Solar Professionals for the New Energy Era: Activating engineering and business careers with online education

Solar Professionals for the New Energy Era: Activating engineering and business careers with online education

Wednesday, 08. February 2017
14:00 to 16:00

Solar Professionals for the New Energy Era: Activating engineering and business careers with online education

We are all participants in an emerging era of international renewable energy expansion. Solar energy, especially (solar) photovoltaics are transformative global commodities in this new energy era--with annual installed capacities at the multi-gigawatt scale and expanding markets occurring across Africa, Asia, Central and South America, in addition to Europe and North America. Also, critical international demand exists for carbon-negative energy solutions following the Paris Climate Agreements of 2015 (COP21). Global photovoltaic growth and associated solar thermal services have delivered us a phenomenal success story, along with a new challenge: supplying local solar engineering and project and management professionals across a large and diversified international supply chain.

So how do we grow the human capacity locally, when leading solar education institutions are often distant resources? Two advanced and complementary online graduate programs have emerged to facilitate international changes in career paths and continuing education for the modern solar industry skills--from device fabrication and systems design to power systems engineering, from stakeholder engagement to solar resource assessment to project economic analyses. In this webinar, partnering leaders from the University of Freiburg/Fraunhofer ISE and the Pennsylvania State University present new avenues to activate human capacity and skill in the solar energy industry: addressing design, manufacture, and deployment of solar projects. We will discuss leading topic materials from our programs, and introduce the importance of online education for international growth in the renewable energy industry.

Jeffrey Brownson

Dr. Jeffrey Brownson is Associate Professor of Energy & Mineral Engineering at The Pennsylvania State University, in University Park, PA (USA). Dr. Brownson researches the evolving interdisciplinary themes of photovoltaics, community solar integration, solar resource assessment, energy engineering and economics, and sustainability. He is the author of "Solar Energy Conversion Systems" (Academic Press, 2013); a solar text book for undergraduate and graduate study with emphasis on project design skills the integration of science, engineering, and economics--applying systems thinking methods for modern design teams of solar energy systems. Dr. Brownson co-directs solar research collaboration for the 2iE-PSU Centre for Collaborative Engagement in Burkina Faso, West Africa; directs the Solar Ecology program for the EMS Energy Institute; and serves as the Solar Option lead for the online intercollege Masters of Professional Studies program in Renewable Energy & Sustainability Systems.

Martin Heinrich

Dr. Martin Heinrich is a Postdoc at the University of Freiburg and at the Fraunhofer Institute of Solar Energy Systems ISE in Freiburg, Germany. He is the program manager of the continuing education program "Solar Energy Engineering", which offers a MSc. degree as well as certificate courses in solar energy and photovoltaics engineering. His research is focusing on electro-chemical and laser processing for silicon solar cells. Dr. Heinrich completed his degree in theoretical physics at the Technical University of Berlin in 2010. He worked at the Duke University in Durham, North Carolina and joined a PhD program at the National University of Singapore (SERIS), afterwards. During the time of his PhD he was involved with the Solar Energy Research Institute of Singapore (SERIS) and the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE in Freiburg.

Webinar sponsors

Thank you to our webinar sponsors Penn States' RESS Program and the University of Freiburgs' Solar Engineering Program. Through their sponsorship, this webinar is free to attend!

Penn State - RESS Program

Renewable Energy & Sustainability Systems programs (RESS) from the Pennsylvania State University deliver world class, interdisciplinary education to professionals in the fields of renewable energy and sustainability. RESS programs are designed for part-time adult learners and are delivered via an interactive-online learning network that allows students to actively learn while remaining in their current employment and location. Our programs prepare students to assume advanced roles and leadership responsibilities within their respective organizations as project and program developers, managers, and policy analysts.

The Solar Energy Option offers education surrounding project development and economics for the solar energy industry. The skills of master’s level solar systems graduates include solar resource assessment and systems modeling, core knowledge of thermal and electric solar energy conversion, technoeconomic proforma development, effective communications to address clients'/stakeholders' preference for solar goods and services, as well as designing small and large solar projects within local policy contexts and social and economic constraints.


University of Freiburg - Solar Energy Engineering

The continuing education program in solar energy engineering provides in-depth knowledge on the physics, technology and system design aspects of solar energy. The University of Freiburg partnered with the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE to enable knowledge transfer from world leading experts in solar energy through online lectures and lab workshops in Freiburg.

The University of Freiburg is one of the most renowned universities in Germany. It has been home to numerous excellent and influential scientists and teachers, including ten Nobel Prize winners. The main focus areas of the University include sustainability, ecological engineering as well as green energy.

The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE conducts research on the technology needed to supply energy efficiently and on an environmentally sound basis in industrialised, threshold and developing countries. To this purpose, the Institute develops systems, components, materials and processes in the areas of the thermal use of solar energy, solar building, solar cells, electrical power supplies, chemical energy conversion, energy storage and the rational use of energy.


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