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Spring 2021 ENE Course Offerings

courses

The Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment is pleased to announce the following ENE courses for Spring 2021.

Designing Sustainable Systems: Understanding our Environment with the Internet of Things

Forrest Meggers

ENE 202/ARC 208/EGR 208/ENV 206

The course presents anthropogenic global changes and their impact on sustainable design. The course focuses on understanding the underlying principles from natural and applied sciences, and how new basic Internet of Things digital technology enables alternative system analysis and design. Material is presented in 2 parts: 1) Global Change and Environmental Impacts: studying our influences on basic natural systems and cycles and how we can evaluate them, and 2) Designing Sustainable Systems: synthesizing the environmental science with new IoT in an applied design project.

Renewable Energy and Smart Grids

Minjie Chen

ENE 273/ENE 273

This course explores broadly renewable energy systems and smart grids. Technical and operational principles of the modern electric grids will be introduced, followed by an overview of various energy sources from fossil-fuel generators to photovoltaic systems. The intermittency of renewable energy systems and its impact on the electric grid will be discussed together with its potential solutions: energy storage systems and demand response techniques. Emerging techniques, such as micro-grids and plug-in-electric vehicles will be reviewed. Economics and public-policy issues will be explored.

Fundamentals of Biofuels

José Avalos

ENE 318/CBE 318

What are biofuels, and why are we making them? How can they help address our energy needs in a warming planet? What are 1st, 2nd, and 3rd generation biofuels? What is the controversy surrounding the food versus fuel debate? Will thermocatalysis or genetic engineering improve biofuel production? Can we make biofuels directly from light or electricity? These are some of the questions we will answer through engaging discussions during lecture. In precept we will discuss primary literature, relevant news reports, and studies on the socio-economic impact of biofuels. Grades are based on participation, HW assignments, 3 short quizzes, and one final project.

Rapid Switch: The Energy Transition Challenge to a Low-Carbon Future

Christopher Greig, Eric Larson

ENE 372/EGR 372/ENV 372

The 2015 Paris Accord signaled a global consensus that climate change is a major threat to ecosystems, livelihoods and the economy and that energy systems must change. Not well comprehended are the scale and pace of the needed transformation. Bottlenecks and constraints are inevitable with rapid, large-scale change. These must be anticipated and addressed to achieve climate goals — this is the essence of Rapid Switch analysis. Prospective regional and sectoral energy transitions are analyzed through multi-disciplinary lenses to identify bottlenecks and potential solutions and policies to maximize the pace of transition.

Optimization for the Design and Analysis of Energy Systems

Christos Maravelias

ENE 410/CBE 410/MAE 410

The goal of the course is to (1) learn basic principles underpinning energy systems, (2) learn the basic theory, modeling techniques, and software tools for optimization, (3) apply optimization methods to design and analyze energy systems.

Introduction to the Electricity Sector-Engineering, Economics, and Regulation

Jesse Jenkins

ENE 422/MAE 422

This course provides an introduction to the electricity sector drawing on engineering, economics, and regulatory policy perspectives. It introduces the engineering principles behind various power generation technologies and transmission and distribution networks; the economics of electricity markets; and the regulation of electricity generation, transmission, distribution, and retail sales. Open challenges related to the growth of distributed energy resources, the transition to low-carbon electricity sources, and the role of the electricity sector in mitigating global climate change are also discussed.

Introduction to the Electricity Sector-Engineering, Economics, and Regulation

Jesse Jenkins

ENE 522/MAE 533

This course provides an introduction to the electricity sector drawing on engineering, economics, and regulatory policy perspectives. It introduces the engineering principles behind various power generation technologies and transmission and distribution networks; the economics of electricity markets; and the regulation of electricity generation, transmission, distribution, and retail sales. Open challenges related to the growth of distributed energy resources, the transition to low-carbon electricity sources, and the role of the electricity sector in mitigating global climate change are also discussed.

ENE Cross-listed Courses for Spring 2021

The Science of Fission and Fusion Energy

Robert Goldston

AST 309/MAE 309/PHY 309/ENE 309

Power from the nucleus offers a low-carbon source of electricity. However, fission power also carries significant risks: nuclear proliferation (North Korea, Iran), major accidents (Chernobyl, Fukushima), and waste disposal (Yucca Mountain). Fusion carries fewer risks, but the timetable for its commercialization is uncertain. We will delve into the scientific underpinnings of these two energy sources, so you can assess them for yourselves. A benefit of this course is that you will expand your scientific and computational skills by applying them to important real-world problems.

Green and Catalytic Chemistry

Michele Sarazen

CBE 421/CHM 421/ENE 421

Concepts of heterogeneous and homogeneous catalysis applied to industrial processes associated with fuel refining and manufacturing of commodity chemicals and petrochemicals. Available routes for similar conversions using alternative, more sustainable feedstocks and processes will be discussed in the context of green chemistry and engineering principles. These case studies will serve as platforms to the fundamentals of heterogeneous acid and metal catalysis, including techniques of catalyst synthesis and characterization, as well as understanding of how reactions occur on surfaces.

Global Air Pollution

Mark Zondlo

CBE 311/CHM 311/GEO 311/ENE 311

Students will study the chemical and physical processes involved in the sources, transformation, transport, and sinks of air pollutants on local to global scales. Societal problems such as photochemical smog, particulate matter, greenhouse gases, and stratospheric ozone depletion will be investigated using fundamental concepts in chemistry, physics, and engineering. For the class project, students will select a trace gas species or family of gases and analyze recent field and remote sensing data based upon material covered in the course. Environments to be studied include very clean, remote portions of the globe to urban air quality.

Engineering Design for Sustainable Development

Siavash Isazadeh, Catherine Peters

CEE 477/ENE 477

This course will focus on the sustainable design of urban wastewater infrastructure. Students will learn the principals of biological wastewater modelling and will use software packages and other design tools for design and upgrading existing water/wastewater treatment systems, including new processes that incorporate energy and resource recovery. The projects are considered from concept development to detailed design with special considerations on sustainability and resilience. Guest speakers from academia and industry will be invited to present the new advancements in research and technology.

Solar Cells: Physics, Materials, and Technology

Barry Rand

ELE 557/ENE 557/MSE 558

Photovoltaic materials & devices discussed. Topics: solar flux distribution & spectra, photovoltaic parameters, loss mechanisms, Shockley-Queisser detailed balance approach, stability, light management, module design & various solar cell technologies, drawing distinctions between heterojunction and homojunction devices including crystalline Si and III-V & thin film cells such as CIGS, CdTe, dye sensitized, perovskite & organic. Finally, we present methods to go beyond classical limits, such as intermediate band solar cells & multijunction devices.

Climate Change: Impacts, Adaptation, Policy

Michael Oppenheimer

GEO 366/ENV 339/SPI 451/ENE 366

An exploration of the potential consequences of human-induced climate change and their implications for policy responses, focusing on risks to people, societies, and ecosystems. As one example: we examine the risk to coastal cities from sea level rise, and measures being planned and implemented to enable adaptation. In addition, we explore local, national and international policy initiatives to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. The course assumes students have a basic background in the causes of human-induced climate change and the physical science of the climate system.

Introductory Seismology

Jeroen Tromp

GEO 424/CEE 424/ENE 425

Fundamentals of seismology and seismic wave propagation. Introduction to acoustic and elastic wave propagation concepts, observational methods, and inferences that can be drawn from seismic data about the deep planetary structure of the Earth, as well as about the occurrence of oil and gas deposits in the crust. Offered every other year.

Energy Technologies in the 21st Century

Lamyaa El-Gabry

MAE 228/EGR 228/CBE 228/ENE 228

This course will deal with issues of regional and global energy demands, sources, carriers, storage, current and future technologies and costs for energy conversion, and their impact on climate and the environment. Students will learn to perform objective cost-efficiency and environmental impact analyses from source to end-user on both fossil fuels (oil, coal, and natural gas), and alternative energy sources (bio-fuels, solar energy, wind, batteries, and nuclear). We will also pay particular attention to energy sources, technologies, emissions, and regulations for transportation. The course will also include tours to energy research labs.

Energy for a Greenhouse-Constrained World

Julia Mikhailova

MAE 328/EGR 328/ENV 328/ENE 328

This course provides an overview of fundamental physical mechanisms behind sustainable energy technologies, including solar thermal, solar photovoltaic, wind, nuclear, and hydroelectricity. Physics of the greenhouse effect, projected Earth’s climate changes, as well as socio-economic impacts on energy uses and greenhouse-gas emissions are reviewed. Variability, dispatchability, and a real power density of energy resources are discussed. Energy efficiency, energy storage, as well as transmission and distribution of electric power are touched upon.

Energy Conversion and the Environment: Transportation Applications

Michael Mueller

MAE 427/ENE 427

Overview of energy utilization in and environmental impacts of propulsion systems for ground and air transportation. Roughly half of the course will be devoted to reciprocating engines for ground transportation, and the other half of the course will be devoted to gas turbine engines for air transportation. The course will focus on device efficiency/performance and emissions with future outlooks for improvements in these areas including alternative fuels and alternative device concepts. Relevant thermodynamics, chemistry, fluid mechanics, and combustion fundamentals will be reviewed or introduced and will permeate the course material.

Oil, Energy and the Middle East

Bernard Haykel

NES 366/ENE 364/ENV 366

Overview of the issues surrounding global energy supplies, oil’s unique physical and economic properties, and its role in shaping the political economy of the Middle East and U.S. strategic interests in the region. Discuss availability of energy sources, the state of technology, the functioning of energy markets, the challenges of coping with global climate change and the key role of the oil reserves in the Middle East. Then focus on the history of oil in the Middle East and its impact on societies in the region.