Greg Reed, PhD
The Electric Power Initiative, directed by Greg Reed, PhD and related programs of the Center for Energy in the Swanson School of Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh (Pitt) have been developed over the past several years in collaboration with industry, government, and other constituents to provide innovative education and collaborative research programs in the areas of electric power and energy engineering. Working together with industry partners, along with strong government sponsorship and other constituency support, Pitt is contributing to solutions that address the aging workforce issue in the electric power and energy sector through modernized educational programs, as well as to advances in technology development, basic and applied research, and outreach.
Specifically in the area of electric power engineering education, concentrations have been developed at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. The curriculum consists of a strong set of courses addressing the core principals in electric power, while being augmented with new offerings in emerging technology areas. Through strong industry collaborations that contribute to course development, the program is not only educating the next generation of power engineers, but developing the future leaders of the electric power industry. The undergraduate concentration consists of a series of four elective courses within the Electrical & Computer Engineering Department - two required courses on power system analysis and controls, and two electives that can be selected among six other offerings. The graduate program curriculum is extremely robust, and covers a wide range of electric power engineering subject matter including new courses in smart grids, power electronics, renewable and alternative energy systems, and other relevant areas associated with modernized power grid and energy system development.
The initiative establishes a model program for the resurgence and sustainability of university based electric power engineering programs in the U.S.A In addition to the strong educational programs in electric power, the graduate research program has advanced significantly over the past two years, and includes research and development efforts in emerging areas such as AC and DC micro-grids, advanced power electronics and control technologies (FACTS and HVDC systems), renewable energy systems and integration, smart grid technologies and applications, energy storage, and energy efficiency.
Current industry partners providing various means of support to the initiative include the following regional, national, and international organizations: Eaton Corp., ABB Inc., Siemens Energy Inc., Mitsubishi Electric, FirstEnergy, Pitt-Ohio Express, BPL Global Ltd., ANSYS Inc., and Westinghouse Electric. Many other industry organizations are engaged with the program, as well - including local and regional utilities such as Duquesne Light, FirstEnergy, Dominion Virginia Power, PPL, and AEP - through activities such as recruiting power engineering students and participation in other power and energy initiative related events on campus, including the annual Pitt Electric Power Industry Conference. In addition to strong industry involvement and collaborations in the research programs, support is provided from several different offices of the U.S. Department of Energy (OEDER, EERE, and NETL), ARPA-e (Solar ADEPT), the National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Commerce, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority, and others. Key foundation constituents include the Heinz Endowments and the Richard King Mellon Foundation.
Through the partnership with Eaton, A new state-of-the-art Electric Power Systems Laboratory has been constructed and was dedicated in January 2014, to further enhance both education and research programs in electric power engineering.
The Pitt Electric Power Initiative has been featured prominently in local and national media, and has become a leader in our nation's efforts towards re-engineering the electric power grid of the future. One highlight related to the program's national impact, includes a significant leadership role in the newly established Energy Ambassador Program of the National Academies of Science and Engineering.