Energy and Mineral Engineering

The following courses have been developed by and for the Department of Energy and Mineral Engineering at Penn State's College of Earth and Mineral Sciences.

Reactive Transport in the Subsurface

Credit: Waterfall 192984 by FrankWinkler is licensed under CC0

Course Description

This course teaches principles of flow, transport, and reaction processes in the natural subsurface.

Course Description

Is climate change real? Yes, it is! And technologies to reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions are being developed. One type of technology that is imperative in the short run is biofuels; however, biofuels must meet specifications for gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel, or catastrophic damage could occur. This course will examine the chemistry of technologies of bio-based sources for power generation and transportation fuels.

Geo-Resource Evaluation and Investment Analysis

Credit: Port Arthur Texas by user:12019 is licensed under CC0

Course Description

We often face investment decisions, whether in our personal lives or our jobs. Investment projects involve payments at different times in a project's life. Capital costs are usually paid at early stages, but revenue is generated in the future. Time affects the value of money, and these values can't be compared directly. In EME 460, Geo-Resources Evaluation and Investment Analysis, we will learn methods to evaluate investment projects.

Foreign Studies

Course Description

Are you traveling to another country as part of your college career or supervising someone who is? If so, come explore this foreign study course for the Bachelor's degree in Energy Sustainability and Policy. This course helps students get the most from their experience by providing opportunities for reflection and the creation of a Dossier worthy of sharing with a potential employer.

Advanced Energy Policy

Credit: Solar Powered Landscape by Dennis Dimick is licensed under (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Course Description

Energy policy is typically evolutionary as opposed to revolutionary. We can look to historical policies to understand how we've inherited the policies governing our energy use today. But looking backward only tells us part of the story. In the face of climate change, we need to look ahead and instead envision a more revolutionary change to our energy systems and the policies that govern them. This class takes you on that journey to energy policies past, present, and future.

Course Description

EME 812 explores the main physical principles of core solar energy conversion systems, including direct power conversion photovoltaics, concentrating photovoltaics (CPV), and thermal conversion to electricity via concentrating solar power strategies (CSP). It also covers the fundamentals of enabling technologies such as light concentration, solar tracking, power conversion cycles, power conditioning and distribution.

Solar Resource Assessment and Economics

Credit: Photovoltaic System by andreas160578 is licensed under CC0

Course Description

Are you interested in Solar Energy? Solar Resource Assessment and Economics explores the methods, economic criteria, and meteorological background for assessing the solar resource with respect to project development of solar energy conversion systems for stakeholders in a given locale. It provides students with an in-depth exploration of the physical qualities of the solar resource, estimation of the fractional contributions of irradiance to total demand, and economic assessment of the solar resource.

Course Description

Sustainability denotes one of the main future challenges of societies and the global community. Issues of sustainability range from energy and natural resources to biodiversity loss and global climate change. Properly dealing with these issues will be crucial to future societal and economic development. This course provides the theoretical background for the discussion and analysis of sustainability issues.

Energy Markets, Policy, and Regulation

Credit: Calculator by stevepb is licensed under CC0

Course Description

EME 801 provides a broad introduction to global markets for crude oil and refined petroleum products, natural gas, and electric power. A major goal of the course is to help students understand how market design, market institutions, and regulatory structures affect firm-level decision-making in the energy industries and ultimately, how these decisions affect the functioning of energy markets and the prospects for alternative technologies.

Utility Solar Thermal and Industrial Solar Processes

Credit: Photovoltaic Panels by U.S. Department of Energy is public domain

Course Description

Solar thermal energy is a vast renewable energy resource that has been harvested by human civilizations for centuries. Now as energy conversion technologies quickly develop, we look at solar thermal energy as a significant contributor to the future world's energy profile. Solar heat, when properly collected and stored, can provide cost-effective benefits to a wide array of industrial and residential applications.

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Course Spotlight

From Meteorology to Mitigation: Understanding Global Warming (METEO 469) - learn about the fundamentals of climate change and its impact on societal, environmental, and economic policies. Visit the course.

Faculty Spotlight

Dr. Richard Alley

Dr. Richard Alley has been with us since the beginning, with one of our first OPEN courses - Geology of the National Parks. See what he has to say about the OPEN.ED effort over ten years later.