Workforce Development
Over the next decade, nearly 50% of the skilled workers and technical leaders in the utility industry will retire -- a much larger void than the current pipeline of qualified professionals could fill. At the same time, the industry must further develop the systems and tools that will allow truly meaningful solutions to be derived from the emerging green-energy sector. The ESEI creates a mechanism interaction between firms in the field, and the young, talented minds that will shape that field's future. The industry benefits through the mentorship and development of student research projects that help overcome targeted research needs. Students benefit through experience in real-world problem-solving and the opportunity to network with members of the program's sponsor firms and advisors.

Technology Transfer
The collaborative nature of ESEI research among students, faculty, and industry representatives creates enormous potential for technology transfer. ESEI personnel coordinate closely with Lehigh's Office of Technology Transfer to facilitate commercialization of solutions developed within ESEI.

Student researchers at Lehigh are renowned for their ability to transform academic research into business success. ESEI draws upon the resources of Lehigh's Entrepreneurship Program, as associated start-up assistance on campus and around the Lehigh Valley, on behalf of students interested in developing a business around energy systems research.

Concept Demonstrations
"Energy Systems of Tomorrow" is a focus of the ESEI, specifically new and improved technologies for sustainable development. Along with industry practitioners, ESEI strives to solve issues through concepts for a flexible and efficient energy system based on renewable energy sources, clean coal solutions, and an intelligent grid system. Over time, student capstone projects will be structured to help demonstrate the effectiveness ofsolutions that conform to the economical and strategic betterment of corporate R&D programs.

Cross-Industry Studies
ESEI seeks to improve interaction among its industry sponsors, engineering practitioners, non-profit collaborators and related research expertise from Lehigh and supporting institutions. ESEI values projects with an economic component in order to reach interdisciplinary and comprehensive solutions and technological breakthroughs. A professional approach and "bundling" of know-how gives ESEI an edge in solving issues with broad significance across firms and the industry-at-large.

For more information, contact Prof. Martha Dodge, director, ESEI.