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.

Phase Relations in Reservoir engineering

Credit: Drops of Water by ronymichaud is licensed under CC0

Course Description

In this course, you will learn about phase relations as applied to oil and/or gas reservoir processes, enhanced oil recovery, gas pipeline transportation, natural gas processing and liquefaction, and other problems in petroleum production. The primary objective of the course is to apply the thermodynamics of phase equilibrium to the framework for phase behavior modeling of petroleum fluids. The focus of the course will be on equilibrium thermodynamics and its relevance to phase behavior predictions and phase equilibrium data description.

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.

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.

Sustainability and Non-Market Enterprise

Credit: White Windmill by fxxu is licensed under CC0

Course Description

The primary goal of this course is to provide a toolset for characterizing and strategizing how nonmarket forces can shape current and future renewable energy markets. The course approaches the exploration and explanation of key concepts in renewable energy and sustainability nonmarket strategies through evidence-based examples. Main topics for the course include: a sociological approach to markets, renewable energy markets, nonmarket conditions, complex systems analysis, and renewable energy technology and business environments.

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

Introduction to Energy and Earth Sciences is an introduction to microeconomic fundamentals with a focus on the applications of economics to energy and environmental markets. We will introduce the economic method of analysis to the environmental and resource questions facing society. We will learn about the market forces, supply and demand and how they are formed from two concepts of law of Diminishing Returns and Diminishing Marginal Utility. We extend our knowledge by exploring factors such as market dynamics and market equilibrium, government intervention and market power.

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Course Spotlight

pile of maps

Cartography and Visualization (GEOG 486) covers design principles and techniques for creating maps with contemporary mapping tools. Students will be introduced to future-focused application topics such as augmented and virtual reality, mapping with multivariate glyphs, the visual depiction of uncertainty, interactive geovisualization, and (geo)visual analytics, and decision-making with maps and mapping products. Visit the course.

Faculty Spotlight

Maria Wherley

Maria Scalzi Wherley (she, her) is a Learning Designer and Writer-in-Residence with the John A. Dutton e-Education Institute at Penn State. She has more than 20 years of teaching experience. Learn more about Maria to see what she has to say about online education.