GridED Forum Offers Opportunities For Students to Help Shape Curriculum

More than 40 GridED Student Innovation Board (SIB) members and faculty met recently for the first free discussion session (FDS) at the Energy Production & Infrastructure Center (EPIC) at University of North Carolina at Charlotte. SIB chair, Morteza Rezaee, Ph.D. student in electrical engineering at Georgia Tech, talked about the challenges facing with rooftop photovoltaic (PV) system deployment in distribution systems and the great opportunities which would be opened to the electrical engineering students in near future. He also discussed the tremendous efforts that have been made under GEARED and the GridED program to leverage the awareness of environmental crises and the essential need for reshaping the future grid by deploying more and more renewable energy resources.

Rezaee’s presentation on the deployment of rooftop PV systems and smart inverters generated lots of questions on the challenges and opportunities for students in power systems engineering.

“I heard from many attendees who really found this discussion format really interesting,” said Rezaee.

About one year ago, Rezaee was thinking how his fellow engineering students could become more aware of and engaged with renewable energy technologies in their power systems engineering studies. FDS was the result.

The FDS isn’t your typical speaker/presentation format. It’s a discussion, a forum to advance renewable energy technologies in power systems engineering. Rezaee sees unlimited opportunities for students to engage and help shape curriculum.

“I strongly believe that students grasp new information if and only if they connect with it,” he said. “I think it’s more relevant and helpful for students to engage and help solve the challenges currently facing the power systems industry. We’re capable and enthusiastic.”

Besides holding FDS sessions with faculty and students, Rezaee wants to take the FDS format to industry. “It’s a great opportunity for industry to meet their future workforce!”

The FDS is taking the summer off, but will fire up in the fall. Potential FDS discussions on the table include the applications and policies of energy storage system in future smart grids. But as Morteza says, the options are wide open. “Integrating renewable energy resources impact many aspects of power systems.”

Thanks to Morteza Rezaee who contributed to this article.