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Texas Education and Research Organizations

This page presents energy-related education and research groups. If you know of an educational organization that could be included, please email us with your information.

Austin Community College (ACC) Solar Energy Installer Training
SECO and Austin Community College (ACC) Workforce Development Center offers the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) Entry Level Certificate Program for one year. The course began in the spring of 2006 and will be repeated in the fall of 2006. ACC has elected to designate Renewable Energy as a new course schedule selection. For additional information, see ACC Course Schedule.

ACC Renewable Energy Associates Degree Plan

Texas Tech Launches Wind Doctoral Program August 2007
The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board has approved Texas Tech University's wind doctoral program. The degree will incorporate research and teaching through Texas Tech's colleges of Engineering, Architecture and Arts and Sciences and will be administered by the Graduate School.

Baylor University - Renewable Aviation Fuels Development Center (RAFDC)
The RAFDC has been working for the last 16 years to research, develop and commercialize renewable fuels, such as ethanol, ETBE and biodiesel, for use in aviation. The RAFDC is carrying out a program to improve the performance of aircraft modified to run on renewable fuels. The RAFDC succeeded in obtaining certification on ethanol fuel of the Cessna 152, the most popular aircraft trainer. This FAA certification represents the first in the world for a non-petroleum fuel and they continue to obtain certification on other aircraft commonly used for agricultural purposes. The RAFDC also provides assistance to pilots interested in conversion of their aircraft to run on renewable fuels.

Baylor University - Environmental Studies Department
The Department offers undergraduate and graduate programs with research emphasis in the following areas: renewable natural resources in energy and agriculture; urban, rural and regional comprehensive environmental planning; hazardous and toxic materials management; water resources; pollution of water and air; case-studies in appropriate technology and third-world development; planning for the post-petroleum era in Texas; sustainable agriculture; on-site wastewater research, and; environmental toxicology. The Department conducts atmospheric research with equipment to measure solar radiation, ozone, SO2, NOx and particulates.
Email Address: [email protected]

West Texas A&M University - Alternate Energy Institute (AIE)
The program of AEI includes: wind data collection and analysis of the wind characteristics; evaluation of wind turbines; research, development, and design of renewable energy systems; classes, seminars, workshops, training programs, publications, and information dissemination, and; consulting for industry, governments, and individuals. AEI offers two introductory courses, one for wind energy and one for solar energy, and have presented numerous workshops and seminars from the state to international level in the United States and overseas. Their facility includes the Wind Test Center with space for 10 to 12 wind turbines. A renewable energy demonstration building at the WTC includes passive heating, solar hot air with rock storage, solar hot water, daylighting, night time ventilation for summer cooling, 2 kW PV with inverter, 10 kW wind turbine with inverter, and solar yard lights and sign.

Contact: Ken Starcher
Mailing Address: Box 248, WTAMU, Canyon, TX 79016
Telephone Number: (806) 651-2296
Fax Number: (806) 651-2733
Email Address: [email protected]

Texas A&M University (TAMU)
TAMU offers courses and research in biomass energy through their Center for Energy and Mineral Resources, the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station, and the Stephenville Research and Extension Center. See the individual program websites for more information:

Texas Agricultural Experiment Station

Contact: John M. Sweeten, Professor and Resident Director
Mailing Address: 6500 Amarillo Blvd. West, Amarillo, TX 79106
Telephone Number: (806) 359-5401
Fax Number: (806) 358-9718
Email Address: [email protected]

Texas Southern University - Photovoltaic Research and Demonstration Laboratory
TSU 's solar activities revolve around their 4 kW PV and wind laboratory. The facility provides research projects for undergraduate and graduate students, as well as high school students participating in the University's annual summer program called the Renewable Energy and Environmental Protection (REEP) Academy. TSU is also involved in a student exchange program with universities in South Africa and has hosted international students in their research and academic endeavors. TSU students have participated in renewable energy installations in South Africa as members of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory's PV Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) PV Research Associates Program.

Contact: Joyce Lattimore
Texas Southern University School of Technology
3100 Cleburne Ave., Houston, TX 77004
Telephone Number: (713) 313-7118.

Texas Tech - Wind Science and Engineering Research Center
Texas Tech offers a graduate program in wind engineering studies within their civil engineer department with projects conducted at their various test facilities. Research opportunities for students include full-scale and wind tunnel testing of buildings, bridges, and other structures and wind energy.

TSTC Offers First AAS Degree for Wind Energy in Texas
Texas State Technical College (TSTC) West Texas Sweetwater campus has added to its curriculum a Wind Energy and Turbine Technology two year degree program developed by TSTC faculty in collaboration with program advisory group members of the wind industry, including Florida Power and Light (FPL), General Electric, and Texas Tech University. In February, 2007, Texas Tech and FLP Energy formed a partnership to assist TSTC West Texas with its curriculum by offering subject matter experts and faculty adjuncts; allow opportunities for participants to interact with FPL Energy wind experts on and off campus; provide paid internships within FPL Energy wind operations; and work with the college to secure the equipment and other resources necessary for laboratory facilities. See this PFL Energy article.

University of Texas, Austin - School of Architecture, Sustainable Design
This curriculum offers two design-based and one scholarly program that study the relationship between the built and natural environments. The M.Arch. I program is designed for graduate students without a previous degree in architecture. The M.Arch. II, or Post Professional program, is designed for students who already have an undergraduate professional degree. The M.S.S.D., or Master of Science in Sustainable Design program, is designed for students who wish to prepare for the Ph.D. or for employment in research, activism, or public policy.

University of Texas, Austin - Solar Energy Laboratory
The solar energy program at UT Austin resides in the Mechanical Engineering department. The Solar Energy Laboratory includes space and equipment for solar energy related projects and research. The recent research emphasis is on solar radiation measurements at several sites across Texas compiled as the Texas Solar Radiation Data Base. An undergraduate course is offered in solar energy systems and design.
Email Address: [email protected]

University of Texas, Austin - Solar Vehicles Team
The Longhorn Solar Vehicles Team is a fully volunteer, student-run organization and was founded in 1989 with the purpose of developing an effective means for solar-electric transportation. The UTSVT has raced two vehicles, both designed and built entirely by students: the Texas Native Sun I and the Texas Native Sun II. UTSVT is currently hard at work constructing its newest solar vehicle, the Solar Steer, for the American Solar Challenge 2005. The race starts in our hometown Austin, Texas.

Contact: Prof. Gary A. Hallock
Mailing Address: ECE Department, The University of Texas, Austin, TX 78712
Telephone Number: (512) 475-6740

University of Texas, Austin - Urban Ecology Projects

University of Texas, Brownsville
Renewable energy activities are concentrated in the Department of Engineering Technology which plans programs in support of PV, small-scale wind and other renewables. The University has established a sustainable energy program at U. Mass.-Lowell in lead-acid battery testing, PV assisted lighting, water pumping and rural electrification in developing countries.

Contact: William M. Berg
Mailing Address: 80 Fort Brown, Brownsville, TX 78520
Telephone Number: (956) 574-6652
Fax Number: (956) 574-6642
Email Address: [email protected]

University of Texas, El Paso - Center for Environmental Resource Management (CERM)
CERM provides the research infrastructure needed to support major university environment/energy programs including the Rio Bosque Wetlands Park, El Paso Solar Pond Research Facility, the Wind Turbine Engineering Test Facility, and the Southwest Center for Environmental Research and Policy Consortium (SCERP). Its mission is to address the environmental problems that threaten the health, safety, well-being, and economic development of the Southwest border region of the United States and Northern Mexico. CERM focuses university resources to address hazardous waste, air quality, water availability and quality, ecological, and policy issues; through an active program of research, development, technology transfer, outreach and academic programs. The Environmental Science and Engineering Ph.D. Program is housed at and administered by CERM.

Contact: Steve Cook, Assistant Director
Telephone Number: (915) 747-5713
Fax Number: (915) 747-5317
Email Address: [email protected]

University of Texas, Houston - Health Science Center
The Houston Health Science Center (HHSC) is involved in renewable energy research and practices building sustainability through it 's environmental program. Their renewable energy research involves monitoring the performance of 3 grid-tied photovoltaic systems (20 kW, 24 kW and 7 kW) through extensive data analysis. Undergraduate ecology classes use their Urban Ecology Research Park equipped with a stand-alone PV-wind hybrid station that provides electricity for outdoor classroom needs. Their building sustainability program implements energy-efficiency measures such as chiller retrofits resulting in significant energy and dollar savings. The HHSC also conducts The Natural Step courses which are a guide to thinking and acting in harmony with the earth's cyclical processes. It provides a pragmatic framework which can be used to guide social, environmental, and economic actions.

Mailing Address: 7000 Fannin St., Suite 1800, Houston, TX 77030
Telephone Number: (713) 500-3413
Fax Number: (713) 500-3416

Energy Efficient Green Building Institute
The Energy Efficient Green Building Institute mission is to develop training programs, awareness activities, and resources that will promote the national agenda for the conservation of energy use in buildings, the use of environmentally responsible building technologies as well as the development of sustainable communities. The Energy Efficient Green Building Institute is a partnership between Cedar Valley College, part of the Dallas County Community College District, and the U.S. Department of Energy, Building America Program.

Rice University Civil and Environmental Engineering Department
The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) was created in July of 2001 when the Civil Engineering and the Environmental Science and Engineering departments merged. The goal of CEE is to build on the strengths of the two existing departments to create innovative programs in education and research designed to address questions of our society's growth and sustainability in a world of technological change.

Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC)
In a non-partisan and collaborative manner, HARC is a conduit from basic research to action that fosters the implementation of policies and technologies based on rigorous principles of social science, natural science, and engineering. HARC's research themes support sustainability solutions in ecosystems, water, air & climate, clean energy, the built environment, and environmental health.

Austin Energy's Green Building Program
If you're a homeowner, renter or a member of the design and building profession, this program has information to help you design and build with health, energy-efficiency and the environment in mind.

Austin Energy's Green by Design Workshops
Anyone preparing to build, buy or remodel a home can learn how to improve energy and water efficiency, increase comfort and reduce maintenance. The Green Building Program's 1-day Green by Design Workshop is held four times per year.

Build San Antonio Green
San Antonio's first residential green building program certifies both green building professionals and new homes (a renovation component is underway). The program was developed by the Metropolitan Partnership for Energy (MPE) and is co-administered with the Greater San Antonio Builders Association (GSABA). A Build San Antonio Green home must achieve points in Site, Materials, Water, Energy and Health.

Texas Solar Energy Society (TXSES)
The Texas Solar Energy Society is an educational organization formed to promote solar and other renewable energy applications. The membership of TXSES includes educators, engineers, researchers, students, bankers, electrical contractors, architects, builders, building inspectors, home owners and solar enthusiasts. TXSES is a non-profit organization open to anyone with an interest in renewable energy. The Society publishes a quarterly newsletter and engages in educational projects and conferences.

Green-e Certification
Green-e provides an easy way for consumers to quickly identify environmentally superior electricity products in competitive markets. Green-e is administered by the non-profit Center for Resource Solutions, which established the Green-e Renewable Electricity Certification Program in order to ensure that consumers who purchase "green" power are getting what they pay for. The site offers information on certification, products, and providers.

Green Roofs for Healthy Cities
Green Roofs for Healthy Cities' mission is to increase the awareness of the economic, social, and environmental benefits of green roof infrastructure across North America and rapidly advance the development of the market for green roof products and services. Green Roofs for Healthy Cities offers an introductory course, Green Roof Design 101. This training course on green roof infrastructure design presents many of the tools and techniques needed to meet the participants' green roof project objectives.

Ecosa Institute
A nonprofit organization located in Prescott, Arizona, Ecosa is dedicated to issues of sustainability and ecological design. The goal for the institute is to bring innovative thinking, new pedagogical models and an interdisciplinary approach to a design education which uses nature as its underlying model. The Ecosa Institute offered its first semester in sustainable design in 2000. The program has now expanded to include both a spring and fall semester programs as well as summer workshops.

Online Training for Schools Sustainable Design
Interactive courses on this site are offered free of charge as a public benefit for design and engineering professionals specializing in sustainable design for K-12 schools. High performance school design integrates daylighting, indoor air quality, and energy efficiency to build a school that runs efficiently, saves money, protects natural resources, and provides superior visual, acoustical, and thermal comfort. This training program was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Association of State Energy Officials.

Ask an Expert!
This DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Information Center answers questions on EERE's products, services, and technology programs, refers callers to the most appropriate EERE resources, and refers qualified callers to the appropriate expert networks. You may contact the information center by calling 1-877-337-3463 or by completing an online form. A customer service specialist or energy expert will respond to your inquiry.

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