Birzeit University launches multidisciplinary master’s program in renewable energy management

Birzeit University will offer a master’s program in renewable energy management beginning with the 2020-2021 Spring semester. Targeted at students and energy professionals alike, the program will provide enrollees with the skills and knowledge necessary to develop, design, and manage renewable and sustainable energy systems and sources.

The program, offered by the Faculty of Graduate Studies, is interdisciplinary in nature, bringing together concepts and notions from the fields of chemistry and physics; mechanical, electrical, and information engineering; and economics, management, and administration.

The program was designed by a multidisciplinary team of Birzeit University professors, who cooperated to establish the program’s structure and goals, ensuring that students and energy professionals gain a broad perspective on the opportunities and challenges of renewable energy, both locally and internationally.

Dr. Ahmed Abu Hanieh, an associate professor of mechanical and mechatronics engineering who led the multidisciplinary team, emphasized the integrative approach informing the design of the program, noting that students would take courses designed and led by professors from the faculties of engineering and technology, science, and business and administration. The material presented in these courses, he added, would be tailored to focus on renewable energy engineering and management.

Comprising 36 credit hours, the program offers courses in the storage and generation — and integration into the electrical grid — of renewable energy, the management and administration of renewable and sustainable energy projects, the design and modeling of green and sustainable buildings, and the production and use of biofuel, among other topics.

A clear focus in the program is on producing theoretical and applied research in renewable energy engineering and management. Abu Hanieh noted that students are encouraged to carry out research projects on issues and challenges related to renewable energy.

A big part of the program’s research efforts will be directed at the renewable energy sector in Palestine. The studies and research projects undertaken by students and faculty members will be used to help formulate a national renewable energy policy that stimulates, and regulates, the burgeoning field in Palestine.

The program’s unique multidisciplinary approach, Abu Hanieh added, will allow researchers and students to examine in depth the engineering, managerial, and economic aspects of renewable energy in Palestine and the region and apply their research to promote and facilitate the use of clean and sustainable energy sources locally and internationally.