The College of Engineering at Wayne State University will be the first in the country to offer graduate and undergraduate certificate programs in advanced energy storage systems as the state’s automotive industry transitions into producing more electric drive vehicles.

The new certificate programs draw from Wayne State’s curriculum and research in electric drive vehicle and alternative energy technologies, making the university a key education provider for the new engineering work force critical to the transition and the state’s economic growth.

“Offering an Advanced Energy Storage Systems certificate program strengthens Wayne State’s role as a leading education provider and gives our diverse community of students the opportunity to improve their capabilities in state-of-the-art energy storage as a career option,” said Chih Ping Yeh, director of the college’s engineering technology division. “Wayne State is proud to offer its expertise and lab facilities to support Michigan’s future.”

New electric energy storage technologies are essential to a better utilization of existing and future power grid systems. The benefits are increasing grid reliability, reduction of system transmission congestion, better load management and more suitable renewable electricity base load suppliers.

Besides infrastructure, the curriculum also addresses on-board electric vehicle high power storage, particularly advanced battery technology. Energy storage in the emerging population of electric vehicles, hybrid electric vehicles and plug-in electric vehicles is critical for the development of these advanced, fuel-efficient light- and heavy-duty vehicles.

The 12-credit graduate and 15-credit undergraduate certificate programs beginning in fall 2011 are offered through the WSU engineering technology division. Fundamental and advanced energy storage, fundamental hybrid and electric vehicle technology, applied thermodynamics, and power management and applications for energy storage systems are included in its curriculum. Kwo Young, chief scientist of Energy Conversion Devices of Rochester Hills,  and his team of scientists, along with Gene Liao, professor of engineering technology, will be teaching the courses.

The Michigan Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth is partnering with Wayne State in providing tuition for 60 undergraduate and 50 graduate candidates recommended by the Michigan Works Association, supported by a $710,000 U.S. Department of Energy grant. The National Science Foundation granted $250,000 to Liao and the WSU Engineering Technology Division to run the program.

Students must concurrently be enrolled in or have completed an undergraduate degree in engineering, engineering technology, chemistry or physics. Students who currently are pursuing an undergraduate degree must have completed at least 60 credit hours of coursework in these areas with a minimum of a 2.0 cumulative grade-point average in their major.

For more information, contact Chih-Ping (C.P.) Yeh, director, WSU engineering technology division, at (313) 577-0800 or


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