FESC Educational Projects


Workforce Development






Title: Florida Advanced Technological Education Center (FLATE)

PI: Marilyn Barger Research Interests and Contact Information

Description: FLATE (Florida Advanced Technological Education Center) will partner with FESC to develop statewide curriculum frameworks for technical A.S./A.A.S. degree programs supporting existing and new energy business sectors. FLATE will develop and have processed through the FLDOE the industry-validated student competencies of the frameworks. FLATE will also develop new courses required for each new program of study. Additionally FLATE will help state and community colleges implement the new frameworks in their institutions. To support the new curriculum, FLATE will work closely with the FESC Public Outreach and Industry Partnership programs to provide professional development opportunities for teachers and faculty to upgrade and update their knowledge base.

University: Hillsborough Community College

External Collaborators:

Brevard Community College
Tallahassee Community College
Daytona State College
Central Florida Community College
Polk State College
Florida State College at Jacksonville
Valencia Community College
School District Hillsborough County
Florida Department of Education – Division of Adult and Career Education
West Side Technical School
WFI Banner Center for Energy
Advanced Technology for Energy and Environment Center (ATEEC)
University of West Florida, Dept of Construction Technology
WFI Banner Center for Construction
WFI Banner Center for Alternative Energy
USF College of Engineering
Madison Area Technical College ATE project for Alternative Energy certifications
Milwaukee Area Technical College Energy Conservation and Advanced Manufacturing Center (ECAM)
Florida Energy Workforce Consortium (FEWC)
Progress Energy
ISTEC (Ibero Science and Technology Education Consortium)

November 2011 Annual Report
May 2010 Progress Report
November 2010 Annual Report
May 2011 Progress Report



Higher Education

 Cheng-Xian (Charlie) Lin Title: Solar Energy Technologies: Fundamentals and Applications in Buildings

PI: Cheng-Xian (Charlie) Lin Research Interests and Contact Information

Description: This project develops a new online course in solar energy technologies, with emphasis on solar applications in buildings, taking account the unique solar resource and infrastructure in the state of Florida. The course will be offered completely online through the Blackboard Learn system. The course targets senior undergraduate students and entry level graduate students who study in FIU as well as other universities in the state of Florida. The course will be offered at least once a year. Students will earn 3 credit hours by taking the course in the Spring, Fall, and/or Summer semesters.

University: FIU

Project Start Date: 8/15/2014

Project Development Period: 1/31/2016


Mark Jamison

Title: Public Utility Economics: International Infrastructure with Focus on Energy Sustainability in Florida and the Nation

PI: Mark A. Jamison Research Interests and Contact Information

Co-PI: Colin Knapp

Description: This project creates a 4 credit hour elective course on energy sustainability offered by the Economics Department to be taught in the Warrington College of Business Administration (WCBA), a non-credit course offered online, and a video archive that can be used for multiple purposes, including allowing future UF students to access the course online if there are sufficient resources.

University: UF

Project Start Date: 1/1/2014

Project Development Period: 8/1/2015




Title: Introducing Specialization in “Sustainable Energy System” for Under-Graduate Students in Engineering at the University of West Florida

PI: Bhuvaneswari Ramachandran Research Interests and Contact Information

Co-PI: Muhammad H Rashid

Description: The objective of this project is to introduce a specialization in “Sustainable Energy Systems” for Undergraduate Engineering students at the University of West Florida that could also be used to educate industry professionals towards workforce development. The courses have been designed from the perspective of energy system planning, a subject that has always been complex and evolving rapidly during the past 10-15 years to accommodate dramatic changes in the industry. These changes include the ongoing transformation of the nation’s generation portfolio from being heavily dependent on fossil fuels to one that is heavily dependent on renewables (especially wind and solar) and the need for operating competitive electricity markets.

Project Start Date: 1/1/2014

Project Development Period: 12/31/2015

University: UWF


Prabir Barooah

Title: Buildings and Energy: Design and Operation Vs. Sustainability

PI: PRABIR BAROOAH Research Interests and Contact Information


Description: Energy topic is more of a national priority than it ever was because of ever increasing commodity prices and reliance on dwindling fossil fuel imports coupled with the all time high public awareness of environmental responsibility. Building sector is the largest consume of energy in the US and the State of Florida. A complex combination of building design, operation practices and climate induced characteristics, building energy efficiency is an intriguing topic of discussion for numerous stakeholders. A typical energy use by Florida households is 40% higher than the U.S. average. In sharp contrast to some of the other states, electricity accounts for 90% of all energy use in Florida prompting large scale import of fossil fuels due to lack of local resources. Energy Information Administration (EIA) statistics show 52% of all energy was used by residential and commercial sectors1. As energy is resources are dwindling, it is crucial to proactively seek ways to improve new and existing buildings’ energy efficiency2. To achieve higher standards in building design and operation, a solid foundation of energy engineering and sustainability principles is essential. Currently, there are no courses offered to students or industry professionals with a distinct focus on energy in built environment, specifically for the design and operation in Florida’s distinct climate conditions. This project aims to fill this void through the development of an interdisciplinary energy engineering course for Florida-specific building design and operation by drawing from in-house faculty expertise from various departments. The suggested course builds essential knowledge of building energy and sustainability, and provides necessary background to analyze building energy demand and possible savings. The expected outcome of this large impact educational activity includes an on-campus course (typical class size of 60 students) and an online, video-based course for students and industry professional across the U.S. and, particularly, in the state of Florida with no limit to seat numbers.

University: UF

Project Start Date: 1/1/2014

Project Development Period: 5/31/2015


Philippidis Title: Renewable Energy Education program at USF’s Patel College of Global Sustainability

PI: George Philippidis Research Interests and Contact Information

Co-PI: Ali Yalcin, Yogi Goswami

Description: Given this strong national and international outlook for renewable energy and Florida’s rich natural assets of year-round warm weather, sunshine, and biomass (top generator in the US), the State has a unique opportunity to become a national leader in the development of sustainable power and fuels. A key component of such an undertaking is the specialized education required to prepare a green workforce, a workforce capable of running and managing the green economy. Professionals skilled in sustainable practices and renewable energy are already in high demand by companies as they diversify into the solar, wind, and biomass sectors and by technology innovators developing the next generation of solar cells, biofuels and green hydrocarbons from biomass and algae, and batteries [http://jobs.biofuelsdigest.com]. Our goal is to place USF and the State of Florida in a position to educate, train, and prepare students for the green jobs of today and tomorrow. With the requested financial support from FESC, we will develop a new fully on-line concentration area in renewable energy for our existing M.A. in sustainability.

University: USF

Project Start Date: 1/1/2014

Project Development Period: 7/31/2015



Phase I

Title: UFTR Digital Control System Upgrade for Education and Training of Engineers and Operators

PI: Alireza Haghighat

Description: The goal of this project is to contribute to a major initiative on design, licensing and construction of a fully digital control system for the University of Florida Training Reactor (UFTR). This makes the UFTR the first operating nuclear power plant in the United States that uses a fully digital control system. This facility will provide for the training and education of the necessary workforce in the area of digital control and instrumentation for nuclear reactors. With this effort, a new focus/certificate on digital control and instrumentation will be developed at the Nuclear and Radiological Engineering (NRE) Department. Further, the UFTR facility will offer training courses for community colleges (Central Florida, Indian River, and Jacksonville) in the State of Florida, personnel from nuclear utilities and government agencies including the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). The project has already received significant funding from industry and government in form of grants, contracts, equipment/systems, and engineers’ time.

University: UF

External Collaborators: Several engineers from AREVA NP Inc & Siemens Corporation

November 2011 Annual Report
May 2010 Progress Report
November 2010 Annual Report
May 2011 Progress Report

Kelly Jordan

Phase II

Title: Equipment Support for the University of Florida Training Reactor Digital Controls Upgrade Project

PI: Kelly A. Jordan Research Interests and Contact Information

Description: The UFTR proposes to implement the first-ever fully digital control and safety system at a nuclear reactor in the United States. This is the key piece in a full renovation of the facility, which has been in operation since 1959. This upgrade will replace the analog system with a digital control system from Siemens Energy. This facility will provide for the training and education of the necessary workforce in the area of digital control and instrumentation for nuclear reactors. The upgrade ensures that the UFTR is on a footing to continue its research and education missions over the next decades, and will open up new revenue streams to put it on a sustainable financial path. The reactor will not be operational again until completion of the project in 2.5 years. As part of this project, the UFTR requests $45,000 of financial support from FESC for critical infrastructure equipment.

University: UF

Project Start Date: 2/1/2013

Project Development Period: 1/31/2014


Title: Energy and Efficiency Video Public Service Announcements

PI: Andy Opel Research Interests and Contact Information

Co-PIs: Phil Steinberg, Leslie France-Patterson, Laura Arpan, Ian Weir

Description: This interdisciplinary team will produce 6-8 short (30-second/one-minute) video public service announcements (PSAs) that address issues of energy and efficiency and one 12-15 minute informational documentary targeted to Florida legislators and the Governor’s office. These videos will be tailored to reinforce existing IESES efforts.

Universities: FSU

This project has been completed

November 2011 Annual Report
May 2010 Progress Report
November 2010 Annual Report
May 2011 Progress Report


Title:Climate Modeling and Outreach Activities

PI: Shawn R. Smith

Co-PIs: Steve Cocke, David Zierden, James O’Brien, Julie Harrington

Description: The objective of the planning grant is to develop at least one external funding proposal that focuses on areas of climate modeling and/or climate outreach that support the activities of the IESES. The focus of our activities has centered on evaluating the potential offshore wind resource in the northeastern Gulf of Mexico and elsewhere in Florida’s waters. Preliminary research has been completed using observations from instrumented Air Force towers and buoys in the waters around Florida. The existence of wind power capacity has been identified at the assessed locations. Due to the sparseness of in-situ wind data in the region, a numerical modeling approach will need to be pursued to develop a wind climatology with sufficient spatial and temporal scales to further define the offshore wind power capacity.

A vast portion of the work conducted focused on outreach and education. When we began our project, the idea of offshore wind power in Florida was not even on the radar of the Florida Legislature or the renewable energy sector at large. We worked to raise the visibility of offshore wind as an energy resource for Florida by attending meetings, connecting with the wind power industry in Florida, and briefing two members of the Florida Legislature and presenting to the Florida Energy and Climate Commission. As a result of these connections, we submitted a preliminary proposal to Siemens Wind Power and have developed a network of colleagues both within FSU and the private sector that are interested in further developing Florida’s offshore wind resource.

University: FSU

External Collaborators: Mark Powell (National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration)

This project has been completed

November 2011 Annual Report
May 2010 Progress Report
November 2010 Annual Report
May 2011 Progress Report


Title:Visiting Law Professor

PI: JB Ruhl Research Interests and Contact Information , Jim Rossi

Co-PI: Uma Outka

Description: Two-year Visiting Scholar at the College of Law researching the interface between land use law and innovative energy solutions and delivering academic symposia and graduate student seminars on the research scope, comprising Sustainable Energy Research Project (SERP) within Environmental and Land Use Law Program.

University: FSU College of Law

This project has been completed

November 2011 Annual Report