For the Spring 2015 semester, five FEEDER consortium universities (University of Kentucky, Auburn University, University of Arkansas, University of South Carolina, and University of Central Florida) are collaboratively developing and teaching two new courses: Distributed Control and Optimization for the Smart Grid and Renewable Energy Resources.
“The courses were developed jointly among several universities,” said Zhihua Qu, FEEDER project lead. “We’re piloting these courses to teach students at different universities at the same time.”
The lecture modules will be recorded and delivered as online lectures for one or two of the lecture days per week. The remaining lecture days will be on site at the specific university where students and professors will engage in class discussion and problem solving.
“We’ve got about five weeks left in the course for this year,” said Mark Nelms, professor and chair, electrical and computer engineering, Auburn University. “All 21 students–11 undergraduates and eight graduate students– are very engaged with the issues of distributed energy and the smart grid. We plan to offer this course again next spring, as well as develop other curriculum in this fast-moving field.”
Though the FEEDER consortium’s efforts are just beginning to take hold at schools like Auburn, Dr. Nelms has already recognized its value. “Without the FEEDER consortium, we wouldn’t have been able to offer this curriculum to our students. This initiative is enabling us to provide leading-edge training for future power engineers who will be building and running the new power grid.”