What is Energy Engineering?
Energy engineers focus on finding efficient, clean, and sustainable ways to supply us with energy. They design systems that produce energy by using resources like oil and gas, biofuels, wind, solar, and hydro power.
Energy engineering is one of the more recent engineering disciplines and combines knowledge from physics, mathematics, and chemistry with environmental engineering.
Some types of energy engineers include:
- Power engineers design systems to transmit and distribute power from where it is generated to where it is used.
- Renewable energy engineers develop technologies needed to harvest energy sources such as wind and solar power.
Energy engineers work in a variety of roles including designing and testing machinery, researching ways to generate energy from new resources, and developing ways to improve existing processes. They may work in an office, a laboratory, on in the field.
Learn more about some of the challenges energy engineers work on in developing renewable energy:
Courses in mathematics, physics, earth sciences, and environmental engineering are essential for energy engineering. Higher education programs may include more specialized courses in sustainable energy and climate science.
Here are some general tips for choosing a university or college program:
- Make sure the program is fully accredited locally and/or internationally.
- Look for programs in energy engineering or related fields such as environmental engineering.
- Consider accredited engineering programs offered by technical or community colleges.
Energy engineers will be highly sought after as countries work to meet rising energy demands while managing costs and pollution. There is greater public awareness regarding the need for clean, affordable, and sustainable energy sources, and employers are seeking skilled and knowledgeable engineers in these areas. Energy engineers, in most parts of the world, are highly valued and very well paid.
To learn more about the kind of work you could do, check out GE's Power & Energy projects and their work in energy distribution: Power & Energy | GE Research
Typical employers include fuel production companies, local and national governments, and manufacturing companies:
- Department of Energy
- Exxon Mobil
- General Electric
- Saudi Aramco
Watch the following videos to meet some inspiring energy engineers.