Faculty News

EE Professors Provide Insights on Sustainability Gaps in Engineering Education

August 7, 2023

As the world works toward an energy transition, is engineering education keeping up to produce skilled and knowledgeable workers?

According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), an additional 85 million jobs related to the energy transition and the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius are expected to be created by 2030. 

The renewable energy sector alone will produce about 26.5 million new jobs, while energy efficiency, power grids, and hydrogen fields will generate an additional 58.3 million jobs. These gains more than compensate for the projected loss of 12 million jobs in the fossil fuel and nuclear industries.

To address the growing job demand, it is crucial to enhance and broaden education and training programs and adopt measures to promote a diverse workforce during the transition. However, there is a concern that a lack of focused education on renewables and sustainability creates a skills shortage. 

EE Power spoke with electrical engineering professors from the University of Rochester (UR) to better understand industry opinions on the quality of sustainability-related education in engineering. Dan Phinney and Jack Mottley offered their insights.