August 5, 2011
Written by Michele Moskos
Texas Tech's location in the Great Plains Wind Corridor is ideal for the study and development of wind energy.
Beginning this fall, Texas Tech will offer a one-of-a-kind Bachelor of Science in Wind Energy degree program, school officials announced Friday.
Unlike any other wind energy degree program in the nation, Texas Tech will seek to educate individuals in a multidisciplinary format, instead of focusing primarily on educating engineers and technicians. Texas Tech's new and diverse curriculum – courses ranging from design and construction to policy to atmospheric science and research – will qualify graduates to fill a variety of positions in the industry, such as weather forecasting, or working as a financial analyst or government liaison.
“As the renewable energy field continues its rapid growth and development, the wind energy job market will continue to broaden,” program director Andy Swift said. “The Bachelor of Science in Wind Energy degree program will not only give students a more in-depth understanding of renewable energy, particularly in wind energy, but also equip them to fill any number of positions within the industry.”
Lubbock’s location in the Great Plains Wind Corridor makes Texas Tech the ideal physical location for the study and development of wind energy. Serving as home to all five of the nation’s largest wind farms, Texas has reached an installed wind power capacity of 10,000 megawatts.
The 120-hour, face-to-face degree plan requires students to complete 47 hours of core curriculum, 40 hours of wind energy core and 27 hours of wind energy electives.
Students also will be expected to gain six hours of international experience, either by studying abroad or through an international internship.
“The Bachelor of Science in Wind Energy represents the intersection of innovative and creative teaching, research and scholarship,” said Valerie Paton, interim dean of University College. “This degree program promotes Texas Tech's overall commitment to providing the best facilities and academics with a personalized focus on students in order to create ethical leaders in a diverse and competitive work force.”
While the program currently is based out of Texas Tech's Lubbock campus, plans are underway to offer the degree in an online format as well.
National Wind Institute (NWI) is world-renowned for conducting innovative research in the areas of wind energy, wind hazard mitigation, wind-induced damage, severe storms and wind-related economics.
NWI is also home to world-class researchers with expertise in numerous academic fields such as atmospheric science, civil, mechanical and electrical engineering, mathematics and economics, and NWI was the first in the nation to offer a doctorate in Wind Science and Engineering, and a Bachelor of Science in Wind Energy.