Advising Page -- Power Engineering

What is power engineering? 

Power engineering covers three complementary areas of electrical engineering:
The job market is booming for graduates in electric power engineering. The workforce in the electric power sector is aging and the industry faces massive retirements, yet many power engineering programs in the U.S. have been phased out. In addition, new opportunities are exploding thanks to developments in power electronics. Exciting new applications include electric cars, (more) electric aircraft and ships, renewable energy (wind power), and data centers.

Wind turbines near Milford, Utah

Power engineering courses at the University of Utah

Students interested in power engineering should plan on taking the following classes.

ECE 3600* Introduction to Electric Power Engineering Fall , Junior year
ECE 3510** Introduction to Feedback Systems Spring, Junior year
ECE 5620 Power Systems Analysis Spring, Junior year
ECE 5610 Power Electronics Fundamentals Fall, Senior year
ECE 5670/6670 Control of Electric Motors Fall, Senior year

* Since Fall 2011, ECE 3600 can be taken as one of three courses needed to satisfy the breadth elective for the BS in Electrical Engineering.

** ECE 3510 is not a power engineering course, but is a prerequisite for ECE 5670/6670 and is closely connected to power engineering.

The following courses have also been taught as part of the power engineering program:

ECE 6962    Utility Applications of Power Electronics, Spring 2011.

ECE 5960    Electrical Forensic Engineering and Failure Analysis, Fall 2011.

These courses, and others to be determined, will be offered in alternate years. Please check the schedules for further information.

Control systems courses: the power engineering program is closely connected to control systems.  Information about control courses is available at:

Relevant courses in the mechanical engineering department:
ME EN 2080
ME EN 2500       Introduction to Sustainable Energy Systems Design I: Wind and Water Power
ME EN 2510       Introduction to Sustainable Energy Systems Design II: Thermal and Solar Power
ME EN 3600       Thermodynamics II
ME EN 3650       Heat Transfer
ME EN 5600       Intermediate Thermodynamics
ME 5800/6800    Sustainable Energy Engineering
ME 6960             Fundamentals of Systems Engineering

Courses from the nuclear engineering program are also highly relevant (

MS/MBA Program

For information on the new MS/MBA program, which may be of particular interest to people considering the power engineering program, please check:

AC/DC, what does it mean?


Thanks to an endowment created by the Intermountain Power Agency, two scholarships have been given each year since 2008 to students interested in power engineering careers. Applicants must be:

For more information, please check

The IEEE's Power and Energy Society also created the PES Scholarship Plus Initiative with the goal of increasing the number of well-qualified, entry-level engineers to the power and energy industry. For more information, please check


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The Power Engineering Program would not have been possible without the support of Utah's industry. Major donations were provided by the Intermountain Power Agency, Rocky Mountain Power, and the Utah Rural Electric Association, with additional funding received from Questar, Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems, Utah Municipal Power AgencyReliable Controls, Williams Pipeline and Pacificorp Energy.  

Generators and control room at the Intermountain Power Project, Delta, Utah

Useful web sites  IEEE Power and Energy Society.  IEEE Power Electronics Society.  IEEE Utah Section.   DOE-Sponsored Nationwide Consortium of Universities to Revitalize Electric Power Engineering Education by State-of-the-Art Laboratories.  Consortium of universities for sustainable power.  Data on electric power generation in Utah.

This web site is maintained by Professor Marc Bodson, of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Utah. Please see the University of Utah Web disclaimer. For questions or comments, please send an e-mail to

Last updated: November 21, 2011