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RESEARCH AND EDUCATION ON RENEWABLE ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY

Welcome to the Delaware State University NSF INCLUDES WEB page dedicated to the research and education on renewable energy and environmental sustainability. The page has been funded by the National Science Foundation grant No 1744502: “NSF INCLUDES DDLP: Expanding Diversity in Energy and Environmental Sustainability through the Creation of Learning Opportunities for Minority Students in the Mid-Atlantic Region.”

The National Science Foundation Inclusion across the Nation of Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science (NSF INCLUDES) is a comprehensive initiative to enhance U.S. leadership in science and engineering discovery and innovation by proactively seeking and effectively developing science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) talent from all sectors and groups of our society. The INCLUDES programs is one of the ten most important programs of the National Science Foundation (NSF) for the incoming years.

The NSF INCLUDES pilot awarded to Delaware State University will create a network of institutions working in close collaboration to prepare a significant number of underrepresented, underserved, and underprivileged students become leaders in the global effort to develop environmentally friendly energy sources.

Founded in 1891 as the State College for Colored Students, Delaware State University (DSU) is a land-grant college that has evolved into a fully accredited, public, comprehensive university. Today, DSU enrolls a diverse population of nearly 4,400 students, of which 68.6% of the undergraduates and 58% of the graduate students are members of racial and ethnic minority groups traditionally underrepresented in STEM. DSU’s Strategic Plan emphasizes achieving excellence in undergraduate education, offering an array of top-quality master’s and doctoral degree programs, being an engine for research and economic development in the region, developing a community of nationally recognized scholars, and building a culture of global awareness.

The green energy industry is developing fast. The need for professionals in the fields is also growing fast. However, the offer of educational programs in green energy is limited. The number of engineers and technicians graduated in the field is also limited. In this regard, our INCLUDES program at Delaware State University is developing new baccalaureate degrees in Renewable Energy Engineering and Renewable Energy with the main goal of attracting minority students for this exciting new career. We expect to have the program active by the end of the pilot program in 2019.

The introduction of renewable ways of generation of energy is a fast growing transformative force of the human society of the XXI century. The reasons for that are diverse and very convincing:

  • Green energy generation is rapidly becoming affordable and competitive in comparison to carbon-based or nuclear systems.
  • The more green energy is used, the more affordable it becomes. For traditional energy sources (oil, carbon, and natural gas) is the opposite.
  • The environmental impact of renewable energy systems is minimal. For some of them (wind, solar, hydrogen) the carbon footprint is near zero.
  • The systems can be delocalized and serve as an alternative to the grid reducing the impact of unexpected outages due to natural disasters, terrorist attacks, or other causes.
  • Local communities are becoming part of the solution participating in direct developments and revenues.
  • The technology is relatively easy to install in isolated places. In some places, it is the only reasonable alternative.
  • Local jobs and local industries are generated.
  • The systems have low impact in case of failure. They are generally safe and durable.
  • Energy transportation losses can be reduced to a minimum.
  • Their implementation will promote human invention and development of new industries.
  • Portable systems are being developed to use in disaster areas for fast restauration of the energy supply.
  • The original source of energy – Sun, Earth – is free of charge and will be available for millions of years.
  • Virtually any country of the world has potentials for the development of green energy systems.
  • The installation of systems in the open ocean is perfectly possible.
  • Renewable energy systems are the technology of choice to generate energy in space, on the moon or other planets.

We believe that the list of reasons justifying the development of green energy systems will continue to grow in the incoming years.