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UH Creates New Energy & Sustainability Minor

By: 

Audrey Grayson

The University of Houston -- and particularly the Cullen College of Engineering -- have taken bold and progressive steps in partnering with local industry and taking advantage of the university's location in the "Energy Capital of the World." Now, the University of Houston Bauer College of Business will follow suit by offering a new interdisciplinary Energy & Sustainability Minor designed for students who are pursuing a wide range of majors and are looking to understand the key issues in the world of energy.

The new minor is part of UH’s strategic plan to enhance and expand its energy-related educational and research initiatives as it seeks to become “the energy university,” said Dow Chair Professor Ramanan Krishnamoorti, special assistant to the president/chancellor for UH Energy.

The university will begin offering the Energy & Sustainability minor this fall, and the courses will be taught by faculty members from different colleges across campus. Dr. Shankar Chellam, professor of civil and environmental engineering in the Cullen College, will be teaching an environmental engineering course which falls under the new Energy & Sustainability minor.

“This new minor can be taken by students majoring in business, engineering, technology, natural sciences and math, even public policy – anyone who is interested in pursuing a career in the energy industry,” Krishnamoorti said. “It will make UH students more relevant to the energy industry and more aware of the issues that will be important to them for the rest of their careers.”

The minor consists of 18 hours of courses, including the required course "Introduction to Energy & Sustainability," which will be offered this fall, and "Case Studies in Energy & Sustainability," which will be offered in the spring of 2014. The remaining 12 hours of courses can be elected by the student.

The purpose of the minor is to introduce students to the history of energy production and use as well as climate change and its impact on energy use. In addition, students will be tasked with understanding emerging energy sources, analyzing energy consumption patterns with environmental issues, becoming more competitive in the energy and sustainability job markets, and integrating energy's role with global economic, social and political issues.

“This minor gives students a quick start to thinking in broad terms about the different issues affecting the world of energy, such as sustainability and policy,” Krishnamoorti said. “Through these courses, we are giving them the tools they need to think about the energy industry in a holistic way. They will be better-educated graduates for the industry overall.”

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