Sustainable Energy Systems, M.Eng. Focus

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. 

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. 

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


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:

CEE 6650 Transportation, Energy, and Environmental Systems for Sustainable Development
BEE 4010 Renewable Energy Systems (3 cr, Spring)
BEE 4760 Solid Waste Engineering
BEE 4870 Sustainable Bioenergy Systems
BEE 6880 Applied Modeling & Simulation for Renewable Energy
CHEM 6640 Energy Economics
CHEME 6650 Energy Engineering
CHEME 6660 Analysis of Sustainable Energy Systems
CHEME 6661-72 Sustainable Energy Modules: Bioenergy, Solar, Geothermal, Wind, Hydroelectric (1 cr. each)
MAE 4020 Wind Power
MAE 4120 Community Wind Energy Research
MAE 5010 Future Energy Systems
EAS 4570 Atmospheric Air Pollution
EAS/MAE 6480 Air Quality & Atmospheric Chemistry (Offered Alternate Years)

Examples of Sustainable Energy Systems, M.Eng. projects

Renewable Energy: Bioelectricity from Waste Material
CEE M.Eng. project teams have collaborated with the local Ithaca Area Waste Water Treatment Facility, or IAWWTF, to develop carbon-free methods for generating electricity from water treatment sludge, trucked waste arriving at the IAWTTF, and energy content of the waste stream itself (Effluent Thermal Energy Recovery, or ETER). 

Carbon-Free Energy Alternatives for Cornell
Environmental Engineers have in recent years participated in Master of Engineering Team Projects to research the development of carbon-free energy alternatives around Cornell, the City of Ithaca, and surrounding Tompkins County.

Effluent Thermal Energy Recover technology at the Ithaca Area Waste Water Treatment Facility
The project will incorporate the academic disciplines of energy systems analysis, environmental engineering, and engineering economics, and may potentially touch on construction management and real estate development.


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