The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced up to $10 million in funding available to establish one or more graduate-level training programs at colleges and universities for engineers in power electronics. The five-year traineeships program will be implemented beginning in the fall 2016 school year and are concentrated on advanced power electronic equipment engineering, design, and manufacturing.
The training curriculum in power electronics—which control or convert electrical energy into usable power—will include cutting-edge wide bandgap semiconductors that can operate at higher temperatures, voltages, and frequencies, and are more durable and reliable than silicon-based counterparts.
The industrial sector consumes more than a quarter of the electricity produced in the United States and is projected to increase its use by approximately 30% by 2040. This growth means that the United States will likely see an increase in job opportunities for power engineers in advanced manufacturing industries and energy intensive industries, including automotive, aerospace, chemical and clean energy. These traineeships aim to help close the potential workforce development gap in the power engineering field.