PhD Engineering - Energy Systems Emphasis

PhD Engineering - Energy Systems Emphasis

Emphasis Description

Providing sustainable energy for a rapidly growing world population is a grand challenge of the 21st century.  Power generation and environmental emissions are a technical, social and political issue that affects economies and the environment on local, national and global scales.  The Energy Systems program examines diverse technical, socio-political, and ecological dimensions of power generation and consumption including:

  • energy generation, storage, and conversion technologies,
  • impacts of energy and environmental policy on the power generation sector, 
  • quantitative, qualitative, and descriptive models of energy flows and storages that illuminate the role of energy in the functionality of the biosphere and modern society,
  • ecological systems functionality and how this pertains to ecosystem health and ecological services provided to support humankind, and
  • interconnections with food and water systems.

The Energy Systems Emphasis Area stresses a holistic approach and offers exposure to many disciplines beyond engineering including natural and social sciences, public policy, and business.  The curriculum is highly flexible and offers personalized plans of study.

Admission to the Emphasis

Ph.D. requirements

Program of Study

Requirements for the Ph.D. in Engineering with Emphasis in Energy Systems further expand on those of the Ph.D. in Engineering.  These include a minimum of 72 credit hours in the student’s program of study beyond the B.S. degree. A thesis master's degree from an approved university may be accepted for up to 30 credits hours, in which case a minimum of 42 credit hours of approved course work, research and dissertation beyond the M.S. degree would be required as follows:

  • A minimum of 16 semester hours of coursework, which must include
    • At least 15 hours of 8000- and 9000-level courses in addition to research, dissertation writing, and directed study of which 9 hours must be selected from the Energy Systems Course List (below).
    • 1 hour of Graduate Seminar ENGR 8950*
  • A minimum of 23 Doctoral Research hours (Doctoral research (9000) or Doctoral project-focused research (9010)) for students with an M.S. **
  • The Program of Study must include 3 hours of ENGR 9300 Doctoral Dissertation.

* Only 3 hours of Graduate Seminar may apply on the Ph.D. Program of Study. Students are strongly encouraged to continue regular attendance of speaker series presentations even if not formally registered in the seminar.

** A typical student’s total research hours will exceed these minimums.

Emphasis Area Course List

As a requirement of the Ph.D. in Engineering with an Emphasis in Energy Systems, students must complete a minimum of 9 credit hours selected from the Energy Systems Course List below. Students will work with their graduate advisor to select the most appropriate coursework to ensure breadth of understanding as well as mastery of knowledge in a specific subject area.  In addition to completing 9 credit hours selected from the list below, students may work with their graduate advisor to develop an interdisciplinary plan of coursework drawing from the extensive graduate course offerings available at UGA.

  • ENVE 8450 Design for Rapid Change: Food, Energy, and Water
  • ENGR 8103 Computational Engineering (Sp)
  • CVLE(MCHE) 8160 Advanced Fluid Mechanics
  • ENGR 8170/80 Advanced Heat and Mass Transfer
  • ENGR 8250 Combustion Science
  • MCHE 8850 Gas Dynamics
  • MCHE 8380 Continuum Mechanics (F)
  • PHYS 8301 Statistical Mechanics I