The Penn-wide course “Energy and Its Impacts: Technology, Ecology, Economics, Sustainability” will be offered this Fall 2012, taugth by Professor Noam Lior (an IGEL faculty advisory board member). The course is offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6-7:30 pm, and is available as EAS 501 for graduate students, and EAS as 401 for Junior and Senior undergraduates. There are no prerequisites for this course, which is open to all Penn graduate students and to Juniors and Seniors.
The course was developed in cooperation with Wharton, The School of Design, IES, and the Lauder Institute, and it offers students a multidisciplinary approach to the extensive field of energy studies. The objective of the course is to introduce students to one of the most dominating and compelling areas of human existence and endeavor: energy, with its foundations in technology, association to economics, and impacts on ecology and society. This introduction is intended both for general education and awareness and for preparation for careers related to this field. The course spans from basic principles to applications. A review of energy consumption, use, and resources; ecological impacts, sustainability and design of sustainable energy systems; methods of energy analysis; forecasting; electricity generation systems (steam and gas turbine based power plants, fuel cells), energy for transportation (cars, aircraft, and ships); nuclear energy and wastes; renewable energy use: solar, wind, hydroelectric, geothermal, biomass; prospects for future energy systems: fusion power, power generation in space.
The course also allows students to specialize in one or two energy topics they find of most interest by choosing them as their course project assignments.