Interdisciplinary Studies Program

Renewable Energy Concentrations

Wind Energy TurbineStudents seeking a Bachelor of Science in ISP with a concentration in one of the Renewable Energy concentrations will benefit from an additional advising resource in the Illinois Institute of Rural Affairs.

  • Biofuels Technology: This concentration focuses on the technological aspects of using plant materials to produce ethanol and biodiesel. Students will take courses in agriculture, chemistry, biology, physics, GIS, and finance, among an array of courses.

    Students will be expected to understand the fundamentals of feedstock production, fermentation, fractionation, supply chain management, and plant management. Students choosing this option might pursue careers in private sector or cooperative biofuel production facilities. They might also find jobs in local planning agencies, nonprofit advocacy groups, nonprofit environmental groups, state agencies, or federal regulatory departments.

  • Policy, Planning, & Management: This concentration emphasizes the numerous public policies that affect the development and implementation of renewable energy. Students will understand how laws, contracts, and regulations operating at the local, regional, state, federal, and international scale affect renewable energy development. They will also gain an understanding of many technical aspects of renewable energy such as commodity and energy markets, facility site location, and the general operations of biofuel processors and wind turbines.

    Students choosing this option might pursue careers in local planning agencies, nonprofit advocacy groups, nonprofit environmental groups, state agencies, federal regulatory departments, or in the private sector.

  • Wind Technology: This concentration emphasizes the technological aspects of using wind to generate electricity. Students will be required to take a series of technical courses in physics, engineering technology, GIS, meteorology, materials science, management, and finance. They will understand how to locate, finance, develop, and manage a community-scale or utility grade wind power facility.

    Students pursuing this concentration can expect to find jobs working for private sector wind consulting companies to locate and develop wind projects, municipal  and state planning agencies, and in the nonprofit sector, among a range of career options.