SUNY New Paltz engineering students are learning about the design, manufacture, installation and maintenance of wind turbines in a new sequence of courses aimed at bolstering New York’s green energy workforce.
These classes are offered through the New York Clean Energy Workforce Training Team (NYCEWATT), which launched in 2022 as a joint effort between New Paltz and SUNY Polytechnic with grant funding support from the SUNY Clean Energy Workforce Opportunity Program.
NYCEWATT creates new online modules for students at both institutions to gain specialized skills in a high-demand, high-impact field, and also provides hands-on experiences working with a state-of-the-art wind speed equipment, which was installed in New Paltz’s Engineering Innovation Hub in early 2022.
“We are very fortunate to be able to participate in SUNY’s Clean Energy Workforce Training Program,” said Dean of the School of Science & Engineering Dan Freedman. “We hope to inspire engineering students at SUNY New Paltz and SUNY Polytechnic to drive New York towards a carbon-free energy future by helping to design, construct and large-scale, off-shore wind turbines.”
These new programs provide an incredible professional opportunity for aspiring engineers. New York State has set a goal of installing 9000 MW of off-shore wind generators by 2035, enough to power six million homes. Achieving that benchmark will requiring bringing many more talented workers into the production and maintenance processes.
“I’m interested in the physics behind how wind turbines are designed,” said Matthew Querrard ’22 (Mechanical Engineering) of Gansevoort, New York. “I’m learning a lot about components related to the manufacturing of wind turbines, which has been an amazing learning experience.”
“I like seeing everything I’ve learned so far being applied to something so massive like building a wind turbine,” added Cody Heller ’23 (Mechanical Engineering) of New Paltz. “We definitely need to switch over to better use of energy like that instead of like fossil fuels, so it’s important for us to know how to how to innovate that and how it works.”
Modules cover topics ranging from the fundamentals of wind energy to turbine blades and construction aspects.
The NYCEWATT program expands on existing renewable energy initiatives in New Paltz’s School of Science & Engineering, including a project led by Associate Professor of Biology Kara Belinsky that is studying potential harmful effects of new solar array construction on grassland birds and insect pollinators.
Visit our the Division of Engineering Programs at SUNY New Paltz for more information about opportunities for students in mechanical, computer and electrical engineering.