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University of Iowa Offers Wind Turbine Design, Wind Power Management Courses

The University of Iowa College of Engineering Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering will begin offering senior undergraduate and graduate-level courses aimed at preparing students for possible careers in the fast-growing industry of wind-generated electricity.

Beginning with the start of the spring 2008 semester on Jan. 22, the college will offer courses in wind turbine design and wind power management. According to Andrew Kusiak, professor of industrial engineering, the location of five new wind power companies in Iowa -- including Acciona Energy NA, which will dedicate its new wind power turbine facility in West Branch, Iowa, today (Jan. 17) -- will result in the creation of hundreds of new jobs.

"The wind power industry is expected to grow in the coming decades, and it is envisioned that as much as 20 percent of the nation's energy needs will be met by wind generated power," said Kusiak. "The diverse job opportunities in wind energy industry call for graduates with different skill sets.

"The Wind Power Management Program at the UI is intended to educate professionals for design, operations, and management of wind farms deployed in massive numbers all over the country. The graduates will be able to fully understand the system and management of wind power facilities and their interactions with other alternative and conventional power generation systems," he said.

Kusiak noted that the diverse backgrounds of students taking the wind energy courses might include a baccalaureate degree in engineering, computer science, basic sciences, business, or a related area, in addition to knowledge of calculus, analysis and statistics.

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