WIU’s Interdisciplinary Studies Program – Renewable Energy Concentrations
Students seeking a Bachelor of Science in ISP with a concentration in one of the Renewable Energy concentrations will benefit from an additional advising resources in the Illinois Institute of Rural Affairs.
Biofuels Technology: This concentration focuses on the technological aspects of using plant materials to produce ethanol and biodiesel. Students will take courses in agriculture, chemistry, biology, physics, GIS, and finance, among an array of courses. Students will be expected to understand the fundamentals of feedstock production, fermentation, fractionation, supply chain management, and plant management. Students choosing this option might pursue careers in private sector or cooperative biofuel production facilities. They might also find jobs in local planning agencies, nonprofit advocacy groups, nonprofit environmental groups, state agencies, or federal regulatory departments.
Policy, Planning, & Management: This concentration emphasizes the numerous public policies that affect the development and implementation of renewable energy. Students will understand how laws, contracts, and regulations operating at the local, regional, state, federal, and international scale affect renewable energy development. They will also gain an understanding of many technical aspects of renewable energy such as commodity and energy markets, facility site location, and the general operations of biofuel processors and wind turbines. Students choosing this option might pursue careers in local planning agencies, nonprofit advocacy groups, nonprofit environmental groups, state agencies, federal regulatory departments, or in the private sector.
Wind Technology: This concentration emphasizes the technological aspects of using wind to generate electricity. Students will be required to take a series of technical courses in physics, engineering technology, GIS, meteorology, materials science, management, and finance. They will understand how to locate, finance, develop, and manage a community-scale or utility grade wind power facility. Students pursuing this concentration can expect to find jobs working for private sector wind consulting companies to locate and develop wind projects, municipal and state planning agencies, and in the nonprofit sector, among a range of career options.
ISP-RE Alumni Testimonials & News
“Since the RE program includes courses in all disciplines, it really helps give a broad perspective into each area within the renewable energy industry. I initially thought I wanted to be more on the business development side of things, but since I had a background in GIS, I was given the opportunity to intern with Invenergy for their project engineering team working on project mapping needs. Since there is such a variety within the WIU RE program, students can become well-rounded and gain a variety of skills in order to qualify them for a larger number of opportunities.”
– Rachel Mead, ISP-RE ’16
Mead Wins Wind Energy Fellowship
MACOMB, IL – Western Illinois University senior interdisciplinary studies major Rachel Mead, of Mt. Pleasant, MI, has been awarded a Rudd Mayer Memorial Fellowship from the Women of Wind Energy (WoWE) organization.
The fellowship will allow Mead to participate in the American Wind Energy Association WINDPOWER Conference this month in New Orleans, LA. The cost of travel, conference registration and lodging are covered by the award. Read more>>
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IIRA Internship on WIU Campus
The Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs (IIRA) is an on campus agency working to assist rural communities through technical support, applied research, and policy evaluation. This statewide leader in supporting wind and biofuel technology will give students real world experience and offer valuable networking opportunities through its Value-Added Sustainable Development Center.