The world faces two severe challenges that will determine our prosperity for decades to come: assuring clean, secure, and sustainable energy to power our world, and establishing a new foundation for enduring economic and jobs growth. These challenges are linked: the global demand for clean sustainable energy is an unprecedented economic opportunity for creating jobs and exporting energy technology to the developing and developed world. But achieving the tremendous potential of clean energy technology is not easy. In contrast to traditional fossil fuel-based technologies, clean energy technologies are in their infancy, operating far below their potential, with many scientific and technological challenges to overcome. Industry is ultimately the agent for commercializing clean energy technologies.
For industry to succeed in these challenges, it requires specifically educated graduates in the Energy Sciences to overcome many roadblocks and continuously innovate new generations of renewable, sustainable, and low-carbon energy technologies such as solar energy, carbon sequestration, nuclear energy, electricity delivery and efficiency, solid state lighting, batteries and biofuels. The roadblocks to higher performing clean energy technology are not just challenges of engineering design but are also limited by scientific understanding. Innovation relies on contributions from basic research to bridge major gaps in our understanding of the phenomena that limit efficiency, performance, or lifetime of the materials or chemistries of these sustainable energy technologies. Thus, the MSc in Energy Science purposely trains students to understand the scientific issues behind performance limitations. In this way the MSc Energy Science graduates will have a real and immediate impact on cost, reliability, and performance of technologies, and ultimately a transformative impact on the global economy.
Many clean energy technologies today—solar photovoltaics, solid-state lighting, batteries for plug-in vehicles, and high-temperature superconductor wires—are advancing in this way, with both continuous innovation based on scientific understanding coupled with engineering as well the disruptive discoveries that lead to radical changes in energy technologies. In both cases, basic energy research has played, and continues to play a central role in the innovation process
The MSC Energy Science graduates are designed to be the link between basic science and industry.