Kevin Kubis was chosen as a Taber Scholar for the 2016-2017 academic year. Kubis found inspiration to pursue a MEng in Energy systems as a senior in Mechanical Science and Engineering at Illinois when he worked on a design project involving lighting from solar panels. “I found myself fascinated by renewable sources of energy,” he said. “I also found myself disheartened by the bleak future for global warming, in large part due to dirty energy production methods.
“I made it a goal to pursue a career in clean energy that would help alleviate this problem. After doing research of different programs, I realized the M.Eng. in Energy Systems is an absolute perfect fit because of the flexibility in specialization areas and the exciting courses they offer!” Kubis said.
In addition to coursework, Kubis did a project for the Illinois State Geological Survey and Illinois Sustainable Technology Center in evaluating carbon capture and storage (CCS) feasibility in Central Illinois. “Overall, the project went incredibly well,” he said. “CCS is a topic I wish to pursue in my career, and I feel that I am well-informed after performing this research. Coal-fired power plants have a vast potential to undergo capture retrofits and mitigate climate change, so adding research and awareness to the issue is something I am very proud of.”
Kevin found the Energy Systems program gave him the tools needed to make a difference in the future of energy systems, “Pursuing this degree was hands down, the best decision I have made in my life,” he said. “The flexibility of the courses allowed me to learn special topic areas that I wish to pursue after college. These courses taught the overarching energy situation in the world and U.S., but also taught about different energy systems in great technical detail.”
Having earned the MEng degree in May 2017, Kubis started working in September for the Downstream Offsites and Utilities Department of energy giant ExxonMobil. Students interested in energy careers would find the Energy Systems degree very worthwhile, Kubis believes. “Pursue it, you definitely will not regret it! The world needs sustainable leaders to preserve our planet for future generations, and the first step to getting involved is to become educated with a degree like this!”