Degrees and certification programs in the building and operating of wind turbines and farms have been around for quite some time, but these courses can be a bit one dimensional in an industry that is growing as rapidly and in such a complex manner as wind energy. There is, if you think about it, a lot more than just the spinning of blades to consider–there’s the effects of climate change on wind patterns, there’s the social and political issues involving the deeply-rooted reliance on oil and fossil fuels, and there’s the fast-growing field of offshore wind. That’s why Texas Tech announced recently it is offering a new, one-of-a-kind Bachelor of Science in Wind Energy degree program beginning this fall semester, designed to keep up with the changing face of the wind industry.
Texas Tech will be taking the multidisciplinary route to educate the next generation of wind-power professionals, so that students can do more with their degree after graduation than become engineers or technicians. The plan of study would include courses in design, policy, and atmospheric science as well as the engineering and mechanics of wind turbines and wind farms. With this multi-faceted approach to the wind industry, more options are open for students.
The course will be held at Texas Tech’s Lubbock Campus, which is located in the area known as the Great Plains “wind corridor,” making it an ideal place for hands-on learning. The state of Texas at large is also a great place for a budding wind professional, with the top five largest wind farms in the nation within its borders, and with a wind capacity of 10,000 megawatts. The course will clock in at 120 hours of traditional classes, complete with core and elective studies, and students will be expected to go abroad for further experience in the international wind sector. The college is also working towards offering the degree online.
“As the renewable energy field continues its rapid growth and development, the wind energy job market will continue to broaden,” said program director Andy Swift. “The Bachelor of Science in Wind Energy degree program will not only give students a more in-depth understanding of renewable energy, particularly in wind energy, but also equip them to fill any number of positions within the industry.”