Energy Systems M.Eng. Specialization

The growing energy needs of the world and the threats brought on by climate change are the greatest grand challenges of the 21st century with potential impacts that extend for generations to come.

To address these challenges head-on, together with the Cornell Energy Systems Institute (CESI), the Cornell Systems Engineering program has created a new on-campus and distance learning Energy Systems Specialization in our MEng (Systems) Degree. This degree and specialization are dedicated to helping you develop as a leader who will create complete solutions that are sustainable, responsible, and socially achievable. With the broad range of stakeholders’ needs, technology, and societal impacts energy is truly a systems problem. As a world leader in Systems Engineering professional education & research, Cornell is ready to stand with you to make a difference.

Energy Systems M.Eng. Specialization

The Energy Systems MEng Degree Specialization offers both depth thru specialization-specific courses and flexibility with our broad, interdisciplinary Systems Engineering core courses and a large number of pre-approved electives.

Additionally, all students will also take part in an energy-focused 6-8 credit Master of Engineering Project. These projects are developed around real-world challenges with real-world stakeholders as a means for you to develop relevant and proven experience.

Degree Requirements

  • A minimum of 30 credit hours are required.
  • A minimum of 9 credit hours (3 Courses) of Energy Elective Courses are required.
  • Modeling and Analysis Elective - At least one course must be taken from this group (3-4 credits)
  • Application Elective - At least one course must be taken from this group (3-4 credits)
  • Management Elective - No more than one course may be taken from this group
  • Seminar - No more than one course each semester may be taken from this group, for a maximum of two courses in total

Required Courses

Course NumberCourse TitleSemesterCredit
SYSEN 5100Model-Based Systems EngineeringFall4
SYSEN 5200Systems Analysis Behavior and OptimizationSpring3
SYSEN 5900Systems Engineering ProjectSpring and fall6-8
CEE 6910Principles of Project LeadershipSpring or fall4

Energy Elective Courses

* All Energy Elective courses may not be available each year.

  • ARCH 5611 Environmental Systems I: Site and Sustainability (App)
  • ARCH 5616 Environmental Systems I: Building Dynamics (M&A & App)
  • BEE 4870 Sustainable Bioenergy Systems (App)
  • BEE 4880 Applied Modeling and Simulation for Renewable Energy Systems (M&A)
  • CEE 4210 Renewable Energy Systems (App)
  • CEE 5420 Energy Technologies and Subsurface (App)
  • CEE 6055 Energy Demand Analysis (M&A)
  • CHEME 6660 Analysis of Sustainable Energy Systems (App)
  • ENMGT 5200 Economics for the Energy Transition (Mngmt)
  • MAE 4020 Wind Power (App)
  • MAE 5010 Future Energy Systems (App)
  • CHEME 4880 Global Food, Energy, & Water Nexus-Engage the US, China, and India for Sustainability
  • CHEME 5200 Fundamentals of Chemical Engineering (App)
  • CHEME 5208 Renewable Resources from Agriculture (App)
  • CHEME 5720 Managing New Business Development (App)
  • CHEME 5870 Energy Seminar I & II
  • CHEME 6662 Solar Energy Module (App)
  • CHEME 6663 Geothermal Energy Module (App)
  • CHEME 6664 Hydrokinetic and Aerodynamic Energy Module (App)
  • CHEME 6667 Transportation Energy Systems Module (App)
  • CHEME 6670 Fossil Fuels Module (App)
  • CHEME 6671 Nuclear Energy Module (App)
  • CHEME 6672 Electric Power Systems Module (App)
  • CHEME 6679 Energy Storage (Mngmt)
  • CHEME 6680 Special Topics in Sustainable Energy (Seminar)


Energy Systems Project Examples

Faculty AdvisorProject TeamProject TitleProject Description
H. Oliver GaoCarbon Neutral Transportation for a Carbon Neutral CornellElectrifying Cornell's Rental FleetCornell University has adopted a goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2035. One carbon reduction initiative under evaluation is to replace some or all of Cornell’s fleet of vehicles with Electric Vehicles (EV). The objective is to create an optimized model of an EV-equipped campus so that Cornell can determine whether adopting an EV solution is the most efficient way to invest in carbon neutrality (measured in dollars spent per metric tons of CO2e emissions reduced). Various elements of the EV implementation plan need to be analyzed and optimized. These include % of fleet to convert to EV (either fully electric or hybrid), Charging station location, number, and capacity, CO2 emission caused by additional electricity consumption for EV charging stations.
H. Oliver GaoCarbon Neutral Transportation for a Carbon Neutral CornellSustainable Transportation Plan: Expanding EV ChargingProviding an analysis of the Sustainable Transportation Plan Developed for Cornell University Transportation Services. This Plan outlines the assumptions, steps, and risks involved in implementing additional EV charging stations throughout Cornell’s Ithaca Campus. It was determined that the greatest risk is posed by uncertainty in future infrastructure needs. However, despite this uncertainty, this investment will result in significant benefits to the community, fitting well within Cornell’s quadruple bottom line framework.
H. Oliver GaoCarbon Neutral Transportation for a Carbon Neutral CornellMini Electric Shuttle SystemThe project is inspired by the transporter that operates on enclosed areas, like golf carts and sightseeing cars, and proposes the mini electric shuttle system as a substitute for the existing transportation. An optimization model is established mathematically to provide a general guide for solving the vehicle routing problem. Nine sets of bus routes are designed with different considerations and can direct future model development. A transportation flow simulation model is built in Simio to evaluate the performance of the design. Due to the lack of real passenger data, the results given here are not deterministic but the tools developed in the project are applicable to general scenarios.
Al GeorgeCUSDIthaca Carbon Neutrality Team – Greenhouse Gas Neutrality and Building Renovation Policy in IthacaCUSD is a collective of real-world, impactful build environment projects. This particular large CUSD project has been researching existing policies, programs & best practices in reducing greenhouse gas emissions of existing buildings with a focus on implementation in small U.S. cities. Our project’s immediate goals are to help to find the most effective ways to move toward complete carbon neutrality for Ithaca by 2030. 
David SchneiderCUSDCurrents: HVAC Remote Occupancy SensingCurrents are developing an HVAC control system based on a remote occupancy predictive algorithm. This algorithm uses location data, motion sensors, and machine learning to predict with a 99.9%+ accuracy whether a room is occupied and turns on or off the HVAC system in the room.
Dan Schied & David SchneiderCUSDSolarizeSolarize aims to develop transportable solar charging capabilities to groups seeking to use electric power tools & equipment over traditional gas ones. This team is investigating licensing the solar trailer designs already built by the team and in operation at Cornell. From this success, the team is also designing smaller portable solar charging “containers”, and possibly the main charging station with rooftop solar for implementation this year with Cornell Ground Services.


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