Mines, NREL launch Advanced Energy Systems grad program

Colorado School of Mines has begun accepting applications for a new joint graduate program with the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) that will launch in the fall of 2019. 
Unlike traditional energy programs that focus on individual technology areas, economics or policy, the interdisciplinary Mines/NREL Advanced Energy Systems degree program will capitalize on the engineering, science, analysis and policy strengths of both institutions to provide students with a breadth of energy knowledge and training that addresses the full complexity of tomorrow’s integrated energy systems, infrastructure, economic and environmental challenges.
“Developing secure, resilient and adaptive energy infrastructure that fosters economic growth while reducing environmental impact is among the most pressing challenges — and greatest opportunities — of our time,” said Michael Kaufman, vice provost for graduate and research initiatives and dean of materials and energy programs at Mines. “This visionary graduate program will combine NREL’s world-class research in energy systems and technologies with Mines’ internationally recognized work in exploration and extraction, conversion and storage, sustainable usage, and economics and policy to uniquely position graduates to enter the workforce in roles supporting advanced energy innovation and energy systems integration in government, academia and the private sector.”
At the heart of the doctoral program will be two 12-week rotations at NREL, where students will have the opportunity to learn firsthand about the latest in emerging energy technologies and science while working alongside leading researchers, industry partners and innovators in a state-of-the-art laboratory setting. In addition to the Ph.D. program, a non-thesis master’s degree option will offer recent bachelor of science graduates and professionals access to interdisciplinary courses, joint Mines-NREL seminars, networking, professional development and recruiting opportunities in industry and government. 
At Mines, the core courses for students enrolled in both programs will focus on the conversion of fossil, renewable and nuclear energy resources to electric power, the distribution of fuels and electricity to enable transportation and a growing economy, and efforts to increase energy efficiency in buildings, the commercial sector and heavy industries. Doctoral students will conduct their thesis research under the joint guidance of Mines and NREL researchers and in the unique environment that this collaboration enables, namely, the academic laboratories at Mines and the world-class facilities at NREL. 
“NREL and Mines’ complementary missions and exceptional people form the basis of a longstanding and fruitful collaborative relationship between our two institutions,” said Peter Green, science and technology officer and deputy laboratory director at NREL. “The Advanced Energy Systems program offers unique opportunities for graduate students to learn from NREL researchers and Mines faculty about challenges associated with the global energy transition and to develop tools that enable them to collaboratively contribute meaningful solutions.”
Located just five miles apart in Golden, Colorado, Mines and NREL are expanding on a longstanding collaborative relationship that they have frequently leveraged to develop and advance solutions to pressing energy and environmental challenges and that already includes more than 20 joint research appointments and shared laboratory facilities. 
Applications for the doctoral and master’s programs are now open for Fall 2019. For more information and to apply, visit energysystems.mines.edu.
Emilie Rusch, Public Information Specialist, Communications and Marketing | 303-273-3361 | erusch@mines.edu
Mark Ramirez, Managing Editor, Communications and Marketing | 303-273-3088 | ramirez@mines.edu
About Mines
Colorado School of Mines is a public R1 research university focused on applied science and engineering, producing the talent, knowledge and innovations to serve industry and benefit society – all to create a more prosperous future.