Education  ::  Graduate Students  » Masters of Science in Electric Power Systems Engineering (EPSE)

This new degree program, Master of Science in Electric Power Systems Engineering (MS-EPSE), is an innovative new program which will give students a thorough understanding of the tools, methods, and practice of electric power engineering. It is both focused and practical in its orientation, with the goal of providing an education that is directly applicable to a career in industry. The degree is suitable for a new or recent graduate, as well as experienced professionals who want to receive the necessary retraining to change careers.

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"When I heard that NC State developed its own power systems master's degree program, I was very intrigued,” said Ryan Benjamin, an electrical engineering intern at Eaton Energy Solutions. "The fact that it's so focused and can be completed in a year's time added to the list of positives."

This new and innovative program consists of a set of integrated courses. These integrated courses cover both the core power engineering topics as well as the new cross-disciplinary technical topics relevant to the clean-energy smart grid. The current program integrates four main components:

  1. Core power engineering topics: The core electric power engineering topics will be integrated into four courses: Fundamentals of Power Engineering, Power System Operation and Control, System Protection, and Power Distribution Systems.
  2. Cross -disciplinary courses for smart grid applications. These new courses are:
    • Electric Power Generation: Interdisciplinary course to be taught by faculty from Mechanical, Electrical, and Environmental Engineering departments covering both conventional thermal and hydro power plants, as well as new renewable energy based systems.
    • Power Electronics and Its Power System Applications: A course covering the fundamentals of power electronics and its applications to power systems.
    • Communication and SCADA systems for Power Systems: Interdisciplinary course covering the basic communication and SCADA technologies and their applications to power systems; also the cyber security issues.
    • Distribution Systems and Smart Grid Applications: A course focusing on distribution system engineering and the smart grid technology applications at the distribution level: advanced communication, metering, demand side management, etc.
  3. Hands-on-Experience on Smart Grid Applications: Each course has a lab, or a project to provide hands on experience. To further promote integration of concepts and provide hands on experience, there will be a capstone project. The project will be a realistic smart grid application and the students will be asked to prototype a method or device and implement it on the 1 MW Green Hub available at the FREEDM Systems Center for smart grid applications.
  4. Professional Skills Training: To complement the engineering training and provide professional skills two integrated courses are introduced. The first course - The Business of the Electric Utility Industry - will cover the structure of the utility industry, the regulatory environment, engineering economics, and policy issues. The second course – Engineering Practicum-will teach effective communication skills, technical writing, project management, and risk management. These courses will be team taught by faculty from Business Management and English.
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"It was nice to see all of the courses the program offers," said Yigitcan Unludag. "There's a smart grid class that we're going to take for distributions, and there's also a systems programming course."

Each course consists of modules to be taught jointly by a team of faculty and experts from industry. This intensive 10-month program will start with an introductory course in summer and then will have four courses in both the fall and spring semesters. The program will have a capstone project in the spring semester.

The new ME-EPSE program is an integral part of the comprehensive education program that the FREEDM Systems Center is developing at NCSU. NSF sponsored FREEDM Systems Center at NC State pursues research, education, and industrial engagement activities for the next generation electric power systems. In particular, the program is leveraged by the 1 MW state-of-art smart grid teaching and research facility the center is developing. This facility will provide students a unique opportunity, not available anywhere in the country, to be exposed to real world issues related to smart grid, solar and wind generation, and energy storage technologies. The EPSE program is also supported by the center’s strong industry consortium and includes ABB, Siemens, KEMA, Quanta, and Green Energy Corp.

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"We congratulate NC State in launching the MS-EPSE program. NC State's heritage of engineering excellence and innovation are now being applied to improving the operation of the nation's power system through the development of new technologies that bridge the gap between traditional electric power system engineering, software engineering and computer technologies. The ongoing development of the electric power grid is vitally contingent on the confluence of all of these disciplines. Siemens has committed to partner with NC State to augment the MS-EPSE program with over 160 years of industry knowledge and expertise because we view this program to be a vital component to the growth and development of the industry." - Christopher R. Gomperts, P.E., Vice President - Strategic Marketing of Transmission and Distribution - SIEMENS Energy

For information regarding the curriculum, admission requirements, program of study, and how to apply, please download the EPSE information sheet. Admissions procedure information can be found here. If you have any questions, please contact the Program Director, Dr. Pam Carpenter.

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