In only its third year, the Master of Engineering in Energy Systems program has already helped students realize their dreams of starting careers in the energy field.
“The Energy Systems program at the University of Illinois allowed me to continue my education in a field I am passionate about – renewable energy – while learning a specific skill set to be a successful electrical engineer in the renewable energy sector. During the program I was able to take electrical engineering courses in power systems and supplement these courses with a variety of renewable energy classes as well. Additionally, I worked on a solar energy project to provide electricity to a community in western Africa.
Currently, I am in the Edison Engineering Development Program at General Electric, Energy Connections in Salem, Virginia. At this location, we build and test converters for wind turbines, solar, and battery storage. For my first rotation, I am currently working as a test and validation engineer for the converters, where I ensure software and hardware work together before entering the field. In the future, I will also have the opportunity to write software for the controllers of the turbines and card design for the switches in the converters.”
– Cassie Arenz, M.Eng. in Energy Systems graduate
“The Energy Systems program stays true to its objective of providing students with holistic insight to the entire picture in regards to the energy challenge, and the skills and knowledge to proffering solutions to different aspects of it. The Energy Systems graduate degree program is very flexible, in a good way! It allows students to pick the courses and educational paths that align with their interests and background, all within a framework of course.
Everyone at the program is really helpful and will work with you to achieve your goals – educational, career and otherwise. Professors help guide your course choices and are an amazing resource to everything educational (projects, network with other professors, courses, career advancement). Amy is an amazing person and resource. Get to know her! You’ll need it!
I work with TRC Solutions an Engineering, Procurement and Construction firm in the Power Delivery Engineering division. Specifically, I work with the Field Services department as a Commissioning Engineer. In my role, I work on Greenfield or Brownfield substation sites upgrading existing stations or installing new stations from the ground up. It’s very exciting work in an organization that is ‘committed to solving the challenges of making the Earth a better place to live – community by community and project by project’.”
– Anthony Ekeopara, M.Eng. in Energy Systems graduate
“The Energy Systems program at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign provided me with a diverse yet proficient understanding in building energy systems and utilizing renewable energy. I was able to gain practical experience by auditing university buildings’ energy use and conducting performance analysis of solar panels recently installed at the University of Illinois. I also was a part of Illinois Solar Decathlon team and Illinois Bio-fuels Initiative while on campus, which was a very good learning experience.
Currently I am working as an energy engineer-analyst at Graphet Inc., where I perform energy audits for large-scale industrial and commercial facilities. It includes detailed analysis of various systems such as chilled water, steam, data center power and cooling, HVAC, and production and design system-specific energy conservation opportunities.”
– Harshil Joshi, M.Eng. in Energy Systems graduate
“If there is one skill that I am most grateful to have acquired through the MEng in Energy Systems program, it is the ability to see energy efficiency from a fundamentally different perspective. The problem that most international students – including me – face is to have a narrow perspective on what energy efficiency means. I give full credit to this course for teaching me how to think about solving problems by using a combination of solutions. From thinking whether solar can solve all energy problems of the world, I started asking if efficient public transportation can solve the problem of carbon emissions in densely populated cities. From trying to calculate the capacity of wind power needed to sustain a town on its own, I started asking if relying on wind power alone is in fact a good solution (which I later realized is not). The quality of questions that I have asked has changed. The questions became more “real world”.
The real value of this course comes from experimenting with the courses that can be taken. This is the single biggest advantage that a professional degree has over an MS degree – which is more restrictive in terms of the courses that you can take. I studied about bio-energy, sustainable materials, nano-technology, green buildings, photovoltaic technology, and wind energy with a final project topic related to propulsion systems for spacecraft. I have finally found my interest to be sustainability in the built environment.
I am currently working for Performance Systems Development as an Energy Code Specialist. At present I am working on developing training programs for Building Code Officials in Pennsylvania. These training programs deal with helping code officials understand the importance of provisions in the International Energy Conservation Code and ASHRAE 90.1 and how to make buildings more efficient. I have the most fun on days when I go on field visits to measure how good/bad buildings are using blower door testing and duct leakage testing. Getting to learn in the office and on the field is something unique and exciting about the job I do.”
– Rakesh Koti, M.Eng. in Energy Systems graduate
“The Master of Engineering in Energy Systems program was a great extension to my undergraduate experience at the University of Illinois. I was able to supplement my experience of supporting renewable energy through student activism with an in-depth, technical and economic curriculum on the field’s most important topics. My work with the Sierra Club in Texas puts me in the room with legislators and utility CEOs to encourage aggressive transition to renewable energy production. I work with students, volunteers, and high-level decision makers across the state to expand the Texas energy grid’s proportion of wind, solar, and energy storage technology.”
– Drew O’Bryan, M.Eng. in Energy Systems graduate
Where Our Alumni Work
Archer Daniels Midland Company
Environmental Systems Design, Inc.
General Electric – Energy Connections
Graphet Data Mining Inc.
Performance Systems Development
Solar Living Institute
Texas Sierra Club