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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Philip C Malte
M E 523
Seattle Campus

Energy and Environment Seminar

Student discussions of topics in combustion science and technology, alternative fuels, renewable energy, environmental consequences of energy conversion, and design for environment. Also, presentations by outside experts. May be repeated for credit. Credit/no-credit only. Offered: AWSp.

Class description

In this seminar, students explore the state-of-the-art in energy conversion technologies, the environmental impacts of energy use and their mitigation, and energy trends and policies. Each quarter, a different energy/environment theme is selected. For example, over the recent years, the themes have been: fuel cell technology for the automotive sector (Autumn 00), the science of global climate change and potential impacts on energy use (Winter 01), nuclear fission reactor principles and technologies (Spring 01), natural gas-fired combined cycle power plants in the Pacific Northwest (Autumn 01), distributed generation (Winter 02), biomass energy resources (Spring 02), energy legistation (Autumn 02), diesel engine advancements (Winter 03), carbon sequestration (Spring 03), integrating renewable energy into society (Autumn 03), hydrogen (Winter 04), energy trends and technologies (Spring 04), energy use in the forest and papers products industry (Autumn 04), advances in solar energy (Winter 05), wave and tidal energy (Spring 05), oil (Autumn 05), and transportation and fuels (Winter 06).

For Spring Quarter Quarter 06, the theme will be decide at the first meeting of the seminar on Wednesday, March 29th. As a possibility, it may be time to look at nuclear energy, since this was last done by the seminar in SpQ01 and there is now a significant push by the Federal Administration for new nuclear fission plant development. Outside speakers may be invited to some of the seminars.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

The seminar is held once a week for one hour. Student discussions are held based on readings and knowledge gained on the energy/environment theme. Additionally, guests are invited to the seminar to make presentations or to sit down with the seminar and enter into dialog.

Recommended preparation

Graduate standing and an interest in energy and the environmental consequences of energy use by humankind. Seniors interested in the seminar should contact the professor.

Class assignments and grading

Based on the energy/environment theme decided for the quarter, literature and web sites are selected for reading and review.

The grade is CR or NC. The grade is assigned based on the participation and contribution of the student to the weekly seminar, on the material read and reviewed.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Philip C Malte
Date: 02/26/2006