processes. The course comprises three sections covering 1) low-pressure (ultrafiltration or microfiltration), 2) high-pressure (nanofiltration and reverse osmosis) and 3) ion exchange membranes. In each section, we review one or more specific applications of that type of membrane to water, wastewater, or energy, and discuss the primary mechanisms by which the membranes accomplish filtration, connections between membrane chemistry, morphology, and performance, and basic process design principles.

Synchrotron and Neutron Techniques for Energy Materials

Claire White
ENE 506/MSE 586/MAE 536/CEE 506/CBE 566
Topics include an introduction to radiation generation at synchrotron and neutron facilities, elastic scattering techniques, inelastic scattering techniques, imaging and spectroscopy. Specific techniques include X-ray and neutron diffraction, small-angle scattering, inelastic neutron scattering, reflectometry, tomography, microscopy, and X-ray absorption spectroscopy. Emphasis placed on data analysis and use of Fourier transforms to relate structure/dynamics to experiment data. Example materials covered include energy storage devices, sustainable concrete, carbon dioxide storage, magnetic materials, mesostructured materials and nanoparticles.

Special Topics in Environmental Engineering and Water Resources: Drinking Water Decarbonization

Angela Fasnacht
ENE 599 / CEE 599
The course explores the latest advancements in decarbonizing water treatment and revolutionizing the approach to this critical sector. Focused on addressing challenges posed by climate change, the course provides an overview of cutting-edge techniques and policies to reduce carbon emissions and enhance water treatment processes’ sustainability. Students gain practical experience building an interactive database to organize and analyze research findings, and have the opportunity to present their research at a real conference. Industry leader guest lecturers share valuable insights and real-world examples of decarbonization in action.

ENE Cross-Listed courses:

The Anthropology of Development

Carolyn Rouse
ANT 314/ENE 314/AFS 314
Why do development projects fail? This course examines why well-meaning development experts get it wrong. It looks closely at what anthropologists mean by culture and why most development experts fail to attend to the cultural forces that hold communities together. By examining development projects from South Asia to the United States, students learn the relevance of exchange relations, genealogies, power, religion, and indigenous law. This semester the class will focus on energy in Africa.

Environmental Fluid Mechanics

Elie Bou-Zeid
CEE 305/GEO 375/ENE305
The course starts by introducing the conservation principles and related concepts used to describe fluids and their behavior. Mass conservation is addressed first, with a focus on its application to pollutant transport problems in environmental media. Momentum conservation, including the effects of buoyancy and earth’s rotation, is then presented. Fundamentals of heat transfer are then combined with the first law of thermodynamics to understand the coupling between heat and momentum transport. We then proceed to apply these laws to study air and water flows in various environmental systems, with a focus on the atmospheric boundary layer.

Solid-State Physics I

Mansour Shayegan
ECE 441/ENE 441
An introduction to the properties of solids. Theory of free electrons–classical and quantum. Crystal structure and methods of determination. Electron energy levels in a crystal: weak potential and tight-binding limits. Classification of solids–metals, semiconductors and insulators. Types of bonding and cohesion in crystals. Lattice dynamics, phonon spectra and thermal properties of harmonic crystals.

Advanced Power Electronics

Minjie Chen
ECE 581/ENE 581
This course presents advanced topics of power electronics covering advanced design techniques, advanced models, and the interdisciplinary areas of power electronics covering devices, packaging, control, thermal, and magnetics. Example topics include: (1) switched-capacitor circuits; (2) advanced power magnetics design; (3) advanced control methods; (4) very high frequency power electronics; (5) principles of wide bandgap semiconductor devices. In the final project, students perform thorough literature review on recent research frontiers and give a final presentation.

The Habitable Planet

Elizabeth Niespolo
GEO 203/ENE 203
This course introduces solid Earth system science, quantifying the underlying physical and chemical processes to study the formation and evolution of Earth through time. We discuss how these processes create and sustain habitable conditions on Earth’s surface, including feedbacks and tipping points as recorded in the geologic record. Topics include: stellar and planetary formation, plate tectonics, the geologic record, natural resources, the hydrologic cycle and sedimentation, paleoclimatology, and the “Anthropocene”. Students will apply these topics to the recent geologic past to assess the impact of humans on their environments.


Kelsey Hatzell
MAE 221/ENE 221
Heat and work in physical systems. Concepts of energy conversion and entropy, primarily from a macroscopic viewpoint. Efficiency of different thermodynamic cycles, with applications to everyday life including both renewable and classical energy sources. In the laboratory, students will carry out experiments in the fields of analog electronics and thermodynamics.

Applied Optimization for Energy Systems Engineering

Jesse Jenkins
MAE 573/ENE 539
In this course students learn practical applications of optimization methods in energy systems engineering. Students also gain familiarity with techniques via survey of canonical problems in power systems operations and planning. The course teaches practical model development, including formulation and implementation of linear and mixed integer programs in an algebraic programming language. The second half surveys advanced topics, including: managing dimensionality in large-scale problems, technology evaluation, policy evaluation, decision making under uncertainty, and multi-objective optimization.

Energy and Commodities Markets

Ronnie Sircar
ORF 455/ENE 455
This course is an introduction to commodities markets (oil, gas, metals, electricity, etc.), and quantitative approaches to capturing uncertainties in their demand and supply. We start from a financial perspective, and traditional models of commodity spot prices and forward curves. Then we cover modern topics: game theoretic models of energy production (OPEC vs. fracking vs. renewables); quantifying the risk of intermittency of solar and wind output on the reliability of the electric grid (mitigating the duck curve); financialization of commodity markets; carbon emissions markets. We also discuss economic and policy implications.