What will I get up to in the IGERT course?

I'm sure that you are interested in finding out about what you'll be doing in the IGERT course itself. Obviously, you will follow the guidelines of your chosen PhD, but there will be a number of courses specific to the IGERT program that you will complete as well.

You could also follow the route of one of our present IGERT students and apply through the Center for Energy and Environmental Policy (CEEP). Perhaps your interest lies more in policy development, yet you have the background to understand the technical issues in a solar hydrogen system. So, this might be a better route for you to follow. If you think that this is the route you'd like to take, have a look at the CEEP website.

Due to the interdisciplinary nature of our IGERT and the fact that you’ll all be from a variety of diverse technical backgrounds, you’ll be given the chance to create novel solutions to sustainable energy through a variety of different approaches. 

BulletYou will have to pick from the following fundamental modules. Some of you will already have done some of the courses in your undergraduate degrees so you can choose to do them as revision modules if you'd like. However, the one module that is compulsory is the Economics and Policy module. It is also expected that these modules should be completed by the end of your first year of graduate studies.

  • Solid State Physics
  • Electrochemistry and Fuel Cell Basics
  • Thermodynamics
  • Surface Chemistry and Catalysis
  • Material Science
  • Heat and Mass Transfer
  • Economics and Policy

The majority of these modules will be offered as on-line courses which you will be expected to complete during the different semesters in your first year. It is highly likely that you will need to complete at least one of the online modules during the Winter Session of your first year as a graduate student. Each fundamental module will then be examined in either November or March, depending on when you complete the course.  Once you have successfully tackled and understood the different fundamentals from across the disciplines, you will be better equipped to work with other graduate students and develop ways in which to approach and develop a sustainable energy solution.

SunEach year, in the spring there will be a SOLAR HYDROGEN SEMINAR (SHS) during which we will have a series of talks from experts in the areas of Sustainable Energy and Solar Hydrogen. You will be given the opportunity to discuss you ideas with leaders in the field of Solar Hydrogen and be able to broach your ideas for further research.

SunAfter the SHS, you will be given a problem to ‘solve’ relating to sustainable energy which will form the basis of a multidisciplinary discussion.  Each of you will bring your background and skills to this forum and work with other members, across the disciplines and strive to come up with some kind of solution. This will be presented to members of faculty where you will also be asked questions about how you tackled the problem.

SunDuring the first two years of the course, there will be 6 Skills for Success Courses – each worth 1 credit. These are the following:

      • Critical Reading of Literature
      • Research Skills
      • Communication and Technical Writing
      • Ethics
      • Business Skills
      • Graduate School and Opportunities and Beyond

The aim of each of these courses is to provide you with the knowledge and skills you’ll require not only for graduate school but also for your futures, once you’ve graduated.

SunThere will also be three detailed IGERT courses that you will take during the first 5 semesters of your PhD;

    • Fuel Cells
    • Photovoltaics
    • Sustainability

As you can see, all of these courses are new and exciting opportunities for you to continually develop your interest in sustainable energy. We hope that they provide you with the scope and intellectual challenge that you would be looking for in a graduate course.

Come join us and be a part of something truly sustainable!


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Funding provided by the National Science Foundation