Energy Today, Energy Tomorrow


Kristine Lalley, DEd
Director, International Engineering Initiatives


This program is designed for engineering and science students who have successfully completed the first year (i.e., Math 220 and 230; Physics 174 and 175; Chemistry 960 and 970 or equivalent).

Students are required to have a 2.8 cumulative GPA for the Australia program and a 2.5 GPA for the Brazil program.


ENGR 1070 and ENGR 1071 will be offered during the first six week session at Pitt.

ENGR 1070: Power Generation from the Ground Up
Course Coordinator: Minking Chyu

More than 50 percent of today's power generation and consumption worldwide relies on fossil energy sources, i.e. coal, natural gas, and oil – all "from the ground up," and this trend is expected to continue for many decades. This course will address key technical, environmental and societal issues associated with today's fossil energy supplies, exploration, recovery (e.g., horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing) energy conversion, and power generation systems. Based on the fundamental principles of thermodynamics, student will understand how a variety of physical components can be combined into practical power generation systems. Both vapor power cycles, where the primary motivating force is phase change, and gas power cycles, where combustion plays a more significant role, will be explained, analyzed, compared, and contrasted. Once the overall system performance is understood, the detailed mechanics of components such as heat exchangers, pumps, and turbines will be discussed. In addition, the role of advanced power generating technologies, such as fuel cells, will be examined. The course will be concluded with an overview of carbon management strategy, particularly in capture and sequestration of carbon-dioxide.

Faculty: Anthony Iannacchione, Laura Schaefer, Radisav Vidic, Robert Enick, Minking Chyu

ENGR 1071: Electrical Power Transmission, Distribution and Grid Technology
Course Coordinator: Greg Reed

This is an overview course designed to introduce students to electric power transmission and distribution grid technologies dedicated to reliably, efficiently, economically, and safely managing electric power across utility networks. The course will cover the application of various grid technologies from power generation through power consumption including transmission networks, grid automation, power electronics systems, communications and control, protection, grid operations, grid connectivity, renewable energy integration, cyber security, and other emerging areas, as well as an introduction to power utility markets, business processes, and policy/regulation. Students will gain an understanding of the how the broad spectrum of power grid technologies is integrated into the electrical energy industry, with an emphasis on transmission and distribution systems at the electric utility level. Since nuclear power often plays a significant role for near-term and future smart grid strategy in many developed countries, such as France, Japan and South Korea, part of this course will be directed to an overview of today's nuclear power generation and its relation to grid technologies.

Faculty: Larry Foulke, Greg Reed, William Stanchina


Munich Summer Edge program (12 credits total, July 7 – August 8, 2014) The aim of the international Munich Summer School of Applied Sciences is to offer students a unique study program in automotive and electrical engineering, management and entrepreneurship. Students will be prepared for challenging tasks in technical development and management departments with a focus on sustainability topics.
Students will get to know Germans and German culture by meeting local students, the teaching and support staff and through participating in the social program and the field trips. Students select two courses that are taught in English by multinational teams of two or three renowned lecturers from Munich University of Applied Sciences, Strascheg Center for Entrepreneurship and our US partner California Polytechnic State University.  Courses include any of the following: Smart Vehicles, Gas Turbines, Internal Combustion Engines, Embedded Systems, Renewable Energies, Sustainable Entrepreneurship, and German Language and Culture. 

ENGR 1623/2623 Engineering for a Better Environment: Brazil (9 credits total, EB2, August 10 - 22, 2014)
EB2 investigates renewable energy sources through exploration of Brazil's utilization of sustainable and clean power. The course is preparatory to a 10-day capstone study abroad field experience. The field experience will provide students with the opportunity to engage in dialogue with Brazilian leaders in sustainable energy development as well as experience Brazil through a variety of cultural and historical activities.

Renewable energy utilization in Brazil will be explored from a variety of perspectives: technology, history, politics, economics, contemporary culture and demographics, sustainability issues, and energy-technology trends. Through classroom discussion and research exercises, the student will learn to frame contemporary energy production and utilization issues in societal and global contexts and demonstrate mastery of the issues through written and oral communication. The course is presented in preparation for the EB2 field trip, ensuring that students have the requisite preparation to learn from the guest speakers and site-visits while in Brazil. Each week, guest speakers will address topics intended to provide the necessary background for the trip. The presentations will serve as the basis for comparative discussion and analysis. Topics will include: history and politics, economics, contemporary culture and demographics, and sustainability issues and energy-technology trends.
Faculty: Jorge Abad Read More About EB2 >>


This program is offered in two variations, both of which will enable Pitt students to earn the Energy Today – Energy Tomorrow Certificate from the Swanson School of Engineering. Each alternative includes two new three-credit courses during the first six-week summer session followed by a study abroad trip to either Germany or Brazil. The Germany alternative will enable the students to earn 12 credits; the Brazil alternative is for nine credits.

All participating students are encouraged to develop and conduct an independent research project with a faculty member that would form the basis of the required final paper on a topic related to an area covered in the academic program. The Swanson School of Engineering anticipates having partial summer research stipends available for participating students. Participating students will be encouraged to apply for a $1,750 undergraduate research grant for a topic and mentor of their choosing related to an energy and/or sustainability issue.

Energy Today – Energy Tomorrow Recognition of Program Completion:
Students who complete the entire the full program – two summer courses, and either the Munich summer program and submit an acceptable paper or the Brazil Sustainability program plus one extra course – will be eligible to apply for additional recognition of program completion from the Swanson School of Engineering.

Additional Application Process
Students applying to the Summer Edge program will also need to complete a supplemental Study Abroad application that consists of submitting documents to prove eligibility (e.g. transcripts, passport copy, and disciplinary record on campus). After students apply to Summer Edge through this web site, they must then apply directly to the study abroad program of their choice: Brazil or Munich