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
In 2013, the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office (formerly SunShot Initiative), created the Grid Engineering for Accelerated Renewable Energy Deployment (GEARED) program to prepare academia, government and industry for the current and next generation of power systems professionals for the modern electric grid.
The motivation to create a program like GEARED came 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 needs.
IREC was the national network administrator (NNA) for GEARED, coordinating the activities of the Distributed Technology Training Consortia (DTTC) power systems engineering programs that were addressing projected industry workforce needs.
Over the past five years, the DTTCs identified and shared training and education best practices and programs and power systems research and development with other educational institutions across the U.S.