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This site is currently under construction. If you are an incoming frosh, rising sophomore or new transfer student, please check back August 5th, when you can browse next year's IntroSems and start applying for priority enrollment in up to 3 seminars per quarter.

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CEE 34N: Wind Energy Explained

Application Deadline: February 10

General Education Requirements


Course Description

Transformation of the energy economy depends on developing reliable and robust sources of alternative and renewable energy. This seminar introduces the theory, design, and application of wind energy technologies.

The study of wind energy spans across a wide range of fields. To successfully deploy wind energy and other alternative technologies, we will need to converge across many knowledge domains, including civil, environmental, electrical, and mechanical engineering in addition to social science and public policy, among many others.

Through this interdisciplinary course, we will learn about modern wind energy and its origins. We will explore the many facets of wind energy, including the characteristics of regional wind; aerodynamics, mechanics, and structural dynamics of wind turbine design; wind turbine control and integration with electrical systems; and environmental and economic aspects and impacts.

Although this seminar seeks to explain wind energy, the topics covered can be applied to many other problems in engineering. This course will provide an introduction on how to find solutions to multi-disciplinary problems. True innovation lies on the border between fields. In this course, we will explore how to make these solutions a reality.

Meet the Instructor: Barbara Simpson

Barbara G Simpson

"I began my career in earthquake engineering, where I became interested in the effects of natural hazards on the built environment. While working in this area, I began to see the role of structural dynamics in many other fields, and I became interested in exploring topic areas lying on the border between different aspects of structural designs. I began to become interested in floating offshore wind as a complex physical system, requiring expertise in structural dynamics, aerodynamics, hydrodynamics, servodynamics, among many others.

"However, I found that the language needed to understand this topic was often lacking, and it was difficult to communicate with the many disciplines involved in offshore wind design. The problems were often similar between fields, but the words used to describe the problem were not easily understandable. I have developed this course with the vision of converging across disciplines in mind. If we could only communicate, there is so much to be learned, and we can truly begin to solve the most pressing problems of our time."