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Energy Scholarships

Supported by the National Science Foundation


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Southern Illinois Energy Scholarships


SI Energy Scholars will be required to take courses that will advance the study of energy:

In the first semester, University 301a will bring all new scholars together for a cohesion supportive first semester focusing on making the most of your undergraduate experience, and 2) Provide meaningful activities that will expose scholars to energy systems and the professionals who design and build them. We will build cohort through professional development activities that include how to use and access library resources, research opportunities on campus, writing a research proposal, developing a resume, preparing for and attending campus STEM Career Fairs, exploring career option, identifying and applying to graduate school, and designing a research poster. Scholars will investigate a range of topics related to energy, with assignments stemming from the Department of Energy’s Energy 101 initiative to develop curriculum (ENERGY.GOV Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy) and cutting edge discoveries in energy (NSF Engineers of the New Millennium: The Energy Revolution). This will provide a scientific overview of energy sources including sun, wind, water, biomass, nuclear and fossil fuels as well as methods of harvesting, converting, distributing, storing and consuming energy. The economic and environmental sustainability factors will be compared for the competing energy technologies. Students will develop annotated bibliographies and participate in-group discussions. Our campus is a Carnegie Community Engaged University, with a Center for Service-Learning and Volunteerism ( In collaboration with the Center, our Scholars will be challenged to participate in local service learning projects and to develop a registered student organization in energy. In addition, there will be hands-on activities throughout the laboratory components of our curriculum, the Energy Trailer, a river flume, and a newly established energy showcase lab (see Facilities). Professionals in our region who will present sessions and explore career opportunities.

In the second semester, University 301b, will continue with these themes/ activities but will focus on identification of a research mentor at SIU as well as the selection of a capstone project. This project will be undertaken in the Senior Design course during the senior year of study (see below). Example projects for the students are a solar gold cart, solar hot water heater, and/or an energy saving project done in collaboration with a professional client in academia or industry. Scholars will identify a topic of interest in order to prepare and present a research paper as a final project for the two-semester course. Scholars will explore internship or research opportunities for the ensuing summer and will be guided through the process of applying for and securing such experiences. Scholars who do engage in a summer enrichment program such as a coop, internship or research experience will be supported in presenting at the McNair and SI Bridges Summer Symposium at the end of the summer between the junior and senior years.

In their senior year (year two at SIUC), Scholars will enroll in Senior Design, a course cross-listed in both Engineering and Science. This two-semester course is a team-project based capstone experience. Scholars will build on the expertise developed during their junior year. In the past, numerous senior design projects have been entirely energy and power focused with external clients from local utility companies such as Ameren, CIPS and electric cooperatives as well as the physical plant at SIU Carbondale which has its own power plant and a local energy company 8760 Engineering. Clients such as the campus GAIA house and faculty in architecture are actively seeking energy saving LEED certified designs for various environments. Other projects have had internal clients such as educational displays of power distribution and student competitions for saving energy or using alternative sources in vehicles, in water purification, and in heating. Projects/research may be presented at the SIU Undergraduate Research Forum at the end of the senior year and/or at professional conferences in their discipline.