The connection made between industry and students is a pipeline for jobs and the future power engineering workforce.”
Dr. Zhihua Qu, University of Central Florida SAIC Endowed Professor & Chair; Foundations for Engineering Education Distributed Energy Resources (FEEDER) Team Lead
Through the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative, the Grid Engineering for Accelerated Renewable Energy Deployment (GEARED), program is building a training and education framework to grow the expertise and preparedness of current and future electric utility sector professionals, specifically to accommodate high penetrations of solar electricity and other distributed technologies.
IREC, in collaboration with DOE, serves as national administrator of GEARED.
The motivation for the GEARED project comes from several challenges: an aging utility workforce, the large number of imminent retirements in U.S. universities, and the need to significantly upgrade the curriculum of power systems engineering programs to address projected industry workforce needs.
Equally important, the GEARED program fills an urgent need for increased power system research, development and analytical capacity, and for integrating these findings into education and training.
The goal is to create a national network of centers that support power systems training and curriculum development based on research, development, data generation, collection, analysis and simulation.
Central to the five-year GEARED project is the Distributed Technology Training Consortia (DTTC). Composed of three regional consortiums, each with multiple university, utility and industry partners, the collaborators are harmonizing power systems analysis and R&D into training activities such as curriculum and short course development, internships and co-ops, and continuing education.