MAE PhD Energy Systems Track
The Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Ph.D. in power and energy systems equips students for a research career focused on accelerating the transition to a sustainable zero-carbon energy system. All students in Power and Energy Systems must satisfy the requirements of the MAE Doctoral Program as described on the MAE website. The following core and track courses are designed to support the organization of the Department Qualifying Exam (DQE), which is ultimately up to the student’s committee.
All students will take the core courses.
Fundamentals of Energy Systems (MAE 206)
This course is designed to introduce students to the fundamentals of the energy system and outline its possible futures given the need to radically reduce global carbon emissions. UC San Diego has several courses that investigate different aspects of the energy system, including the fundamental science and engineering behind promising new technologies (mainly in JSOE) and the political economy of energy (in GPS and Economics).
None of these offers an explanation of how the system is structured, the imperatives and constraints under which it operates, and how it is likely to evolve given the competing demands it serves and the range of challenges facing its constituent technologies. The goal of this course is to impart a knowledge of these realities, and to help students develop the skills to critically evaluate the technology, economic, and policy choices that will have to be made when modernizing it, with a key focus on innovation in creating new opportunities. It is designed to help students build a foundation for future coursework on energy systems.
Electric Power Systems Modeling (MAE 243)
This course will teach students constrained optimization problems and associated solution methods, how to implement and apply linear and mixed integer linear programs to solve such problems using Julia/JuMP, and the practical application of such techniques in energy systems engineering. The course will first introduce students to the theory and mathematics of constrained optimization problems and provide a brief introduction to linear programming, including problem formation and solution algorithms. Next, to build hands-on experience with optimization methods for energy systems engineering, the course will introduce students to several canonical problems in electric power systems planning and operations, including: economic dispatch, unit commitment, optimal network power flow, and capacity planning. Finally, several datasets of realistic power systems are provided which students will use in conjunction with building a model for a course project that answers a specific power systems question. Course Repo.
Convex Optimization for Engineers (MAE 227)
This course focuses on convex optimization theory, convexification of non-convex problems, engineering applications, modeling and implementation in a programming language (MATLAB or choice). This course covers: convex sets and functions, convex optimization problems (LP, QP, SOCP, SDP, robust and stochastic optimization), weak and strong duality, optimality conditions (complementary slackness, Karush-Kuhn-Tucker), and solution and shadow price interpretation. Some applications include: design in mechanical engineering, optimal control problems, machine learning, energy, transportation, etc. Prerequisites: nongraduate students may enroll with consent of instructor.
Students should expect to take 3-6 additional courses--forming a “minor”--up to the discretion of their doctoral committee. It is not required to stay within a single track.
Economics, Policy, and Engineering of the Power Grid
One or more economics courses with a focus on microeconomics and regulatory economics (e.g., GPCO 401, GPEC 488, and other advanced economics courses if prerequisite economics training)
Politics of Energy and Environmental Policy (GPPS 428, Davidson)
Renewable Energy Integration (MAE 207, Hidalgo-Gonzalez)
Advanced Energy Technologies
Introduction to Combustion (MAE 211)
Energy Materials and Applications (MAE 254)
Nanoscale Energy Technology (NANO 261)
Nanoscale and Microscale Heat Transfer for Energy Conversion Applications (MAE 225AB)
Advanced Electrochemical Energy Engineering (NANO 279)
Unsaturated Soil Mechanics (SE 246)
Numerical Optimization (MATH 271ABC)
Convex Optimization and Applications (ECE 273)
Undergraduate energy courses
Introduction to Renewable Energy: Solar & Wind (MAE 119)
Introduction to Nuclear Energy (MAE 120)
Building Energy Efficiency (MAE 125)
Undergraduate power systems courses
Power Grid Operation, Modernization, Resiliency (ECE 128ABC)
Power Systems Analysis and Fundamentals (ECE 121A)