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Spotlight: Program Series with Vladan Prodanovic

March 5, 2019
UBC MEL in CEEN Program Spotlight Series

A big-picture view for the future

By Dr. Vladan Prodanovic, Program Director of UBC’s Master of Engineering Leadership in Clean Energy Engineering

We know we need to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions – and soon. The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reported in the fall of 2018 that we have about 12 years to keep global warming to a maximum of 1.5 degrees. If we don’t, the consequences will be significant and far-reaching.

The challenge, of course, is how to bring about widespread shifts in energy supply, use and efficiency. There are numerous issues that need to be addressed, tough engineering problems to solve and a need to bring multiple stakeholders together to find solutions.

The Master of Engineering Leadership (MEL) in Clean Energy Engineering was created to educate professionals who are able to understand these issues and trends.

Working with our industry partners, we designed a curriculum that covers all aspects of the industry value chain – from sustainable energy resource utilization, to energy storage and transmission, and energy use and management.

Our students explore these topics through seven engineering courses that give them a comprehensive big-picture overview. They learn about renewable technologies and integrated and combined systems, energy storage options, and energy-efficient technologies, as well as behaviour and other demand-side management concepts. They also take classes on environment and policy, giving them the tools to better understand the intersections of energy, the economy, environment and society.

This all comes together in the capstone project, which allows students to work on specific challenges across the clean energy spectrum. Our preference is for students to bring forward their own project ideas, drawing on their professional connections and interests. We also have strong relationships with leading organizations and provincial utilities like BC Hydro and Fortis, and these industry partners will often propose projects. This allows our students to gain real-world experience and grow their professional network, while providing our industry partners with new perspectives and solutions.

Addressing the complex shifts that will be required will take more than just technological know-how. We need people with strong business, leadership and communication skills. We need professionals with an understanding of local, national and international issues who can integrate technological, financial and policy perspectives.

This holistic view – and being able to communicate with stakeholders in a range of areas and with varying levels of expertise – will be critical to driving innovation and leading change in this rapidly evolving field.

Learn more about how the MEL in Clean Energy Engineering can help you lead change in your industry, giving you the technical knowledge, foundational business skills and leadership confidence to excel in your career.

UBC also offers the MEL in sector-specific programs, including Dependable Software Systems, High Performance Buildings, Integrated Water Management, Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, Sustainable Process Engineering and Urban Systems.

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Develop the technical, business and leadership skills needed to generate sustainable energy solutions.

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