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Construction Management, Engineering Embark on Three Initiatives

Three initiatives touching on sustainability, training and research are underway or soon will be, led by a trio of faculty members in the College of Engineering and Computing who are strengthening Florida Tech’s integrated energy systems research.

The faculty are Troy Nguyen, Civil Engineering and Construction Management; Aldo Fabregas, Engineering Systems; and Hamid Najafi, Mechanical Engineering.

The most visible project will soon move from planning to execution later this summer as the Alumni House building on Country Club Road will be the focus of the Florida Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Technologies (REET) Project. The project will involve razing the 1960s-era building and replacing it with a new, zero-energy structure that features a host of cutting-edge renewable energy technologies, from solar panels to autonomous controls to high-performance building materials.

“The goal is to establish design guidelines for future zero-energy office and commercial buildings in Florida,” Nguyen said.

Partners in the REET Project include MH Williams Construction Group, Orlando Melbourne International Airport, BRPH and National Solar.

Another new program is the Energy Systems Engineering Graduate Certificate. This 12-hour, four-course interdisciplinary offering will provide engineers in the energy and power industries the opportunity to obtain a graduate credential in this specialized area.

The Energy Systems graduate courses are designed to offer valuable education in advanced topics in energy conversion, renewable energy and energy systems development to engineering specialists in the government, private sector and academia. Upon completion of the certificate program of study, energy systems engineering specialists will be proficient in theory, modeling and tools necessary to perform engineering tasks related to planning and operating energy and power systems.

“This will give participants them knowledge to integrate renewable energy systems into new and existing structures,” Nguyen said.

Find more information here.

And finally there is a new, 5-year program Florida Tech will participate in called the Combined Heat & Power Technical Assistance Partnerships (CHP TAP), funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. Florida Tech and other universities in Florida and nine additional Southeastern states will handle the regional portion of the program.

CHP is an advanced and highly-efficient approach to generating electric power and useful thermal energy from a single fuel source at the point of use. Every CHP application involves the recovery of otherwise-wasted thermal energy to produce cooling, heating or electricity.

The TAPS portion of the program involves educating businesses and communities on how to reduce their energy costs, improve efficiency, reduce emissions, and strengthen their energy resiliency and reliability and helping to establish a need for CHP.

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