DOE Awards More Than $30 Million to Help Universities Train the Next Generation of Industrial Energy Efficiency Experts

September 13, 2011

U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu today announced more than $30 million for 24 universities in 23 states across the country to train undergraduate- and graduate-level engineering students in manufacturing efficiency to help them become the nation's next generation of industrial energy efficiency experts. Each school will receive $200,000 to $300,000 per year for up to 5 years to help university teams to gain practical training on core energy management concepts through DOE's successful Industrial Assessment Center program.

The Industrial Assessment Center program enables promising engineering students around the country to conduct energy assessments in a broad range of manufacturing facilities, providing skills and experience that prepares the students to compete in today's economy while helping local companies and factories to reduce energy waste, save money, and become more economically competitive. "This industrial efficiency training program opens the door to good jobs in a growing, global sector for thousands of energy-savvy students while promoting real, boots-on-the-ground progress toward our transition to a clean energy economy," said Secretary Chu. "The Centers will provide a boost to the next-generation of American workers as well as to the businesses with which they work."

Through these university-based Industrial Assessment Centers, engineering students will receive extensive training in industrial processes, energy assessment procedures, and energy management principles, which will be put to use working directly with small and medium-sized industrial and manufacturing facilities in the surrounding communities. Under the program, each Industrial Assessment Center will be expected to train at least 10 to 15 students per year, conduct approximately 20 energy assessments annually, and perform extensive follow-on reporting, tracking, implementation, and management-improvement activities.

In addition to conducting assessments at industrial plants, each Industrial Assessment Center will be expected to promote interaction with private sector partners that could provide valuable workforce development support, such as scholarships and internship opportunities.

Read the full list of award winners.

DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy invests in clean energy technologies that strengthen the economy, protect the environment, and reduce America's dependence on foreign oil. Learn more about DOE's efforts to contribute practical solutions for some of the nation's top energy challenges through a combination of transformative research and development and targeted education and assistance in the industrial and manufacturing sectors.