Energy Center

Purdue Smart Grid Educational Programs

Purdue University is recognized as one of the nation’s leading engineering schools with an outstanding history and current expertise is power systems engineering.  We will introduce Smart Grid technology in a variety of places in throughout the curricula. Students in the traditional Engineering and Technology degree programs will have the opportunity to earn a Certificate in Smart Grid Technology by taking a concentration of electives in various technology areas of interest to Smart Grid. We will develop 8 new courses and/or modules to be split between Engineering and Technology as well as an additional course/module in Consumer and Family Sciences.


BS and MS Degree in Technology - A Certificate Program in Smart Grid Technology

Smart Grid technology in Purdue’s College of Technology will center in (i) Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology and (ii) Computer and Information Technology. These existing degree programs educate the engineers that operate and maintain the current power grid. As part of the Crossroads Smart Grid Training Proposal up to 16 of the existing courses will be expanded to include Smart Grid technology and we will introduce 4 new courses.  Course titles/content have been determined after careful consultation with the industrial partners via the Energy Systems Network to determine that appropriate mix of technology need for the future. A new Smart Grid Laboratory is being developed, where  students will have hands-on exposure to various parts of Smart Grid technology including transmission and metering technology, IT, distributed power generation via solar cells and windmills, transportation usage via EV and PHEVs, etc.


BS and MS Degree in Engineering - A Certificate Program in Smart Grid Technology

The objective of this component  is to educate the engineering graduates of the 21st century  needed to operate the emerging Smart Grid. In Purdue’s College of Engineering, Smart Grid technology will primarily reside in Industrial Engineering, and Electrical and Computer Engineering , with a supporting role played in Chemical and Mechanical Engineering. A typical Certificate in Smart Grid Engineering Technology will require 3 to 4 electives in various technology areas, We believe that it essential that the engineers developing the Smart Grid are not just technically savvy, but also are fluent in (i) governmental regulations, (ii) societal wants/needs, etc. that are critical to the consumer’s acceptance to Smart Grid and (iii) the economics that will ultimately drive acceptance of Smart Grid.


College of Consumer and Family Science

A partnership has been developed between the Colleges of Engineering, Technology, and Consumer and Family Science (CFS). At Purdue, CFS is where consumer oriented courses are located – courses rarely taken by Technology and/or Engineering students. A new CFS course will be developed to investigate the consumer dimensions of Smart Grid technology and related consumer products such as electric energy ‘smart’ homes as well as acceptance of related green energy initiatives such as use of smart meters and implementing green energy behaviors. While much is known about consumer patterns of adoption in general, Smart Grid adoption represents something different as a consequence of the significant behavioral changes which may be associated with Smart Grid. For example, how does the price structure electricity affect consumer acceptance? What will be the perception of the consumer to utilities and what realistic modifications will they make? Problems also exist on how to communicate the benefits as well as how to make them transparent enough that users feel the net benefit participating in grid technologies.


Current Purdue Smart Grid Courses

The following courses have been developed by Purdue faculty to train tomorrow’s engineering and technology workforce, to design, develop, and maintain the Smart Grid.


BCM 499 - Expanding Contractor Expertise in Smart Grid Technologies

This course covers topics in smart grid technologies for all aspects of the power generation, transmission and distribution system, including high voltage transmission line and distribution construction, for students in Purdue’s construction programs and industrial contractors interested in smart grid technologies.


ChemE 450 - Design and Analysis of Processing Systems

Use of flow sheet balance calculations, chemical kinetics and thermodynamics, transfer operations, and process economics in designing chemical processing systems. Analysis of design alternatives using case studies and optimization methods.


CNIT 581 - SGS, Smart Grid Seminar

CNIT is a 3 credit hour class to shape collaboration in energy project space, built upon students’ research in EV and Smart Grid as Smart Energy projects.   


CNIT 581 - Smart Grid Security

The course will introduce the concept, design and purpose of the Smart Grid, current and relevant technologies developed, and its vulnerabilities/weaknesses to a cyber attack.  


CNIT 581 - Smart Grid Intelligent Infrastructure

The course will provide a sequence to understand basic elements of intelligent control through the use of basic theory and practice, relationships of intelligent agents and grids technology and intelligent devices commonly used in Smart Grids.


ECE433 - Power Electronics

ECE433 is a three credit course dealing with analysis of power electronic circuits including dc-dc converters, dc-ac inverters, and ac-dc rectifiers. These circuits are the main building blocks for grid integration of renewable energy systems, e.g., wind and photovoltaics.

ECET 499 - An Introduction to the Smart Grid

The course will serve as an introduction to the technologies and policies associated with the Smart Grid. The emphasis will be on the development of communications, measurement and management tools to monitoring and managing changing loads and generation on a closed electric grid.


IE 590 - Power Systems and Smart Grid

This course serves as a graduate-level introduction to the broad subject of power systems, focusing on the basics of electricity, economic fundamentals of power systems and electricity generation (supply/demand economics) in regulated/deregulated environment.


ME 597W/583, MET317 - Wind Energy Systems Laboratory & Project Offering

The course focuses on experimental dynamics for performance and reliability characterization, utilizing the wind energy laboratory to make measurements including rotor, nacelle and power electronics variables, for integration into the Smart Grid.


MGMT 48400 - Management of New Ventures

Management of New Ventures is a case based course which teaches principles dealing with identifying market demand, managing intellectual property, and increasing the probability of commercialization success for new technologies.


Other Purdue Smart Grid Related Courses

College of Technology

In conjunction with the Smart Grid grant, the College of  Technology  offers  courses in electric vehicles:

Introduction to Electric Vehicle Technology (Tech 199)

Electric Vehicle Design and Fabrication (ECET 499, CINT 499, MET 499)

Tech 199 is an introductory course to electric vehicles,  motors, control systems, and consumer acceptance of new technologies.

ECET 499, CINT, and MET 499  provide more detail on electric vehicles, batteries, power and control systems, and energy storage media. Students perform analysis  of integrated power management and control systems. Students design, build and test high performance electric go-karts to apply knowledge learned on the Purdue Grand Prix track.


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College of Technology - evLab

Students in ECET 499/CINT499/MET 490 also have the opportunity compete in the Purdue evGrandPrix, an all electric go-kart race, started Spring 2010.


In 2011, the Purdue Collegiate evGrandPrix  became an international event and expanded to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

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College of Technology teams from the 2012 Purdue evGrandPrix

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Smart Grid Navigation

Smart Grid Contact Information

For more information, contact

J. Eric. Dietz
Department of Computer and Information Technology
Knoy Hall of Technology, Room 259
401 N. Grant Street
West Lafayette, IN 47907
Phone: 765-494-8130

About the Energy Center

The Center’s mission is to grow the Purdue energy research and education enterprise. We engage researchers and students in a community that delivers new discoveries and develops disruptive technologies with national and global impact.


Maureen McCann

Director, Energy Center,
Global Sustainability Institute

Pankaj Sharma

Managing Director, Energy Center,
Global Sustainability Institute

Mann Hall, Rm 105
203 South Martin Jischke Dr.
Purdue University
West Lafayette, IN 47907-1971