As part of the Obama Administration’s commitment to accelerating American manufacturing and Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz’s support of STEM education to create the next generation of engineers and manufacturers, the Energy Department has announced up to $10 million available to establish one or more graduate-level training programs at colleges and universities for engineers in power electronics.
The training curriculum in power electronics—which control or convert electrical energy into usable power—will include cutting-edge wide bandgap semiconductors that can operate at higher temperatures, voltages, and frequencies, and are more durable and reliable than silicon-based counterparts. The five-year traineeships program will be implemented beginning in the fall 2016 school year and are concentrated on advanced power electronic equipment engineering, design and manufacturing.
Power engineers play an important part in clean energy technologies and will be in high demand in the growing clean energy economy. These engineers are needed to enable the design, manufacturing, and deployment of advanced new high-efficiency electrical equipment such as motors, inverters, and grid equipment, as well as high-efficiency electrical systems.
The industrial sector consumes over a quarter of the electricity produced in the United States and is projected to increase its use by approximately 30% by 2040. This growth means that America will likely see an increase in job opportunities for power engineers in advanced manufacturing industries and energy intensive industries, including automotive, aerospace, chemical and clean energy. These traineeships aim to help close the potential workforce development gap in the power engineering field.
The Energy Department will competitively select one or more U.S.-based colleges and/or universities with accredited programs in relevant fields to implement master’s and doctoral training programs in power electronic equipment design and engineering. The funding is designated for stipend and tuition support during the first two years of graduate-level power engineering training and is designed to fill the identified workforce needs within industry, national labs, and universities. Read the full funding opportunity announcement for complete details and instructions to apply.