In addition to their major, engineering and non-engineering undergraduate students can earn a minor in Renewable and Clean Energy by completing eighteen (18) semester credit hours of course work specified below. Students will take six (6) credit hours of core courses (one of two course sequences) and twelve (12) credit hours of renewable and clean energy elective courses.

Students who complete the 18 credit hours with an average grade of C or higher will receive the designation “Minor in Renewable and Clean Energy” on their transcript upon graduation. A maximum of two courses that have been applied to another degree program can be used to satisfy the requirements of this minor.

Course Requirements

  1. Core Courses
    Must complete one of the following sequences:
    • Sequence I
      ME 3310 – Thermodynamics I
      ME 3320 – Thermodynamics II
    • Sequence II
      ME 3750 – Thermodynamics of Materials
      ME4570 – Energy Materials
  2. Renewable and Clean Energy Electives
    Must complete four of the following:
    • ME 3320 – Thermodynamics II
    • ME 4520 – Hydropower Development
    • ME 4530 – Energy Conversion
    • ME 4540 – Solar Engineering
    • ME 4550 – Geothermal Energy
    • ME 4560 – Wind Power
    • ME 4570 – Advanced Energy Materials
    • ME 4580 – Fuel Cell Science and Technology
    • ME 4590 – Environmental Advances in Coal Based Power Plants

Course Descriptions

  •  ME 3310 - Thermodynamics I - This course studies energy and energy conversion from the classical thermodynamics perspective. Properties of fluids, conservation of mass, conservation of energy, and the second law of thermodynamics are studied. These principles are applied to engineering problems.  (Prerequisites: EGR 1010 or MTH 2310 (MTH 2310 can be taken concurrently) and PHY 2400)
  • ME 3320 - Thermodynamics II - This course will apply the 0th, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd laws of thermodynamics, as well as conservation of mass, to a range of classical thermodynamic systems and phenomena. These include power and refrigeration cycles, gas mixtures, ideal vapor-gas mixtures, air conditioning, combustion, and chemical equilibrium.  (Prerequisites: ME 1020 and ME 3310 with minimum grade of C)
  • ME 3750 - Thermodynamics of Materials - Application of classical thermodynamics to engineering materials. Heats of formation and reaction; behavior of solutions; free energy concepts; thermodynamic fundamentals of phase equilibria.  (Prerequisite: ME 2700)
  • ME 3760 - Diffusion and Kinetics - This course introduces the fundamentals of structure-property relations in metals and alloys related to transformations and kinetics. Application of basic thermodynamics, relation to microstructure, diffusion, interfaces, solidification transformation, and kinetics are covered.  (Prerequisite: ME 3750)
  • ME 4520 - Hydropower - Hydraulics of turbomachines for power generation, hydrologic analysis for hydropower development for run-of-the-river systems and reservoir systems, dams and environmental impacts, environmental impact assessment, operations of reservoir systems, and economics of hydropower generation.  (Prerequisite: ME 3350)
  • ME 4530 - Energy Conversion - This course will study the fundamentals of energy and energy conversion, the conversion of energy from mechanical, thermal, chemical, and nuclear will be discussed. To demonstrate these energy forms generators, wind, ocean, turbines, direct energy conversion, fossil fuels, biofuels, and nuclear power will be presented.  (Prerequisite: ME 3320)
  • ME 4540 - Solar Thermal Engineering - Fundamentals of solar radiation and how it can be utilized as a thermal energy source. Solar insolation on a surface, flat plate collectors, concentrating collectors, thermal energy storage, and solar hot water heating will be discussed.  (Prerequisite: ME 3360)
  • ME 4550 - Geothermal Energy - Techniques for tapping the energy of the earth will be discussed. This will include hot and cold geothermal energy. Use of geothermal energy to produce electricity, for space and district heating and cooling, and for industrial applications will be presented. In addition, geothermal energy's effect on the environment and its economics will be discussed.  (Prerequisite: ME 3360)
  • ME 4560 - Wind Power - Power in the wind, the wind turbine and its parts, performance of wind turbines, and economics of wind turbines will be presented.  (Prerequisite: ME 3350)
  • ME 4570 - Energy Materials - Students will understand the principles and the materials of advanced electrochemical energy storage systems including batteries, fuel cells, and supercapacitors. In this course, students will gain an understanding of material structures, material composition, and material morphologies in relation to applicable properties for electrochemical energy storage and conversion systems. Students will also be introduced to state-of-the-art materials research and development in these systems.  (Prerequisites: ME 2700 with minimum grade of C and (ME 3310 or ME 3750) with minimum grade of C)
  • ME 4580 - Fuel Cell Science and Technology - Fundamentals, technologies, applications of various types of fuel cells, thermodynamics prediction, electrolyte conduction, electrode kinetics. Polymer electrolyte fuel cells, solid oxide fuel cell, fuel cell stack.  (Prerequisites: ME 2700 and ME 3310)
  • ME 4590 - Advances in Clean Coal Technology - Historical perspective on coal; sources of coal in the world; future dependence on coal for energy; power production using coal; general process description; principles of combustion, conventional combustion reactors, environmental impact; fluidized bed reactors, process improvements in minimizing emissions; and discussions on future innovations in clean coal technology.  (Prerequisite: ME 3360)

Additional Information

The minor in Renewable and Clean Energy curriculum includes courses at the sophomore, junior, and senior (2000, 3000, 4000) levels. All students who meet the eligibility requirements for full-major status in the Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering are able to pursue the Renewable and Clean Energy minor. Students outside of the department may also pursue the minor as long as they meet the designated prerequisites for the courses listed above.  For additional course information, please click on a course in the Academic Catalog.  Students interested in adding the Renewable and Clean Energy minor should contact their academic advisor.  Students will be admitted to the Renewable and Clean Energy minor after they have been fully admitted to a major program and have earned a "C" or higher in the lowest level course (ME 3310 or ME 3750) of the core sequence selected. All students, regardless of their major program, are expected to take courses that satisfy the prerequisites of the higher level courses.

Performance in all core and elective courses in the Renewable and Clean Energy minor is reported as letter grades. No pass/fail courses are offered. Furthermore, to receive a “Minor in Renewable and Clean Energy” designation on the transcript upon graduation, the core and elective courses must be completed with an average grade of “C” or better.