Center for Clean Energy Research and Education (CENCERE)
It has been widely observed that humans have been living unsustainably, as evidenced by our ever-increasing consumption of natural resources including fossil fuels and alarming emissions of greenhouse gas. In order for the Earth to continuously support human lives, we need to achieve sustainability for the global social, economic and environmental systems that meet “the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” To accomplish the global sustainability, we must develop policies and technologies which embrace a diverse range of energy solutions especially renewable energy.
Renewable energy offers great potential for the world to reduce dependency on fossil fuels, which can lead to cleaner environment, better preservation of natural resources and more economic opportunities to the communities. In October 2011, Eastern Illinois University and Honeywell unveiled the Renewable Energy Center, one of the largest university biomass installations in the country. The construction of a new Renewable Energy Center (REC) at EIU exemplifies the institution’s leadership and commitment to a sustainable energy practice. The new energy center affords students the first-hand opportunity to learn how renewable energy is utilized to support the needs of a campus or community.
In order to fully integrate student learning with opportunities brought with the Renewable Energy Center (REC), a cohesive interdisciplinary research and educational effort is needed across the entire campus. To this goal, Eastern Illinois University has established the Center for Clean Energy Research and Education (CENCERE).
On March 1, 2013, the Board of Trustees, President Perry, and Charleston Area Charitable Foundation broke ground for the building of Center for Clean Energy Research and Education, north of the Renewable Energy Center. The new building will include space for three types of research and teaching: (1) a biomass storage and processing area, (2) a room for the laboratory-scale gasifier, and (3) an analytical lab.
The new building will also house an "idea incubator," where students and faculty can connect with local businesses and community members to secure ideas for future projects. We hope the idea incubator will contribute to the local economy by initiating or attracting companies to develop technology in collaboration with Eastern Illinois University.
Academic Offerings include:
- Concentration on Alternative Energy and Sustainability - Undergraduate coursework includes study in the basics of energy sources and technology, the specifics of alternative and renewable energy and their uses, the sustainability of energy sources both traditional, alternative and renewable, and examining the trends both present and future as to energy sources, energy usage, and energy futures.
- Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Minor on Environmental Sustainability - This minor provides students with the skill set needed to be competitive in a job market focused on the applications of environmental sustainability. Students will take courses in alternative energies and sustainability as well as biogeochemical aspects of environmental sustainability. The minor also provides examples of the applications of environmental sustainability to various social systems. Existing prerequisites for courses must be satisfied.
- Masters of Science in Sustainable Energy - Masters of Science in Sustainable Energy graduate degree program focuses on preparing leaders and managers for the entire energy industry. This multi-disciplinary degree is science based and technology management focused.The purpose of the this graduate degree program is to empower students to develop advanced knowledge and skills in order to become leaders and managers in the energy sector.