Among challenges for the 21st century, two of the biggest and broadest are energy and the environment. What are the means by which we will increase energy supplies to enable the world's people to live better? How will we preserve the quality of our environment? These two challenges are intertwined.
Cornell's Earth Energy IGERT is a graduate educational program designed to train the people who will find solutions to the coupled energy-environment challenges using science and engineering. We focus on sustainable utilization of energy resources from within earth, and the use of the subsurface to manage the impacts of using fossil fuels.
The Earth-Energy Systems Integrated Graduate Education and Research Training (IGERT) program, funded by the National Science Foundation. This IGERT brings together students seeking degrees in engineering and in geosciences in a unique program designed to provide both communities with skills, knowledge, and a common language to address our energy challenges.
The “Energy-IGERT” Fellows will learn to work across the engineering-geosciences fields, and to appreciate, anticipate, and communicate about risks and economic balances of importance to communities. The graduates will emerge ready to join, and on track to lead, the advanced energy workforce. Simultaneously, the faculty participants become an integrated engineering- geosciences team, able to continue beyond this project to train future interdisciplinary leaders.
Early in a student’s doctoral program, interdisciplinary training will occur through mini-courses, collaborative projects and exposure to real-world case studies in the field to teach methodologies and interdisciplinary team work. Internships are strongly encouraged, as part of learning the complex technical challenges and the social impact of energy solutions. Later in a student’s doctoral program, they will apply appropriate doses of the interdisciplinary background and approaches to which they have been exposed to designing and carrying out their major research projects.