Alabama A&M University received $290,000 grant from National Science Foundation (NSF) for integration of renewable (solar and wind) energy into the engineering curriculum. The funding period of the grant extends through July 2016.
Renewable energy is an alternate source of energy aimed at saving the
environment by reducing pollution and helping to alleviate foreign dependency on fossil fuel, notes Dr. Showkat Chowdhury, professor of mechanical engineering and principal investigator (PI) for the three-year grant.
With the grant assistance, Chowdhury says AAMU will address the challenge of producing a quality pool of engineers and scientists with experience in renewable energy to meet the national demand. This will be achieved by enhancing the engineering and science curriculum through the introduction of new undergraduate and graduate courses in solar, wind and other renewable energies; hands-on experience in solar and wind energy; and expansion of research opportunities.
The implementation of the proposed activities at AAMU will produce
underrepresented minority engineers and technologists “with experience in the cutting edge and highly demanding field of renewable energy,” says Dr. Chowdhury, adding that it also will help to “develop a diverse national workforce.”
Although the grant was made possible through a competitive proposal to NSF, Chowdhury is extends thanks to the able assistance and direction of his two co-PIs in the College of Engineering, Technology and Physical Sciences, Dr. Tamara Chowdhury, assistant professor and coordinator of construction management, and Dr. Wing Chan, assistant professor and coordinator of electrical engineering technology.
Professor Chowdhury is also working as the PI of another active grant of $600,000 from NSF through which he currently is providing scholarships to about 25 students in engineering and technology.
- Jerome Saintjones