Ohio’s First Master’s Program in Renewable Energy to Help Fill State and National Need for Qualified Workers

DAYTON, Ohio, Dec. 9 /PRNewswire/ — Companies in Ohio are applauding the
state’s first master’s program in clean and renewable energy approved by Ohio
Board of Regents Chancellor Eric D. Fingerhut.

“As a leading Ohio solar company, we consider this program to be good news
for us, the U.S. solar industry and the state,” said Carol Campbell, First
Solar vice president of human resources. “We applaud this effort to develop
talent that will support the state’s leading role in the fast-growing
renewable energy industry.” Tempe, Ariz.-based First Solar operates customer
support and manufacturing operations in Perrysburg, Ohio, near Toledo.

The University of Dayton, Wright State University, Central State
University and the Air Force Institute of Technology will join forces to start
the two-year program. Students can enroll in the program on a full-time or
part-time basis starting Jan. 2009.

“This is another example of the world-class collaborations in the Miami
Valley that will move Ohio’s economy forward,” Fingerhut said. “Students will
graduate from this master’s program with the leadership, management, research
and technical skills needed to help grow one of the most critical industries
of the 21st century — clean and renewable energy and advanced energy systems.
The program has the potential to be a regional academic center of excellence
where new ideas are incubated, developed, tested and refined.”

Besides developing more engineers, the partners say the program is
designed to help address the need for stable, clean and economical energy
sources. The program also is in line with the state of Ohio’s interest in
research within Ohio’s Third Frontier Project and the University Clean Energy
Alliance of Ohio. Furthermore, organizers hope graduates will start new
businesses to create new Ohio jobs.

“It is important for Ohio companies working in fuel cells and other energy
sources to have access to a qualified workforce,” said Scott Swartz, chief
technology officer of NexTech Materials. “Having these students trained in
Ohio makes it easier for these companies to recruit the best possible
workforce.” NexTech is based north of Columbus in Lewis Center, Ohio.

The program will operate within the University of Dayton’s mechanical and
aerospace engineering department and Wright State University’s mechanical and
materials engineering department. Students will receive a UD or a Wright State
degree, depending where they enroll.

The Air Force Institute of Technology and Central State University also
will offer classes and instructors but will not grant degrees.

Classes will focus on development of energy-reducing design techniques,
renewable energy and manufacturing systems, and better forms of solar energy,
fuel cells and biofuels.

Kevin Hallinan, chair of UD’s mechanical and aerospace engineering
department, will direct the new program and teach classes. Other UD
instructors are Kelly Kissock, professor of mechanical and aerospace
engineering; Dilip Ballal, director of the von Ohain Fuels and Combustion
Center at UD; and Sukh Sidhu, a senior research engineer in the University of
Dayton Research Institute’s Environmental Engineering Group.

Wright State’s program, taught by Jim Menart, Hong Huang, Amir Farajian,
Dan Young, Marian Kazimierchuk and Bor Jang, dean of the university’s College
of Engineering and Computer Science, also will include related research

Potential students include professionals looking to upgrade their skills,
undergraduate engineering majors, current engineering graduate students and
international students.


The University of Dayton is Ohio’s largest private university and a top-
tier national university with sponsored research totaling $75 million
annually. About $18 million is energy-related research within the School of
Engineering, the College of Arts and Sciences and the University of Dayton
Research Institute.

As one of the top-10 Catholic universities in the nation, UD emphasizes
transformative education and prepares students for leadership and service in
their communities in the Marianist tradition.

Read more about the University of Dayton at http://www.udayton.edu

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[Via http://www.prnewswire.com]


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