Hydropower/STEM/Workforce Data and Analysis/Advisory Committees

From Open Energy Information

Advisory Committees

Hydro, Marine, and Hydrokinetic Power Educational Advisory Board

The Hydropower Foundation is working with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) on a workforce development project to initiate programs that lay the groundwork for the redevelopment of a vibrant hydropower workforce while developing STEM-based educational material and a better understanding of the workforce needs for hydro and marine energy technologies.

The advisory committee contributes on matters related to hydropower topics including input on attracting top-talent, educational curriculum currently in the industry, knowledge of post-high school academic landscape, and review materials generated within this NREL hydropower workforce development project.

The advisory board is divided into two groups of 15 members each contributing to either marine energy or conventional hydropower workforce and educational issues.

Charter for Participating Advisors

Advisors are asked to contribute their knowledge of the landscape of curricula related to hydro and/or marine energy research. Advisors are also asked to contribute ideas on workforce attractors, gaps in curricula for waterpower-based career paths, and mechanisms that could be used to attract new talent to the most pressing needs of the water power sector. Advisors are not expected to contribute monetarily but rather to lend expertise and ideas.

Time Commitment

1 to 2 hours of review monthly over 12 months and participation in a stakeholder forum annually. At the close of each year, advisors will be asked to renew their commitment for the next phase of the work.

Project Objectives

  • Influence the way hydropower and marine energy technologies can be integrated into academic programs across multiple STEM disciplines by empowering educators to include hydropower and marine energy technologies into their curriculum.
  • Increase the number of professors who are teaching, conducting research, and promoting marine energy and hydropower as a career path and, in turn, students actively working in the field.
  • Stimulate new marine energy designs, software tools, and advanced manufacturing techniques by engaging students in out-of-the-box problems (low-impact, low-head, closed loop hydropower, etc.) from undergraduate through graduate work through the U.S. Department of Energy Marine Energy Collegiate Competition .
  • Motivate and foster relationships across the marine energy and hydropower sectors to ensure long-term waterpower-focused educational programs, increased networking, and employment opportunities.
  • Initiate the development of hydropower-focused STEM materials while updating and advancing similar materials for marine energy.
  • Complete and update studies that work to better understand and articulate the needs and opportunities associated with careers in hydropower and marine energy.
  • Expand the educational informational resources to match what is available for other energy sectors while demonstrating that hydropower and marine energy power is a viable, forward-looking, clean technology with promising career potential.

2020 Advisory Committee Tasks

  • Attend future educational summits
  • Contribute information to the OpenEI marine energy and hydropower STEM info portals
    • Educational materials, current events, news, research, and jobs for K-12, trade schools, and community colleges
    • Network of hydropower professionals with industry experience who would be available as guest speakers for classes
    • A contact list of utilities that would be available for student tours of hydropower facilities
    • A marine energy resources hub including standard curricula. Identify skills and knowledge and how the education pipeline can support it
    • Partnerships and professional network (those willing to help advance workforce needs)
    • Curricula and/or messaging for specific competencies and specific interests/audiences; understand employment pathways, including teacher kits (through OFI and KidWind), teach the teacher programs, and leveraging exhibits; identify opportunities to leverage across disciplines
  • Contribute to the hydropower rebranding efforts
    • Using insights from the student survey, develop publicly available informational materials and “re-branding” campaigns for hydropower to provide objective information to stakeholders that increases public awareness and interest among students of hydropower as a potential career path
    • Develop targeted materials to educate trades on job opportunities in these fields, including tours and presentations from working professionals
    • Reach out to military members to encourage their consideration of these fields after leaving the service
    • Reach out to high school counselors to provide information on job opportunities in trades and hydropower
  • Contribute to the Centers of Excellence
    • Foster partnerships among academia, maritime academies, crafts, trades, professional services, and the private sector to encourage new companies and investments and to create domestic marine energy jobs (stakeholder working group)
    • Share information on international programs and reasons for success
    • Help improve collaboration across universities.

if you are interested in participating in the advisory committee.

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