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Course Descriptions

Core Courses

CESI 501: Distributed Renewable Power Systems

Instructor: John Glassmire

Credits: 3

Distributed renewable generation is causing a fundamental shift in the electrical sector. These technologies are driving the change from a system based on traditional centralized power generation to a smarter, more resilient and sustainable grid. In this course, we’ll examine microgrids, renewable generation fundamentals, utility economics, and energy planning and simulation.

CESI 502: Geomatics in Energy Infrastructure

Instructor: Kamal Ahmed

Credits: 3

The nature and scale of energy infrastructure projects requires the implementation of modern technologies to map and model the surface of the Earth. This course provides an overview of basic techniques for location measurements using traditional surveying techniques, recently developed technologies for surface creation, and data management and analysis using GIS.

CESI 503: Operation of a Power Plant

Instructor: Mark Kirschenbaum

Credits: 3

This course offers an introduction to power plant operations and a detailed understanding of the operational issues raised by the growth and availability of green power. We’ll explore plant operating principles, regulatory permitting, maintenance requirements, and plant design and upgrades.

CESI 504: Buildings, LEED, & Energy Use

Instructor: Amy Kim

Credits: 3

This course provides an introduction to an interdisciplinary aspect of the green building design and construction process; green building rating systems; whole building energy modeling strategies; methods to measure indoor environmental qualities; and green building economics.

CESI 505: Air Pollution & Occupational Safety & Health

Instructor: Tim Larson

Credits: 3

This course covers the basics of traditional air pollution control as applied to the energy sector, with an emphasis on construction and operating permits and management of large vehicle fleets. It complements CEE 588, which discusses the energy sector more broadly, including both traditional and renewable technologies.

CESI 508: Accounting & Finance for Construction

Instructor: Mohammad Malakoutian

Credits: 3This course introduces construction-oriented financial management and why it’s different from financial management in other industries. We’ll look at how to account for a company’s financial resources and how to build the company’s accounting system. The course also examines managing the costs and profits of a construction company at both the project and company level; managing a company’s cash flow; evaluating different sources of funding; and ways to quantitatively analyze financial decisions. This course requires a virtual conference with the class for approximatley 1 hour per week.

CESI 552: Environmental Regulations

Instructor: Christopher May
Credits: 3
The principal emphasis of this course is on regulations pertaining to construction-site stormwater runoff, including regulatory background and requirements; how to analyze potential site problems and prepare plans to solve them; and which practices to use to avoid or reduce water pollutant releases. The course offers briefer coverage of regulations concerning air pollution, wetlands, hazardous wastes and endangered species.

CESI 588: Energy Infrastructure & the Environment

Instructors: Tim Larson and Joe Mahoney

Credits: 3

This course explores the site selection, permitting, design, construction and maintenance of energy infrastructure. It includes electrical production facilities and transmission, with a focus on the permitting and construction of renewable energy facilities, especially wind, solar and geothermal.

CESI 594: Computer-Aided Construction

Instructor: Fady Masoud

Credits: 3

Information technology plays an important role in construction management and cost estimating. This course covers computerized construction, fundamentals of computer hardware, construction management software tools, web publishing, GPS application and construction data management.

CM 500: Design & Construction Law

Instructor: Varies

Credits: 3

This course focuses on legal issues arising from design and construction services, with an emphasis on risk management and liability awareness. You’ll explore basic legal doctrines, the design professional/client relationship, contractor selection, the construction process and professional practice problems.

CM 520: Construction Procurement Systems

Instructor: Varies

Credits: 3

This course explores different methods used in the procurement and delivery of projects in the construction industry, including lump sum, unit price, cost-plus, design-build and construction management contracts.

CM 586: Utility System Construction

Instructor: Varies

Credits: 3

In this course, we’ll examine the materials, methods and techniques associated with construction of major utility systems, including water, sewer, communications, natural gas and electrical. We’ll also explore the construction of central utility plants as well as major distribution and collection systems.

IPM 509: Communications & Cyber Infrastructure Systems

Instructor: TBD

Credits: 3

This course explores communications and cyber infrastructure systems. We’ll examine a variety of systems that are interconnected through public networks, reflecting cost-saving trends that also introduce risk. You’ll gain insight into how natural and man-made stresses on infrastructure are amplified and exacerbated by the presence of networks that increase the interdependence of infrastructure. The course starts with an overview of the policies and programs designed to protect national and international infrastructure critical to the economic health and safety of the public, with reference to the National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP) and the NISTIR 7628, summarizing emerging requirements for the security and safety of Smart Grid.

Focus-Topic Courses

CESI 510: Electric Grids

Instructor: William Muench

Credits: 1

In this course, we’ll cover utility operation and design philosophy of electric grids; electrical grid system components and functions; electricity generation, transmission, sub-transmission and distribution, including underground transmission and distribution; grid construction and materials; historical background; and an introduction to the effects of new technology, politics and economics facing the electric utility industry. The course is offered as credit/no credit only.

CESI 511: Grid Integration of Variable Sources of Generation

Instructor: Bart Nijssen

Credits: 1

This course provides an overview of the advantages and challenges associated with the integration of variable sources of generation into the electric grid and distribution systems. We’ll cover weather-driven renewables such as wind, solar and hydropower, which make up a rapidly increasing share of generation. We’ll also discuss the variability of these energy sources and how it affects grid operation, as well as strategies for adapting to this variability. The course is offered as credit/no credit only.

CESI 512: Regulating Electric Utilities

Instructor: Ann Rendahl

Credits: 1

This course offers an overview of a state utility commission and how it interacts with other organizations, including the Bonneville Power Administration, the North American Reliability Corporation and more. We’ll also look at the role a utility commission plays in grid management and permitting new projects, and how the Energy Imbalance Market works on the West Coast. The course is offered as credit/no credit only.

CESI 513: Operation & Maintenance of a Wind Farm

Instructor: Andrea Nesbitt

Credits: 1

This course delves into the operation and maintenance associated with a wind and solar project owned and operated by Puget Sound Energy. We’ll undertake an overview of the project and examine how it is managed and major maintenance issues. The course is offered as credit/no credit only.

CESI 520: Electricity Fundamentals

Instructor: Daniel Olsen

Credits: 1

This course is a refresher for engineers that covers the basics of electric power production. We’ll examine definitions and units of measure, Ohm’s Law, alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC), electrical generators and transformers, electric circuits, electrical loads and safety. The course is offered as credit/no credit only.

CESI 521: Introduction to AutoCAD & Bluebeam

Instructors: Tom Le and Julian Yamaura

Credits: 1

This course explores the AutoCAD and Bluebeam software programs. It includes engineering drafting and graphical communication, the application of drafting standards and structure, reading and creating civil and environmental engineering plan sets, and creating and modifying basic drawings in AutoCAD. It also covers the basic features of Bluebeam software, a program that aids PDF creation, markup, editing and collaboration capabilities. The course is offered as credit/no credit only.

CESI 522: Introduction to AutoTURN

Instructor: Tom Le

Credits: 1

AutoTURN software is a standard productivity tool for determining the minimum standards associated with vehicle logistical operations. We’ll examine how this program is used to analyze road and site design projects, including issues with vertical and horizontal curves, intersections and haul roads that involve vehicle clearances and turning maneuvers. This course is not intended for experienced AutoTURN users. The course is offered as credit/no credit only.

CESI 524: Statistical Methods for Construction

Instructor: Stephen Muench

Credits: 1

This course covers basic statistical measures used in making various construction and materials decisions. You’ll get an introduction to data distributions, hypothesis tests (making decisions with statistics), regression analysis, sampling, and quality control and assurance. The course is offered as credit/no credit only.

CESI 525: Wind Turbine Analysis

Instructor: Matt Cramer

Credits: 1

This course explores wind turbine analysis, which involves the deployment of a variety of tools during a test to accumulate wind turbine loading and performance data. The tools deployed in the test include a data acquisition system made up of sensor hardware, analog-to-digital data conversion and transmission hardware, and data processing and storage hardware. Data accumulated during a test may be used by energy producers, turbine manufacturers and others to validate turbine design, improve turbine or farm performance, analyze site quality, diagnose mechanical or site-driven problems, and document performance problems, along with many other applications intended to improve industry-wide energy extraction from wind. The course is offered as credit/no credit only. 

CESI 526: Ropeway Transportation

Instructor: Victor Costa

Credits: 1

This course covers the fundamentals of ropeway transportation systems. We'll focus on the basic principles, characteristics, limitations, construction, operation considerations and economics of the currently available technologies. You'll gain an understanding the advantages of integrating ropeways, an all-electric and energy-efficient option, into transportation networks and for industrial uses.

CESI 527: Energy Infrastructure Fundamentals

Instructors: Tim Larson and Joe Mahoney

Credits: 1

This course features an overview of energy infrastructure fundamentals and focuses on basic principles associated with power plant steam and combined cycles, heat transfer, and economics. It also delivers an overview of a selection of power plant operating principles and costs. The course is offered as credit/no-credit only.

CESI 528: Pavement Design for Project Roads

Instructor: Joe Mahoney

Credits: 1

This course provides an overview of methods used to design and construct pavement structures. The types of pavements range from gravel surface to bituminous surface roads and parking lots, and includes a focus on energy infrastructure applications. The course is offered as credit/no-credit only.

CESI 529: Supplemental Pavement Topics

Instructor: Joe Mahoney

This course covers topics in pavement design. Includes pavement responses and layered elastic analysis, rehabilitation by use of HMA overlays, rigid pavement design, and pervious pavement design and construction.  

CESI 534: Transmission Construction

Instructor: Matt Richards

This course provides an overview of the high-voltage electric transmission system and how this infrastructure is constructed. We'll focus on project planning, substation construction, transmission line construction, quality control, quality assurance, operations and safety. The course is offered as credit/no credit only.