SANTA CLARA – Silicon Valley’s new “battery university” will begin offering a two-year master’s degree program this fall, a first-of-its-kind graduate degree focused on battery technologies. Enroll today.
The battery university is a collaboration between San Jose State University and CalCharge and seeks to expand the skilled workforce needed by this rapidly growing and changing industry.
“We’re really excited about this groundbreaking new program to prepare leaders in an important emerging industry,” said Ahmed Hambaba, Associate Dean of Graduate and Extended Studies in the Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering at San Jose State.
“When we first started talking about a ‘battery university,’ it was going to start out as a professional training program. But the response has been so overwhelming, the College of Engineering decided to offer a master’s-level program instead.”
Course topics will range from the basics of battery technology and manufacturing to overviews of market dynamics and policy considerations. Designed to include opportunities for hands-on experience, students will be able to conduct research and market analysis projects with local battery firms. Scientists from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory will contribute instructors to the program.
“Our battery scientists at Berkeley Lab are among the best in the nation,” said Venkat Srinivasan, head of the Energy Storage and Distributed Resources group at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, a founding partner of CalCharge. “As a national lab, training the next generation of scientists is one of our missions. To make better batteries we need innovation at every level. Having a workforce trained in the art and science of making batteries is critical to achieving breakthroughs and expanding the number of companies operating here in the U.S.”
The program will initially accommodate up to 30 students who will take classes through San Jose State University’s Extended Studies program via the College of Engineering. Courses can be taken to complete a series of nested certificate programs or for a full master’s of Science in engineering with an emphasis in battery technology. Working professionals may also elect to take single classes of interest through the program duration as non-matriculated, Open University students. A full list of classes and descriptions is available on SJSU’s Graduate & Extended Studies website.
“Battery technology companies are increasingly confronted by a serious lack of trained professionals to get the job done,” said Jeff Anderson, interim Executive Director of CalCharge and managing director of CalCEF, a group of organizations promoting the development of a clean-energy economy. “The greatest challenge to California’s energy-storage industry is that we don’t have enough skilled workers to take an idea from innovation to infrastructure, which is critical to commercializing, manufacturing, and scaling new technologies.”
Industry experts and investors greeted news of battery university earlier this year with enthusiasm. “Great idea,” tweeted Bill Gates.
CalCharge, a partnership of CalCEF, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and SLAC has been formed to accelerate the development of a thriving energy storage cluster in California. CalCharge brings together emerging and established California based battery technology developers, national labs and universities, major end users, and other stakeholders focused on energy storage applications. Through CalCharge these diverse stakeholders can collaborate, identify barriers to emerging technology success, develop solutions, and gain access to the resources that help clear the path to commercialization. Its programs and initiatives help to accelerate the development of new technologies, address gaps in workforce proficiency, facilitate business strategy and policy innovation, and enhance the community and identity of this growing sector.
About San Jose State University
San Jose State University, the oldest public institution of higher education on the West Coast, is the number one supplier of education, engineering, computer science and business graduates to Silicon Valley, the world’s high tech capital. SJSU is ranked in the top 15 master’s-level public universities in the West by U.S. News & World Report in its annual survey of “America’s Best Colleges.” Also, the US News and World report recently ranked the College of Engineering third nationally among state schools, and 17th nationally among non-PhD schools (2013).
About Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory addresses the world’s most urgent scientific challenges by advancing sustainable energy, protecting human health, creating new materials, and revealing the origin and fate of the universe. Founded in 1931, Berkeley Lab’s scientific expertise has been recognized with 13 Nobel prizes. The University of California manages Berkeley Lab for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.
CalCEF works to promote the transition to a clean energy economy by creating institutions and investment vehicles that grow markets for clean energy technologies. CalCEF is a non-profit umbrella organization that pursues statewide and national agendas via 1) CalCEF Innovations, a 501(c)(3) that leads CalCEF’s analysis and product development; and 2) CalCEF Ventures, a 501(c)(4) that executes and scales the CalCEF investment strategy via a fund-of-funds model, partnering with leading investment managers.