Looking for something new and different to do this summer? At my law school alma mater, the University of Illinois, the Trustworthy Cyber Infrastructure for the Power Grid (TCIPG) center is offering the Cyber Security for Smart Energy Systems Summer School. This graduate level summer program is designed to provide the basics of cyber security in relation to the traditional generation, transmission, and distribution systems of the power grid. Participants will gain an understanding of how the power grid is evolving into a smarter energy system with an emphasis cyber security challenges.
Thanks in part to grants awarded by the Department of Energy, many colleges and universities are offering smart grid training programs in various forms. At Cincinnati State Technical and Community College, your child can MAJOR in the smart grid. The purpose of this major is to educate and train the labor force for the new national smart grid. The Smart Grid Major will cover distributed power generation and smart transmission line system technology that integrates with local area networks.
In Chicago, the Illinois Institute of Technology has a SmartGrid Workforce Training Center designed to educate multiple segments and generations of the community:
Labor – Many of the jobs impacted by Smart Grid energy efficiency initiatives are occupations that have significant Labor participation: electricians, carpenters, sheet metal workers, plumbers and transportation workers. IIT is working with Labor representatives to develop curriculum and certifications that can be integrated into existing Labor training programs.
Veterans – The Center will provide energy training programs specifically tailored to the educational needs of Veterans. IIT will offer flexible distance learning courses to service people who are currently deployed – this means that they can begin planning for civilian transition even before they return.
Chicago Public Schools – Enhanced curriculum and “Energy Detective” programs will engage K-12 teachers and students. The center will provide teachers with access to
down-to-earth workshops, webinars and immersions on the Smart Grid, plug-in hybrid cars, and renewable energy topics so they can teach their students in practical, easy to understand terms.
Consumers – This initiative will put utilities on the path to an effective implementation of the Smart Grid, which will result in: Fewer, shorter blackouts for homes and businesses, cleaner energy and reduced carbon emission by reducing peak demand for electricity, enhanced U.S. energy efficiency and lower electricity bills.
These are a few of the many innovative approaches to smart grid education colleges and universities are taking to assist utilities with educating their future workforce, as well as their customers. Many of the programs are created in partnership with utilities. This collaborative approach creates a win for everyone – schools, students, customers and utilities. It’s education that is not just informative but useful!