The effort to find safe and clean sources of renewable energy is one of the greatest scientific challenges facing the next generation. In this course, students will explore renewable energy technology and learn about the materials science underlying biofuels, wind and wave power, nuclear power and solar cells. Students will create biodiesel fuel in the laboratory and construct their own solar cell devices. Field trips to local energy companies will provide real world examples of energy infrastructure. Students will work in small groups to research a focus area of renewable energy, and at the end of the course give group presentations to communicate their findings.
Explore renewable energy topics
Learn the role of materials science in renewable energy technology
Critically evaluate and discuss renewable energy options
Develop structured design of lab experiments
Meet with and interact with experts at local energy companies
Maintain a lab notebook of research data and experiments
Conduct in-depth research on one particular energy source and present a talk
Class is held Monday through Friday, various hours.
Enrollment is limited to a maximum of 15 students.
Dr. David Patrick, Professor, teaches analytical and materials chemistry and is a research member of Advanced Materials Science & Engineering Center for the College of Science and Technology at Western Washington University. He received his B.S. in chemistry from the University of California at Davis and his Ph.D. from the University of Utah. Patrick was a NSF postdoctoral fellow at Cambridge University and visiting fellow at Oxford University. The recipient of many prestigious grants and awards, he is a member of the American Chemical Society and American Physical Society.
Read more about Dr. Patrick's projects.