Education and Training
The implementation of new energy policies, energy conservation technology and the transition to new energy sources requires a strong partnership with the public. This can only be achieved through community outreach and education. Stony Brook University, SUNY Farmingdale, and Brookhaven National Laboratory have strong ties with the local community that were established over the years through relations with community boards, affiliations with the major regional business organizations, and an extensive network of public education forums. (i) The center will sponsor conferences on new energy sources and technologies to provide a forum for scientific exchange between leading experts in the field and highlight the latest developments in energy related technologies. The conferences will follow the successful model of the The Farmingdale Solar Energy Center which has trained a total of 350 students in 23 workshops since 2001. More than 3000 people have attended Farmingdale Solar Energy Center’s public seminars. The purpose of these seminars was to bring awareness to the general public on the relatively new technology of photovoltaics, energy conservation and the overwhelming advantages of renewable energy. The Solar Energy Conference has been an annual feature of the Center since 2002. Each year the conference has worked successfully with a theme and involved more than 200 participants. The conference and workshops have been funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and Long Island Power Authority. (ii)The center will sponsor workforce training courses and inaugurate graduate and undergraduate degree programs in energy related fields. SUNY Maritime has one of the only Graduate training and licensing programs for operators of vessels transporting liquefied fuels such as LNG’s and conventional fossil fuels. They operate “the Empire State” a 17,000 ton, 565-foot training vessel (figure 4) and a seven million dollar Center for Simulation and Marine Operation containing a state-of-the-art full bridge simulator and, with a grant from the Conoco Corporation, a simulator of an LNG terminal, has been added. The licensing programs and cadet training courses will be enhanced by the program in basic energy sciences and environmental conservation which will be offered to all SUNY students in the center. In addition, both SUNY Maritime and Stony Brook University are planning a joint graduate certificate program in energy conservation, security, and technology which will be offered on line. (iii) Implementation of energy policy involves active participation by an informed constituency. The Center will therefore focus public outreach programs, which will include organizing workshops in public places such as libraries, schools and senior centers to highlight new energy technologies, conservation, and public policies. The center will provide summer research programs for high school students, teacher training courses and demonstration modules for students in grade K-12. In collaboration with BNL and KeySpan, the center will also sponsor a national energy engineering competition for high school students. In addition the Farmingdale Solar Energy Center will continue to conduct programs for middle school and high school teachers and students with the intention to raise awareness and help develop a renewable energy curriculum in our schools through funding from the National Grid Foundation.