Power Systems and Machinery

Description

The challenge of supplying the nation's homes, businesses and industries with reliable, high-quality electrical energy at a reasonable cost has heightened over the last two decades for a variety of reasons. Among these are environmental concerns, the energy crisis, the Three Mile Island and Chernobyl incidents, the high cost of power plant construction and the competition of cogenerators. The power system engineers needed to design, build and operate electric power systems in this competitive and legally constrained arena require a greater variety of skills and a deeper understanding of engineering concepts than in the past. The greatest change in the skills needed by power system engineers has been caused by the use of computers for power system design, simulation, and operation. This technology has allowed power systems to be designed and operated closer to minimum levels of generation, transmission and distribution.

The Missouri University of Science and Technology power engineering program strives to prepare students for a lifetime of technical growth. With technical knowledge doubling every decade or so, it is not possible to design an educational experience that will provide graduates with all the tools they need for careers that may span four or five decades. Therefore, this program is designed to provide its graduates with general knowledge as well as enough specifics to move smoothly into a productive capacity in an industrial environment. This strong base of fundamental skills can be equally useful to an industrial career or to launch an academic career. Thus, balances of theory and application, lecture and laboratory are the key to success. The demand for Missouri S&T power engineering graduates by electric utilities, power apparatus manufacturers, architectural/engineering consulting firms, federal, state and local government agencies, and industrial and research organizations is strong evidence of the quality of the program and the fact that proper emphasis on topics has been achieved.

The power engineering program at Missouri S&T is a mature program with high national recognition, strong industrial support, and multi-disciplinary ties. In the August 1994 issue of the IEEE Transactions on Power Systems, the Missouri S&T power program is listed at one of the 10 largest in the U.S., based on BSEE, MSEE power graduates, faculty strength, and research funding levels. Missouri S&T has consistently ranked in the top five power programs receiving funds from the National Science Foundation (NSF). Graduate student enrollment in the power engineering program has been between 10 - 20 students annually, (roughly 75% M.S. and 25% Ph.D.) over the past five years.

The faculty affiliated with the power engineering program often collaborate with faculty in other research disciplines, such as control systems, computer science, mechanical and nuclear engineering. This interaction is frequently through research centers at Missouri S&T such as the Energy Analysis and Diagnostic Center and the Intelligent Systems Control Center.