Can technology save the planet? As we consume more and more energy the consequences are very topical issues. Increases in pollution, carbon dioxide and other emissions into the earth's atmosphere are causing global temperatures and sea levels to rise, which in turn are leading to more severe weather like floods and hurricanes and a threat to animals such as polar bears. Just turning our lights and heating on in our homes, cooking our food and driving to work are all having an effect.
Whether technology can save the planet is a big question but advances in technology, engineering and energy sources like solar, wind and wave power seem to be a step in the right direction to help reduce the impacts of climate change. This is where energy engineering comes in. The search for renewable energy sources and cleaner fuels to heat our homes and run our cars is essential to help stop the rate of climate change. Renewable energy, i.e. energy that doesn't pollute or cause environmental damage, does seem to be the way forward. This is energy that is derived from resources that are sustainable and cannot be depleted. Resources such as the heat from the sun, the wind and the energy produced by waves are all abundant, renewable and clean.
Energy engineering doesn't just concentrate on renewable energy. Some of the topics you may study on an energy engineering course are listed below. You will need to check with the institutions directly for up-to-date module information.
Example areas of study
- Energy engineering
- Electrical engineering
- Energy conversion and storage
- Product development
- Renewable energy systems
- Petroleum engineering
- Mechanical engineering
- Building engineering
- Chemical engineering
- Fluid mechanics
- Solar power
- Environmental science and management
- Monitoring and management
- Geothermal energy
- Sustainable development
- Energy management
- Alternative energy sources
Some career possibilities
With an energy engineering degree you could pursue a career in engineering, conservation, consultation, product design, facilities management or project management. Research in energy-related topics is available and postgraduate courses in renewable energy and energy technology are available.
What do I need to get on a course?
Entry requirements will vary depending on the institution you wish to apply to and it is recommended that you contact them directly for current details. Generally you may need the following:
- UCAS Tariff: 260 - 340 points including science or mathematics related subjects
- A-level: BCC-AAB at including a science subject and possibly mathematics
- Advanced Highers: BCC - AAB including a science subject and possibly mathematics
- Irish leaving Certificated: BBBBB-AABBB including science and/or mathematics
- International Baccalaureate: 30-34 points
- European Baccalaureate: 70-75%
- Mature students will require a good pass in a relevant Access course
For your application or interview the following may be useful:
It is worth having some knowledge about the energy industry. The following links might be useful places to start.
- The Energy Institute
- The Engineering Council UK
- The Centre for Sustainable Energy
- The UK Energy Research Centre
To find out more about the typical subjects you will study, potential career paths and further information useful for your application log-on to Course Discover at www.coursediscoveronline.co.uk*
*NB: Your school or college will need a subscription to Course Discover in order for you to gain access, for further information go to:www.coursediscover.co.uk