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.

Credit: Anacortes Refinery by Walter Siegmund is licensed under CC BY 2.5

Course Description

This course on petroleum refining reviews how a refinery integrates different physical processes and chemical reactions to process crude oil for the production of transportation fuels and materials according to commercial specifications and environmental regulations. Classification of crude oils using standard analytical protocols helps the refiners select the optimum conditions for the most efficient and most profitable production of fuels and materials.

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.

Energy Conservation

Credit: Lightbulbs by Dreamstine is licensed under CC0

Course Description

Much of the general population believes that the energy sources we depend on are perpetual. While people believe that energy use is the culprit for environmental damage, they are not aware of the methods and principles by which energy conversion devices operate. This course will provide you with knowledge and information on the main operating principles of devices/appliances in common use and will help you in making energy efficient and economical choices.

Internship

Credit: Home Office 336373 by Free-Photos is licensed under CC0

Course Description

Are you participating in an internship or supervising someone who is? If so, take a minute to explore this course that accompanies an internship for the Bachelor's degree in Energy Sustainability and Policy. This course provides students opportunities to creatively reflect on their experiences as well as opportunities to prepare for a job search. Job search preparation is done via a SWOT analysis, resume writing, and a mock interview.

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.

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Course Spotlight

From Advanced Python Programming for GIS (GEOG 489), learn advanced applications of Python for developing and customizing GIS software, designing user interfaces, solving complex geoprocessing tasks, and leveraging open source.Visit the course.

Faculty Spotlight

Dr. Tim Bralower standing on a research ship

Dr. Tim Bralower (Ph.D. 1986, Earth Sciences, University of California) is Professor of Geosciences at Penn State. He studies ancient climate change and mass extinction from the geological record. He has participated in five expeditions with the International Ocean Discovery Program and conducted field studies from Europe to the Caribbean and South America. He is a former Fulbright Scholar and a Fellow of the Geological Society of America. Bralower was Head of the Department of Geosciences for nine years. See what Dr. Bralower has to say about online education in Earth Sciences.