Energy is an indispensable part of the modern society.
We depend on energy for almost everything ranging from home appliances, lighting, transportation, heating and cooling, communication, to industrial processes supplying food and other commodity for our daily lives. In order for the Earth to continuously support human lives, we must achieve sustainability for the global social, economic and environmental systems that meet “the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” Our future is dependent upon the generations of people who are educated and prepared for leading the challenging mission.
We're excited about your interest in our program, so make sure you explore the whole site. We especially encourage you to learn more about the program, read this letter from the program's graduate coordinator, or even look into applying!
Our graduates are equipped to accept the challenging mission of achieving sustainability for the global, social, economic and environmental systems that meet both present and future needs. Our Master of Science in Sustainable Energy is a science-based and technology management focused program that empowers and enables students to develop advanced knowledge and skills. Graduates will become the leaders and managers in the energy industry.
Our students gain an understanding of the sciences and technologies related to energy production, conversion, utilization and conservation. They understand the economic, environmental and policy impact of a sustainable energy practice. This interdisciplinary degree is science based and technology management focused. Contributing EIU departments/schools include Biological Science, Communications Studies, Economics, English, Geology/Geography, Physics, Political Science, and the schools of Business and Technology.
Students are enrolled in CERE 5953 Sustainable Energy Research on the first semester in the program. They will continue working at their energy-related research under the guidance of a faculty until the end of the program. During the process, students are expected to either publish or produce a research paper deemed publishable in the related discipline. At the end of the program, students are also expected to successfully present their findings to a committee of three graduate faculty.
As a living laboratory, the Renewable Energy Center as well as the Office of Sustainability on campus provide graduate students with a realistic working experience. By enrolling in CERE 5983 Sustainability Practicum, students will job shadow with various operations related to energy production, conversion and conservation. At the conclusion of the practicum, students are expected to document flow of materials, energy, information and people of those operations.
The Renewable Energy Center (REC) at EIU is of the largest university biomass installations in the country. The REC is a 19,000-square-foot steam plant that will provide heat for buildings and classrooms across the university grounds. It is driven by two large biomass gasifiers - the first application of this technology in Illinois and the surrounding region - that use wood chips from forest residue for fuel.
The REC exemplifies the institution’s leadership and commitment to a sustainable energy practice. The new energy center will afford students the first-hand opportunity to learn how renewable energy is utilized to support the needs of a campus or community. By switching to a renewable energy source, EIU will reduce annual carbon dioxide emissions by an estimated 20,000 metric tons, which is equivalent to removing more than 3,600 cars from the road, according to figures from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The REC's dedicated classrooms and advanced technology help the university develop the Center for Clean Energy Research and Education (CENCERE) to provide students and faculty extensive opportunities for clean-energy research.
"You learn from books and everything, but you also learn from experiences. It's not the same if you talk about a place and you've never been there. That's the best knowledge you can get."Hector Flores ('15)
"I want to use the skills I have learned in each one of these degrees in tandem and apply them to a job, or potentially many jobs, correlated with sustainability, management and construction. I feel as though this combination will be perfect for my personality and career goals, and I will enjoy the work I am faced with."Patrick Lyons ('16)
"Professors give more attention and opportunities to students at EIU than in China or at larger schools in the US. My hope is that this type of technology will continue to be developed through China’s sustainability policy. With so much smoke and pollution, more innovative techniques are necessary.”Wei Wang (‘15)
"In Nepal, we don’t have fossil fuel deposits but we do have available water resources which can be tapped to generate sustainable and renewable energy in the form of hydroelectricity. Similarly, we are also rich in biomass resources. If Nepal is able to rely on energy resources available at home, we will have a prosperous energy future and energy security within the country.”Sunil Thapa ('14)