The traditional place for electric power studies in a university is in the electrical engineering program, where the power option is offered as one of several concentrations. At Rensselaer, electric power is a separate degree program with its own faculty. It maintains strong ties to industry and is dedicated to preparing students for careers in power generation, delivery, or equipment; power electronics applied to drives and power conditioning; or at the intersection of electric power, economics, and management.
The vital role that energy plays in our lives has become increasingly evident in recent years. Society as we know it cannot function without an abundant supply of energy. It turns the wheels of industry and agriculture, it provides transportation, it supplies many of our domestic and recreational needs. There is continuing controversy over the primary source of the energy, but there is widespread agreement that electrical energy, because of its ease of transformation to and from other energy forms and its ease of transmission, distribution, and utilization, is vital. It is expected that electrical energy will constitute an increasing portion of the total energy used.
To keep pace with expanding needs through the development of ever more sophisticated systems requires the technical talent, scientific knowledge, mature judgment, and visionary innovation of the best engineering minds of this generation. The electric power engineering program at Rensselaer is dedicated to meeting this need in generation, delivery, and utilization in an increasingly competitive environment. Study at Rensselaer is supported by the power industry, which the program serves. In particular, the ECSE Department operates a Grainger Scholar program under the auspices of the Grainger Foundation for well-qualified U.S. students.