The Hampton University School of Engineering and Technology was awarded $35,000 from Dominion Virginia Power’s Dominion Resources. The grant will go toward enhancing the energy conversion lab.

HU is a part of a consortium with more than 80 schools that is focused on revitalizing electrical power engineering education. Through the consortium and with the assistance of the Dominion grant, HU is enhancing the electrical engineering laboratories and updating the electrical engineering curriculum, offering students a more hands-on experience.

According to Dr. Ostebele Nare, principal investigator of the grant and assistant professor in the Department of Engineering, learning about the concepts of electrical energy conversion is essential to understanding electronic systems.

“Energy conversion control is essential in systems with electric drives,” said Nare. “That includes everything from electronic to mechanical products including computing systems, power generators and even electric cars.”
Dominion Resources rewarded more than $1 million in grants to Virginia colleges and community colleges.

“Dominion is privileged to support college-level learning,” said Virginia M. Board, president of The Dominion Foundation. “We are particularly interested in funding action-oriented projects that produce results in energy conservation and the preservation of the environment.”

New laboratory equipment will be procured and setup this fall. Upgrades to the lab will be completed by the Spring 2012 semester. Laboratory enhancements will affect three laboratory courses including the energy conversion lab. With the new equipment, additional lab modules will be added to each course. Also, area high school students will be able to use the energy conversion lab during the Business of Engineering summer program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy.

“Students will be learning the central concepts of modern and future electric power controls technology,” said Nare.


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