Experiences and teaching tools in alternative energy education

Slobodan Petrovic, Lakshmi Munukutla, John Robertson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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    Abstract

    Alternative Energy programs are emerging as a result of the growing need to develop the economy of the future that will rely not only on fossil fuels, but also on renewable and clean energy sources. The new generation of engineers that will support this shift in the energy production must develop truly multidisciplinary skills and be able to respond efficiently to various aspects of the alternative energy technology. "Fuel Cells for Portable Electronics" is a new course thought as a part of the alternative energy curriculum. The initial experience in teaching this course is presented in this paper. It underscores potential challenges because of the fact that engineering students join the graduate program in alternative energy from a variety of engineering backgrounds and with inconsistent knowledge of basic chemistry. The paper reports differences in student abilities to understand the fundamental electrochemistry concepts absolutely crucial for the subsequent introduction of more complex and practical fuel cell design and evaluation methods. A cursory comparison of test results revealed clear dependence on the student demographics. A qualitative conclusion was drawn recommending proper monitoring, exchange of experiences, and possible modification of prerequisites. Furthermore, a simple mnemonic tool was presented as an effective method to teach electrochemistry to engineering students.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
    StatePublished - 2007

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    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Engineering(all)

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