The HECTOR School — the Technology Business School at the Karlsruhe Institute for Technology (KIT) — will soon launch several educational paths for managers in the energy market. The programs range from multi-day certificate courses to individually tailored continuing education units all the way to a master’s program in ‘Energy Engineering and Management’, all available while pursuing your professional employment.
“Our contents focus on the current and pressing requirements in energy policy,” says Program Director, Dr. Marc Hiller (professor at KIT). “Graduates receive in-depth understanding of the technical side as well as all facets of renewable energies, their combination with conventional power plants, the design of smart grids, storage and distribution strategies, but also the business side of the energy market,” he adds.
‘Energy Engineering and Management’ is a comprehensive course of study taught in English and designed to be completed while employed. The course of study lasts 15 months and concludes with a Master of Science degree. All fields in current and future power supply as well as the fundamentals of modern management strategies are covered in ten 14-day modules.
The focus of the five technical educational units is on renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, geothermal, biomass and hydrogen, as well as the options for storage, intelligent distribution and opportunities for digitalization. Gas and coal power plants are included in the content so that participants are versed on the current situation in the energy market. The five management modules provide participants with the tools to make multi-faceted decisions during daily work—whether it is successfully directing a team, understanding and implementing international regulations or conducting substantiated financial and system analyses.
“Practical elements are also not short changed,” emphasizes Professor Hiller. “Presentations by lecturers from the industry and glimpses in the KIT lab for future-oriented developments from our energy research, for example, in photovoltaics or battery development, are included, of course,” he says. The course of study concludes with a master’s thesis. “This thesis can be based on a real situation from the sending company,” continues Professor Hiller. “Or we assign an interesting topic from our institute or cooperating industrial companies,” he concludes.
“The feedback from our graduates shows that this precise combination of technology and business with real-world content focusing on energy while still employed shapes the necessary transition of the supply of power,” Gian-Pietro Solinas, Program Advisor at the HECTOR School, adds.
Two additional continuing education programs at the HECTOR School also address this transition from conventional fossil and atomic power supply to renewable energy sources and progressive storage concepts: Multi-day certificate courses and individually tailored workshops on energy topics. “We’re seeing a dramatic transformation in the energy sector: away from mechanical engineering toward electrical engineering,” says Professor Hiller. “There is a very high demand from companies for continuing education programs in order to align the business operations together with their experienced employees in a new and sustainable manner,” he stresses.
The ‘Renewable Generation and Grid Integration’ certificate course is one example that primarily addresses the technical principles of renewable energy sources, such as wind, solar, hydropower or biomass, along with the demands that these fluctuating sources place on the grid. The economic aspects of the energy markets are covered in depth. The second example is the ‘Battery Technology’ course. It highlights the rapidly developing field of energy storage. “Since all of the lecturers at the HECTOR School come from industry and teach at KIT, all of the courses are always in touch with the latest trends,” says Gian-Pietro Solinas. “Many of the KIT lecturers reflect on many years of industry experience. Thus, participants access first-hand experience with the latest trends in research and development along with real-time innovative material concepts, battery design or aging processes, as well as the business parameters,” he adds.
Upon request, the HECTOR School can put together a hand-picked team of experts for individual programs and workshops. “The subject of energy is itself very interdisciplinary,” explains Solinas. “From energy efficiency to new drives up to digitalization, the topics are among those, for example, that are currently active in the automotive industry,” he notes about the situation. “We then configure continuing education tailored specific to the customer, which bundles the expertise from multiple fields in several institutes,” he explains.
All three of the continuing education options meet the speed of life. “People from around the world apply to the ‘Energy Engineering and Management’ master’s program,” says Gian-Pietro Solinas. “And the graduates are in high demand,” he states. “Our modules and workshops are reserved for entire departments from companies in the energy and automotive sectors, even to remain competitive,” he reports. He adds, “The ‘German Energiewende‘ is an internationally known term and we consider ourselves as a partner to industry in strengthening the training and continuing education of the branches.”
Information on all of the continuing education options at the HECTOR School: www.hectorschool.kit.edu/programs.php
About the author:
Brigitte Stahl-Busse is a freelance journalist and has been reporting for 20 years on science, technology, medicine and education policy. Prior to that, she was a press officer at the Jülich Research Center and press secretary at the University of Bonn