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ABE 589 Syllabus

ABE 589: Management and Design of Renewable Energy and Sustainability Systems (3). The course consists of a semester-long group project in which students develop a successful project concept and design that addresses a selected RESS challenge. This could consist of, for example, developing a renewable energy project plan for a specific location and end user, or generating a full sustainability master plan for manufacturing operation. Specific project topics and scopes will vary from semester to semester. Topics related to scholarship integrity and professional ethics are reinforced as part of this course, as well as the other RESS competencies that are taught in the program. The educational focus of the RESS program is to teach “technical expertise with advanced project development skills” - this course is your opportunity to demonstrate what you have learned in those areas.

Instructor

Daniel Ciolkosz

Daniel Ciolkosz

Assistant Professor
222 Agricultural Engineering
University Park, PA 16802
Work Phone: 814-863-3484

Office Hours (Forum): to be scheduled

I will do my best to respond to your emails within 24 hours, and I will let you know if I'm going to be unavailable for any length of time.  It's best to use the Canvas Inbox to contact me.

Course Description

The course consists of a semester-long group project in which students develop a successful project concept and design that addresses a selected RESS challenge. This could consist of, for example, developing a renewable energy project plan for a specific location and end user, or generating a full sustainability master plan for manufacturing operation. Specific project topics and scopes will vary from semester to semester. Topics related to scholarship integrity and professional ethics are reinforced as part of this course, as well as the other RESS competencies that are taught in the program. The educational focus of the RESS program is to teach “technical expertise with advanced project development skills” - this course is your opportunity to demonstrate what you have learned in those areas.

Required Materials

There are no required textbooks beyond the online course notes. However, students will need access to readings and related materials from RESS courses that they have taken thus far. 

Technical Requirements

This course is offered online and it assumed you possess the minimum system requirements and computing skills to participate effectively. A list of technical requirements is listed on the World Campus’s Penn State Technical Requirements page.

Students will also need access to word processing, spreadsheet, presentation and similar project tools in order to complete the course.

Minimum Skills

  • You should have an understanding of basic computer usage (creating folders/directories, switching between programs, formatting and backing up media, accessing the Internet).
  • You must be able conduct word processing tasks such as creating, editing, saving, and retrieving documents.
  • You must be able to use a web browser to open web pages, download files, and search the Internet.
  • You must be able to use an e-mail program to send and receive messages and to attach and download documents/files.
  • You must be able to download and install programs or plug-ins from the Internet.

Course Content

The course is divided into five “modules”, each consisting of a content lesson related to the project and a milestone deadline for the development of the final project. Some lessons will have additional assignments that reinforce module topics. See the Assignment Summary within the syllabus in Canvas for deadlines for project milestones and assignments.

ModuleTopicsProject MilestoneOther Assignments

1

Project Management, Team Dynamics, and Scholarship

Project Ideas and Preferences

Team Selection

Select Project Director

Teamwork Discussion

Cohesiveness and Trust Discussion

Ethics Essay

2

Project Definition and Working With Stakeholders

Project Definition Statement

Define Team Roles

Stakeholder Interaction Plan

3

Preliminary Design

Brainstorm Design Alternatives

Select Design

Preliminary Design and Feasibility Assessment

4

Technology Selection and Detailed Design

Detailed Project Design

5

Presentation and Evaluation

 

Peer and Self Evaluations

Final Written and Oral Report

 

Grading

The turnaround time for graded assignments is generally one week or less, although grading your final project reports might be a little slower, depending on the size of the class. Grades will be given on a 0-100 percent scale, with percentages corresponding to the following letter grades:

Letter GradePercentage
A 94-100%
A- 90-93%
B+ 87-89%
B 83-86%
B- 80-82%
C+ 77-79%
C 70-76%
D 60-69%
F <60%

There are several additional course requirements that do not reflect on your grade, but must be completed in order to receive a grade. 

First, you must complete the World Campus Academic Integrity Quiz during the first week of the semester.

In addition, you will be required to show evidence, by the end of the semester, of the following 17 skills/learning objectives, required of all RESS graduates. 

  • Apply scientific principles to sustainability and renewable energy problems.
  • Analyze feasibility of renewable energy project sites and scenarios.
  • Carry out economic analysis within the context of sustainability.       
  • Execute and evaluate sustainability or renewable energy systems using baseline, techno-economic, life cycle, or cost/benefit analyses.
  • Create and appraise renewable energy and sustainability case studies.
  • Conduct scenario planning and critique the degree of energy resource utilization of different renewable energy and sustainability systems options.
  • Apply and interpret relevant principles of managerial economics.
  • Demonstrate and evaluate cash flow analysis and engineering economics.
  • Demonstrate the ability to lead organizational change.
  • Demonstrate the ability to effectively assume a leadership role.      
  • Implement organizational skills within a project team environment.
  • Evaluate sustainability decisions in the broader context of society's interests.
  • Carry out successful renewable energy and/or sustainability systems operations in dynamic political, economic, and technological environments.
  • Apply systems thinking to RESS topics (energy, materials, water, habitat, economic, ethics).
  • Demonstrate the ability to make sound decisions in complex situations.
  • Demonstrate the ability to think creatively and regeneratively within the context of renewable energy and sustainability problems.       
  • Organize and assess analytical, rational, and logical reasoning as applied to renewable energy and sustainability systems.

These 17 learning objectives will be evaluated in your assignments and final project report on a complete/incomplete basis.  Failure to complete ANY of these objectives will result in assignment of an "Incomplete" grade for the course.“

As per university policy, a minimum grade average of B for work done at the University is required for all graduate degrees.

The final grade for each student will be weighted based on the following algorithm:

  • Final written report 50% of final grade
  • Final oral report 20% of final grade
  • Participation in team 15% of final grade
  • Additional assignments 15% of final grade

NOTE: If you are planning to graduate this semester, please communicate your intent to graduate to your instructor. This will alert your instructor to the need to submit your final grade in time to meet the published graduation deadlines. For more information about graduation policies and deadlines, please see "Graduation" under World Campus Student Policies.

Assignment Summary

See your Assignment Summary within your Canvas syllabus/calendar for specific assignment due dates.

Online Students Use of the Library

As Penn State World Campus students, you have access to many of the materials that the library offers to students. The library website has a lot to offer, but can be overwhelming. A guide has been created to serve as your introduction to important library resources, services, and important pages within the library. The Online Student Library Guide is updated regularly by the online librarian and is intended to provide a level of comfort through introduction to help you feel comfortable navigating the library website to find valuable information for your coursework.

Support Services

As a World Campus student, you have access to a variety of services and resources, including advising, tutoring, library services, career services, and more.  Please visit the World Campus Student Services page for more information.

If you have any type of technical problems, you can use the “Help” link in the Canvas navigation menu or contact the World Campus Help Desk.

Netiquette

The term "Netiquette" refers to the etiquette guidelines for electronic communications, such as e-mail and bulletin board postings. Netiquette covers not only rules to maintain civility in discussions, but also special guidelines unique to the electronic nature of forum messages. Please review Virginia Shea's "The Core Rules of Netiquette" for general guidelines that should be followed when communicating in this course.

PSU Policies

Log-In Policy

Students are expected to log-in regularly to keep up-to date with announcements, discussions, etc. The class will progress at a regular pace throughout the semester and there are specific due dates and times for assignments, etc.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is the pursuit of scholarly activity in an open, honest and responsible manner. Academic integrity is a basic guiding principle for all academic activity at The Pennsylvania State University, and all members of the University community are expected to act in accordance with this principle. Consistent with this expectation, students should act with personal integrity, respect other students' dignity, rights and property, and help create and maintain an environment in which all can succeed through the fruits of their efforts. Academic integrity includes a commitment not to engage in or tolerate acts of falsification, misrepresentation or deception. Such acts of dishonesty violate the fundamental ethical principles of the University community and compromise the worth of work completed by others (see Faculty Senate Policy 49-20, G-9 Procedures and the Code of Conduct).

Read the Academic Integrity Guidelines for the College of Agricultural Sciences

A lack of knowledge or understanding of the University’s Academic Integrity policy and the types of actions it prohibits and/or requires does not excuse one from complying with the policy. Penn State and the College of Agricultural Sciences take violations of academic integrity very seriously. Faculty, alumni, staff and fellow students expect each student to uphold the University’s standards of academic integrity both inside and outside of the classroom.

Copyright Notice

All course materials students receive or to which students have online access are protected by copyright laws. Students may use course materials and make copies for their own use as needed, but unauthorized distribution and/or uploading of materials without the instructor’s express permission is strictly prohibited. University Policy AD 40, the University Policy Recording of Classroom Activities and Note Taking Services addresses this issue. Students who engage in the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials may be held in violation of the University’s Code of Conduct, and/or liable under Federal and State laws.

Accommodations for Persons with Disabilities

Penn State welcomes students with disabilities into the University's educational programs. Every Penn State campus has an office for students with disabilities. Student Disability Resources (SDR) Web site provides contact information for every Penn State campus. For further information, please visit Student Disability Resources Web site.

In order to receive consideration for reasonable accommodations, you must contact the appropriate disability services office at the campus where you are officially enrolled, participate in an intake interview, and provide documentation. If the documentation supports your request for reasonable accommodations, your campus’s disability services office will provide you with an accommodation letter. Please share this letter with your instructors and discuss the accommodations with them as early in your courses as possible. You must follow this process for every semester that you request accommodations.

Accessibility Information

  • Accessibility statement for Canvas

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)

Penn State staff works with thousands of students per year in group therapy, individual counseling, crisis intervention, and psychiatric services as well as providing prevention, outreach, and consultation services for the University community. Services at CAPS are designed to enhance students' ability to fully benefit from the University environment and academic experience.

Staff at CAPS can help students address concerns in a caring and supportive environment. CAPS can help students resolve personal concerns that may interfere with their academic progress, social development, and satisfaction at Penn State. Some of the more common concerns include anxiety, depression, difficulties in relationships (friends, roommates, or family); sexual identity; lack of motivation or difficulty relaxing, concentrating or studying; eating disorders; sexual assault and sexual abuse recovery; and uncertainties about personal values and beliefs. For more information, please visit the Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) website.

Accommodations for Military Personnel

Veterans and currently serving military personnel and/or spouses with unique circumstances (e.g., upcoming deployments, drill/duty requirements, disabilities, VA appointments, etc.) are welcome and encouraged to communicate these, in advance if possible, to the instructor in the case that special arrangements need to be made.

Use of Trade Names

Where trade names are used, no discrimination is intended and no endorsement by the World Campus, Outreach and Cooperative Extension, the College of Agricultural Sciences, or The Pennsylvania State University is implied.

Subject to Change Statement

Please note that this Course Syllabus is subject to change. Students are responsible for abiding by such changes.