CU-Boulder expands degree options for energy and water professionals

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A new educational partnership at the University of Colorado Boulder will provide expanded degree options for working professionals interested in specialized graduate education focused on energy and water.

Beginning this fall, qualified students can earn both a Master of Engineering (ME) degree and a Professional Certificate in Renewable and Sustainable Energy or a Professional Certificate in Water Engineering and Management. The degree and certificates can be earned either via distance education or in campus classes and may be pursued either part- or full-time.

Partnering to offer courses for the new program are CU-Boulder’s Lockheed Martin Engineering Management Program (EMP), Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute (RASEI) and Water Engineering and Management (WE&M) program.

The increasing importance of sustainability and renewability has resulted in a necessary coupling of energy and water. Energy is crucial for water processes, and water plays a key role in producing energy. CU-Boulder is responding to a growing need for professionals with cutting-edge skills in the water and energy industries and increasing demand for graduate-level courses in these fields.

“The Engineering Management Program has been helping technical professionals advance their careers for nearly 30 years,” says Barbara Lawton, professor and interim faculty director of EMP. “We’re excited to now serve the needs of the rapidly growing energy and water industries and students pursuing careers in these fields through this new partnership.”

The three programs have teamed up to provide a rich slate of courses through Engineering Anywhere, a global learning opportunity provided by CU-Boulder’s College of Engineering and Applied Science and the Center for Advanced Engineering and Technology Education. The courses specialize in providing a deep understanding of engineering management theory and practice, the water profession, and energy technology, with an emphasis on renewable and sustainable energy.

“Energy companies are hiring, and they want smart, innovative thinkers who understand energy and can succeed in a complex, dynamic environment,” notes Paul Komor, energy education director for RASEI. “Our program provides the skills and knowledge that the industry needs.”

The situation is similar for the water industry, says Dick Kuchenrither, director of the Water Engineering and Management Program in the Department of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering.

“Water facilities are actively seeking to be energy producers, not consumers,” says Kuchenrither. “This, along with more stringent water regulations, the need for infrastructure renovation and the retirement of numerous senior water professionals, has produced the significant need for young water professionals. CU-Boulder graduates will play a key role in the solutions for this new era.”

The ME provides a foundation for success in management with core coursework in finance and accounting, project management, leadership and quality management. Students interested in focusing on energy may apply three RASEI certificate courses -- those in energy science and technology, energy policy and energy business -- as electives toward the ME degree. Water industry professionals may apply four courses from the WE&M certificate towards the ME degree as well. Those courses concentrate on communication, leadership, management and utility finance.

For more information on these energy and water education opportunities visit and

For more information on the Engineering Management Program and ME degree visit

June 17, 2014

Media Contacts:
Barbara Lawton, Lockheed Martin Engineering Management Program, 303-492-0135,
Paul Komor, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute, 303-492-7805,
Dick Kuchenrither, Water Engineering and Management, 303-725-4987,
Courtney Staufer, CU-Boulder engineering communications, 303-492-7190,

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