Get energized!

Mar 10, 2010

Solar, fuel cell, nuclear, biogas, biofuels and wind, Kettering University offers it all in the "Get Energized" sustainable energy pre-college program for 9-12 graders.

Sustainable, green, renewable and alternative are all adjectives used to define one of the fastest growing engineering fields – energy. Kettering University’s “Get Energized” pre-college program explores everything from nuclear to solar and fuel cells to wind power and biogas.

The program enables high school students in grades 9-12 to get a first-hand look into 21st century energy technologies, according to Dr. Ahmad Pourmovahed, program director of the Sustainable Energy Pre-College Program and professor of Mechanical Engineering.

The 2010 “Get Energized” program will run July 19-23 for 9th and 10th graders, and July 26-30 for 11th and 12th graders. The deadline to apply for the program is July 1.

Kettering's sustainable energy pre-college program features hands-on experiences and lectures on topics including careers in sustainable energy, climate change, the demand for new technologies in the form of hybrid vehicles and energy extracted from natural resources such as the sun and wind.

New this year is a stronger emphasis on nuclear energy and biogas, said Pourmavahed. “The number of nuclear power plants in this country is expected to double in the next few decades,” he said. “Currently, there is a shortage of engineers who are qualified to work in these power plants.  Nuclear Energy sessions have been added to this pre-college program to address this shortage,” he explained.

Additionally,Ketteringrecently received a $951,500 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) to monitor, verify and improve process parameters for the production of biogas at the Flint Wastewater Treatment Plant and to utilize biogas in transportation and power generation. The outreach portion of this grant will partially fund sessions on biogas production and utilization in transportation (vehicle conversion to bio-fuel) and power generation in the pre-college program.

Last summer, seven Ketteringfaculty participated in this pre-college program.  Topics covered in the 2010 program include biogas, nuclear energy, biofuels, geothermal energy and hydro-power, fuel cells and hydrogen safety, wind and solar energy as well as global warming. Automotive applications of sustainable energy, such as the use of fuel cells used in some hybrid vehicles, are also addressed.

The Summer 2010 program will be funded by the Biogas Center of Energy Excellence grant from the U.S. Department of Energy through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and by the KetteringUniversityCenter for Fuel Cell Systems & Powertrain Integration.

For more on Kettering's Sustainable Energy Pre-College Program, visit: