Program Skills and Experience

The Professional Science Masters in Sustainable Energy Systems is a unique two year degree that combines advanced training in the physics of renewable energy and building performance with "plus" courses that provide students an opportunity to develop important professional skills such as business management, finance and accounting, marketing, and technical writing.

The PSM degree incorporates an internship experience where students can contribute first hand to the creation, development, and expansion of local businesses or non-profits.  This mixture of fundamental and applied science with a focus on the practical, real-world problems encountered by professionals working in the fast growing and critically important fields of renewable energy and building performance will make graduates of this PSM highly attractive to regional businesses and other organizations and help promote the development of high-paying Green Collar jobs throughout Central New York.

Among the core skills a graduate of the SUNY Cortland PSM in Sustainable Energy Systems will build include knowledge of:

  1. The laws and applications of thermodynamics including the nature of heat and the functioning and efficiency of engines, heat pumps, and refrigerators.
  2. The environmental and social impacts of our current choices for energy production and the options for meeting society’s needs through sustainable technologies and practices.
  3. The physics of active and passive circuits as well as the application of power electronics with a focus on D.C. to A.C. conversion and other elements of renewable energy systems.
  4. The physical principles underlying renewable electricity generation and storage including monocrystalline, amorphous, and thin-film photovoltaic cells, advanced battery technologies, and residential and utility scale wind turbines.
  5. The principles of heat generation, distribution, and retention in residential and commercial buildings including analysis of the thermal envelope of buildings, solar heating technologies, and geothermal heat pumps.
  6. The applications of physics to structural analysis with a focus on examples tailored to roof and pole mounted solar electric and solar thermal systems and tower mounted wind turbines.

In addition, the PSM in Sustainable Energy Systems will provide students experience with:

  1. Conducting energy analyses and presenting the results of energy analyses in both oral and written forms.
  2. Designing, building, and analyzing a variety of circuits in a laboratory setting and simulating the behavior of power electronic circuits using computer programs like PSpice.
  3. Modeling the performance of renewable energy systems with programs like PV*SOL Expert as we as modeling the energy consumption of buildings using computer models such as TREAT or DesignBuilder as well as more specialized models created by the students.
  4. Working as an intern in a Central New York non-profit or renewable energy company, engineering firm, building envelope company, or company that designs and installs high efficiency heating and cooling systems like geothermal heat pumps.

Governor Andrew Cuomo

“New York must also become a leader in transitioning to a more environmentally sustainable energy economy through increased energy efficiency and a commitment to developing renewable energy technologies.”

–Governor Andrew Cuomo’s The New NY Agenda: A Cleaner, Greener NY