NSF Awards Bronx Community College $900,000 To Develop Energy Services Technology

Bronx, NY — The National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded a grant of $900,000 to Bronx Community College to develop and implement a new Energy Services Technology program (EST) that will establish an A.A.S. degree in EST and a series of continuing education certificate courses at the college.

The grant money will be used to plan and develop new curricula for classroom, fieldwork and laboratory instruction in an energy services management and alternative fuel education and training program, and to purchase materials, equipment and instruments to equip laboratories and workshops. The EST A.A.S. degree curriculum and certificate programs are linked to a group of BCC secondary school programs such as College Now, and Tech Prep, which are supported by the NYS Department of Education. The EST program will also be affiliated with five high schools in NYC that have Automotive Technology programs, as well as with the Automotive Technology Program at BCC. The EST program is designed to provide new career opportunities for students and other community residents by establishing an educational pathway from high school or the community to college level science and technology courses to job placement. The program will be housed within the Physics and Technology Department at BCC and will be closely associated with the BCC Center for Sustainable Energy.

“The country faces a critical shortage of fossil fuels such as oil and natural gas. Fuel prices are rising and will continue to rise. Thus it is critical that we develop sustainable energy systems that rely on renewable energy, such as solar, wind and biomass. To work with the new alternative renewable energy sources, the world will need specialists familiar with the technology that is coming online with sustainable energy resources,” states Dr. Reid Strieby, one of the designers and co-directors of this program. He will be working with Chemistry Professor Dr. Neal Phillip.

Some of the courses students will take include Introduction to Energy Management; Energy Control; Energy Cost & Energy Analysis; Energy Efficiency Methods and Alternative/Renewable Sources of Energy.

“The EST program will be the first of its kind in The City University of New York (CUNY) system. Both the degree and certificate programs will provide concentrations in Energy Service Occupational areas. This is a career field that utilizes the principles of science, engineering, communications, and economics to optimize the production, delivery and use of energy resources. The College is extremely honored to receive this National Science Foundation grant which will allow it to become one of the leading institutions in the development, education and training energy service technicians” added Dr. Strieby.

The BCC / EST program will enable students to work in such occupational areas as energy auditors, energy managers, energy cost analysts and building control operators who will install, maintain and troubleshoot complex building systems related to heating, ventilation and air conditioning. Other occupational areas include consumer service representatives for sales and marketing energy efficient companies, as well as alternative fuel vehicles operations, maintenance and service technicians.

With an Associate degree in EST, students can expect to go to work for energy generation and distribution companies like Con Edison, Keyspan, and Long Island Power Authority (LIPA). Additional employment opportunities are available with energy auditing, measurement and verification companies, construction, building management companies and government agencies in the energy services field. Students trained to become alternative fuel vehicle technicians have the opportunity to enter one of the fastest growing fields in the automotive industry. They can seek employment with automotive manufacturers, automotive distributors, dealerships and automotive service stations. Starting salaries will range from $35,000 to $45,000.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the energy services technology industry is among the top 20 occupational growth areas over the next ten years. The EST Program at BCC will be well positioned to respond to that rapid workforce growth. The broader impact of this program is its ability to serve as a replicable model for the development of a technological workforce needed to maintain and service the growing renewable energy section of the economy.

“Our Vision of the EST program and the intellectual merit that went into the design of this program is derived and will be sustained through research and consultation with public and private researchers and administrative leaders in the field of Energy Services Technology and Alternative Fuel Vehicles,” states Dr. Strieby.
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