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  5. UW-Madison launches online sustainable systems engineering graduate program

UW-Madison launches online sustainable systems engineering graduate program

The UW–Madison has introduced a new online Master of Engineering in Sustainable Systems Engineering (SSE) program, which will begin January 2013, with applications being accepted through October 15, 2012.

SSE is designed to prepare mid-career engineers with knowledge in sustainable engineering practices to be leaders in managing systems that impact the quality of water, land, air, energy, economics, and society. In addition, SSE focuses on the technical aspects of three specializations—energy production and distribution, facilities and built environment, and public infrastructure.

"We are very excited to launch the Sustainable Systems Engineering program," says Marty Gustafson, program director, SSE. "This degree program will provide engineers with the skills to lead change within their organizations and communities. The program not only focuses on skills related to leadership of sustainability initiatives, but it recognizes the need for technical specialization in particular fields."

There is a great need for sustainable systems experts in relation to engineering right now, and SSE focuses on helping fill that void by creating leaders who can perform internal operations audits and recognize areas for organizational change, and engage stakeholders in sustainable issues. This program also provides the skills to apply sustainability concepts and practices to engineering design challenges. 

The UW–Madison Department of Engineering Professional Development has worked with a number of colleges throughout the university in designing this comprehensive program.

"We're working with the UW-Madison Office of Sustainability, the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, and several other colleges to develop curriculum for this program," says Patrick Eagan, a professor of engineering professional development and faculty fellow for sustainable education at UW-Madison. "These partnerships are essential to adding value to the program participants and their organizations."

The SSE program builds on the strengths of UW–Madison's online graduate engineering programs, which are ranked #1 by U.S. News & World Report for its online graduate engineering programs; in the "teaching practices and student engagement" category, the programs were judged on factors such as a high level of student collaboration and participation, the availability of instructors to answer student questions, small class size, and the inclusion of an instructional designer dedicated to developing courses to meet online learner needs. In the "student services and technology" category, the UW-Madison programs were ranked highly based on such factors as the ability of students to conveniently receive classes through both audio and visual methods, and the use of a centralized student information system.

Beth Vander Meulen
5/14/2012