Equity and sustainability of energy resources in the face of increasing global population and economic development are key issues at the center of the public discourse today. The objective of this certificate program is to offer undergraduate students a suite of courses addressing energy sustainability. The courses span across the engineering curriculum, with firm roots in real-world design and engineering practices.

Students enrolled as degree-seeking undergraduates with a minimum GPA of 2.5 and a plan of study to fulfill the certificate requirements may enroll in the program. Applications may be submitted at any time, but students are encouraged to apply early in their undergraduate careers in order to ensure successful completion of the program; however, students may take courses that fulfill certificate requirements before submitting an application.

Course Authorization

Some courses may require additional approval to appear in students’ DARS reports as having fulfilled part of the certificate requirements. Students who are taking a course for the capstone requirement must fill out this DARS Authorization Form to receive the proper number of sustainability credits. For more information on obtaining credits for capstone courses, see Capstone Course Guidelines.

In addition, students who wish to receive sustainability credits for courses that are not currently on the preapproved list may also complete the DARS Authorization Form and explain why the course should receive sustainability credits.

Once a form is filled out, it will be sent to a body of Energy Institute faculty members for approval. To expedite the approval process, students should submit their DARS Authorization Form before or near the beginning of the semester in which they plan to take the course.

Final Course Plans

During the term when they expect to meet the certificate requirements, students must fill out and submit this course plan to the supervising faculty member of their capstone courses in their major department. The faculty member will review the course plan and make the recommendation for a certificate to the respective department’s professional advising staff.

The following faculty members have been designated as points of contact for each department:

Richard J. Straub, Biological Systems Engineering
Robert G. Radwin, Biomedical Engineering
Thatcher Root, Chemical and Biological Engineering
Dan Noguera, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Giri Venkataramanan, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Jim Tinjum, Geological Engineering
Vicki Bier, Industrial and Systems Engineering
Dane Morgan, Materials Science and Engineering
Roxann L. Engelstad, Mechanical Engineering
Michael L. Corradini, Nuclear Engineering and Engineering Physics

When the student and faculty member have filled out and signed the Declaration of Intent and Study Plan, the student must hand them in to Room 905 Engineering Research Building, 1500 Engineering Drive. Once there, the student also needs to fill out and hand in a College of Engineering Certificate Declaration Form, copies of which are located in the drop box next to the Energy Institute office.

A student interested in completing the certificate program must contact a designated faculty member in his or her major department to apply. The student and faculty member must fill out the Declaration of Intent and Study Plan to enter the certificate program.

  • Required: Declaration of Intent and Study Plan
  • Sustainability Courses:
    Students must select the 16 “sustainability credits” from a suite of available courses divided into the following categories:
    • Science/Liberal Studies, 3–6 cr
    • Engineering, 3–6 cr
    • Capstone, 3–6 cr
    • Seminar, 1 cr

Students are required to take a minimum of 3 sustainability credits and a maximum of 6 sustainability credits from these three categories: science/liberal Studies, engineering, and capstone. In addition, students must fulfill a 1-credit seminar requirement. Currently, this seminar requirement is fulfilled through the course CBE 555 Seminar-Chemical Engineering Connections, which is open to all engineering majors. In the near future, a crosslisted course will be developed for this purpose. Students may also take INTEREGR 601 Topics in Interdisciplinary Engineering for the seminar requirement.

Not all courses have the same number of sustainability credits as academic credits; some courses have fewer sustainability credits depending on how closely related they are to energy and sustainability. Students should review the list of preapproved courses and the sustainability credits associated with each course while filling out their study plan.

Preapproved Courses

Liberal Studies and Science

ENVIR ST 112 Environmental Studies: The Social Perspective3
ENVIR ST 113 Environmental Studies: The Humanistic Perspective3
ENVIR ST/​GEOG  139 Living in the Global Environment: An Introduction to People-Environment Geography3-4
ENVIR ST/​A A E  244 The Environment and the Global Economy3
ENVIR ST 250 Introduction to Sustainability Science3
ENVIR ST/​GEOG  339 Environmental Conservation4
ENVIR ST/​A A E/​ECON  343 Environmental Economics3-4
ENVIR ST/​GEOSCI  411 Energy Resources3
ENVIR ST/​GEOG/​HISTORY  460 American Environmental History4


BSE/​DS/​LAND ARC  356 Sustainable Residential Construction3
BSE/​ENVIR ST  367 Renewable Energy Systems3
BSE 460 Biorefining: Energy and Products from Renewable Resources3
BSE 461 Food and Bioprocessing Operations3
CBE 250 Process Synthesis3
CBE 310 Chemical Process Thermodynamics3
CBE 311 Thermodynamics of Mixtures3
CBE 326 Momentum and Heat Transfer Operations3
CBE 430 Chemical Kinetics and Reactor Design3
CBE 450 Process Design3
CBE 562 Special Topics in Chemical Engineering1-3
CBE/​M E  567 Solar Energy Technology3
CIV ENGR 320 Environmental Engineering3
CIV ENGR 370 Transportation Engineering3
E C E 355 Electromechanical Energy Conversion3
E C E 356 Electric Power Processing for Alternative Energy Systems3
E C E 412 Power Electronic Circuits3
G L E 401 Special Topics in Geological Engineering1-4
or CIV ENGR 639 Special Topics in Geotechnical Engineering
E P D 660 Core Competencies of Sustainability3
M E 361 Thermodynamics3
M E 370 Energy Systems Laboratory3
M E 466 Air Pollution Effects, Measurements and Control3
or CIV ENGR 423 Air Pollution Effects, Measurement and Control
M S & E 330 Thermodynamics of Materials4
M S & E 331 Transport Phenomena in Materials3
M S & E 401 Special Topics in Materials Science and Engineering1-3
N E 571 Economic and Environmental Aspects of Nuclear Energy3


Courses numbered 489, 491, 599, 601, and 699 (not exhaustive) are examples of courses that may count towards this requirement.


E P 602 Special Topics in Engineering Physics1-3
CBE 555 Seminar-Chemical Engineering Connections1


Henderson (chair)
T. Allen
Smith (also Mathematics)
Waleffe (also Mathematics)

Associate Professors

M. Allen

Assistant Professors


See department website for list of Affiliate Faculty, Research Professors, Faculty Associates, Adjunct Professors, and Emeritus Faculty.