OSU-Cascades Earns Nation’s Fourth Accredited Energy Systems Engineering Degree


(Rendering courtesy of OSU-Cascades)

The rapidly expanding energy systems engineering degree at Oregon State University – Cascades has become only the fourth of its kind in the nation to receive full accreditation from ABET, the body that accredits college and university programs in applied science, computing, engineering and engineering technology.

Accreditation recognizes that the program meets quality standards to produce graduates prepared to enter a global workforce or graduate school. ABET accreditation is also recognized by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying, and allows graduates to pursue the NCEES professional engineering license exams.

Employers who hire engineers often seek graduates of ABET-accredited programs, officials say.

“The energy systems engineering degree is on the cutting-edge of energy-related degrees nationally,” said Robin Feuerbacher, the Tykeson Endowed Faculty Scholar at OSU-Cascades, and program lead. “This program has quickly established a national prominence with job placement and government recognition.”

The degree is a response to the global need for professionals who can help address complex engineering and business issues that are associated with traditional and alternative energy systems, officials say, in order to achieve maximum energy efficiency. OSU faculty, engineering companies and economic development interests in Central Oregon helped design the program, which is offered in partnership with the OSU College of Engineering.

The versatile and flexible degree may offer a range of job options for graduates, and alumni already work at Pacific Power, Eaton, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Department of Defense, McKinstry, Element 1 and Bend Research Inc.

The program combines technical and strategic knowledge about energy technologies, and includes participation in the Multiple Engineering Cooperative Program, an Oregon-based competitive work-study program that provides access to state, national and international engineering companies.

The degree was launched five years ago and so far has produced 36 graduates. Students are participating from Oregon as well as several other states and foreign countries, and the program is one of the fastest growing degrees at OSU-Cascades.



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