Growing energy demand is connected to water availability and climate change and it places additional stress on the environment. Thereby, It is critical to prepare the next generation of engineers and professionals to face the challenges in bioenergy, expand sustainable alternatives to fossil fuels1 and enable climate-smart agriculture2,3. To address this challenge, a career-oriented multidisciplinary educational model is being implemented at three minority-serving institutions. This paper discusses the foundation of this educational program, which provides a robust response to the current sustainability issues by conducting multidisciplinary coordinated education, mentoring, research and extension activities among multiple universities and laboratories. This educational program aims to accomplish the ultimate goal of increasing minority participation in pursuing advanced degrees in STEM and attaining a diverse highly trained and skillful workforce with a strong pragmatic, experimental, analytical and computational background as well as scientific literacy in sustainable energy and the energywater nexus. In this model, students are expected to gain knowledge and understanding of the operational complexity of sustainable energy systems from source-to-use. Students will be able to conduct research and discovery from the feedstock properties passing through the conversion technologies to the mathematical modeling and optimization of the whole bioenergy value chain. In addition, students will be able to translate their findings in the laboratory regarding water quality and treatment into operational parameters to be included in comprehensive water systems models.
Castillo, K., & Cabrera-Rios, M., & Persans, M. W., & DeYoe, H. R. (2016, June), Engaging Minority Students in Sustainable Bioenergy and Water Quality through an Education and Research Network Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26966
2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition