Sustainable Energy Systems, M.Eng. Focus

Earn a Master of Engineering in Sustainable Energy Systems and become an important part of the energy solution.

CEE is now offering CEE and Engineering Management courses addressing sustainable energy systems.

  • CEE 4210 - Renewable Energy Systems
  • CEE 4565/6565 - Waste Water Processes and Resources Recovery
  • CEE 4660 - Modeling and Computation for Infrastructure Systems
  • CEE 5420 - Energy Technologies and Subsurface Resources
  • CEE 5970- Risk Analysis and Management
  • ENMGT 6095 - Economics of the Energy Transition

Sustainable energy is a challenging and exciting field in which engineering students can apply their skills.

Sustainable energy projects combine environmental analysis of pollution reduction and climate protection benefits of energy technologies, as well as the economic feasibility assessment of investment. A wide range of energy resources that do not emit greenhouse gases in their end use are under development in the U.S. and many other countries, including wind, solar, hydro, biomass, and geothermal, among others.  At the same time, these primary energy sources must be adapted and transformed for applications such as electricity generation, heating and cooling of buildings, and transportation of passengers and freight.  Trends in government policy toward reducing emissions, the willingness of investors to commit funding, and local support of or opposition to energy projects play a role as well. 

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Course Offerings

Mechanical design, properties of materials, electric power system operation, and environmental impacts are important and such courses are offered in departments across the Engineering College. These are the core of a M.Eng. Sustainable Energy Systems Focus that also makes use of skills taught in the Engineering Management program. 

Course NumberCourse Title
MAE 4020Wind Power
MAE 4120Community Wind Energy Research
CEE 4210Renewable Energy Systems
CEE 4565/6565Waste Water Processes and Resources Recovery
EAS 4570 Atmospheric Air Pollution
CEE 4660Modeling and Computation for Infrastructure Systems 
BEE 4760Solid Waste Engineering
BEE 4870 Sustainable Bioenergy Systems
MAE 5010Future Energy Systems
CEE 5420Energy Technologies and Subsurface Resources 
CEE 5970Risk Analysis and Management
ENMGT 6095Economics of the Energy Transition
EAS/MAE 6480Air Quality & Atmospheric Chemistry (Offered Alternate Years)
CEE 6648  Sustainable Transportation System Design

Sustainable Energy Systems, M.Eng. specialization project

The M.Eng. program requires an engineering project of 3-6 units over 1-2 semesters. 

students near solar panels

Local Sustainable Energy Alternatives for Cornell and Surrounding Areas

Environmental Engineers have in recent years participated in Master of Engineering Team Projects to assess the feasibility of carbon-free energy alternatives around Cornell, the City of Ithaca, and surrounding Tompkins County. These sustainable energy projects combine environmental analysis of pollution reduction and climate protection benefits of energy technologies, as well as economic feasibility assessment of investment in them. 

Past local partners include the Ithaca Area Waste Water Treatment Facility (IAWWTF), the Chainworks District project to repurpose the former Emerson Transmission plant on Ithaca’s South Hill, the Cayuga Medical Center, and our local public transportation provider Tompkins Consolidated Area Transit (TCAT). Some projects seek to increase local production of renewable energy from solar, wind, hydro, or biomass.  Others capture energy resources from the waste stream, including heat and biological content in waste water as well as waste food and municipal solid waste.  There is interest at IAWWTF in an emerging technology known as Effluent Thermal Energy Recover, or ETER, whereby thermal energy in treated wastewater is extracted and distributed for space heating purposes in buildings.  In summer, the wastewater can be used as a heat sink for cooling buildings. 

A goal is to combine energy generation with improved resiliency through the development of energy microgrids and district heating and cooling systems, which have been studied as well in some of the projects.  Environmental M.Eng. students interact with M.Eng. students from other majors on these projects, and have an opportunity to present findings to the community and circulate their final reports among local stakeholders.

For additional information, see: