Developing a state-wide energy assurance plan: Course +Work = Success

Peter Mark Jansson, Daniel Schmalzel, Robert R. Krchnavek, John L. Schmalzel

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


The U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) mandates that each state prepare an energy assurance plan (EAP) which consolidates energy utilization snapshots for the state along with procedures and strategies to be employed to address a wide range of potential energy emergencies. Rowan University was contracted by the State of New Jersey to develop an EAP. In the spring of 2011 a multidisciplinary team of student engineers was formed as part of a project-based course to begin the EAP development. The result of the semester effort was a compilation of other existing state EAPs, an outline for the new document and initial development of portions of the EAP. During the summer of 2011 fourteen student engineers were hired to continue working on the EAP and the related energy monitoring systems. A significant portion of a draft EAP for the State of New Jersey was completed at that time. The following two semesters (Autumn 2011 and Spring 2012) had smaller engineering clinic teams continuing to refine the document. It was completed and shared with the State over the summer of 2012 by summer students and their professors when the document went through its final revisions. This paper reports on general aspects of the EAP in order to provide the context and then focuses on the important relationship between project-based coursework and student employment opportunities. Some of the challenges in the academic environment include the sometimes competing goals of (1) providing relevant projects based upon real industry need, and (2) the accompanying expectations of professional deliverables, which are often well beyond the scope of a one- or two-semester project. Projects that provide sufficient funding for students (undergraduate and graduate) offer the best way to provide the sophisticated results that many sponsors expect. Having students continue the momentum developed in the in their class projectbased learning experience often results in a corresponding step increase in their productivity when the summer project begins. The EAP team accomplished a significant amount of work as measured by the number of chapters, appendices and references completed, and the responses of the sponsor during regular project reviews. This approach to the key project-based portion of our curriculum has become a model for how solicit and scope projects from outside sponsors. The paper will address other strengths and weaknesses of the approach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - 2013
Event120th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - Atlanta, GA, United States
Duration: Jun 23 2013Jun 26 2013


Other120th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityAtlanta, GA

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Engineering(all)


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