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Undergraduate Education

Undergraduates talking with professors


CURENT's undergraduate education program has three key pieces: Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU), a new undergraduate concentration in power and energy systems, and senior design projects in electrical power systems. Through the undergraduate education program, the Center expects to produce a diverse and uniquely qualified group of students that can become a pipeline for the graduate program. Undergraduate students who successfully complete REU, concentration in power and energy systems, and senior design projects in electrical power systems will be given priority for the Center’s graduate fellowships.

Ambassador Program

The research experience during the academic year is designed for UT-Knoxville students. Each participant will be expected to dedicate ten (10) hours per week to research throughout the semester.  Students are also encouraged to attend monthly Ambassador meetings, participate in education outreach, and perform professional development.

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Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU)

The research experience during the summer is designed for students outside of UT, Knoxville that are interested in Center research projects. Participants will dedicate around 40 hours each week during the eight (8) week period.

Note: Students must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 to be eligible for our REU programs.

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Concentration in Power and Energy Systems

We offer undergraduate students the opportunity to focus on Center-related topics through an Electrical Power & Energy Systems track. Students who select this concentration will earn a university-issued certificate stating that they have obtained advanced knowledge on the subject.

Undergraduates pursuing the certificate must take one (1) Engineering Entrepreneurship course and three (3) additional elective courses to be selected by the student and a faculty advisor.

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Senior Design Projects

Senior students can submit a design project as part of their graduation requirements. The CURENT design program allows students to collaborate and create projects based on research being done in the Center.

Faculty will work with undergraduates on the projects. Recent examples include a solar energy device, overseen by Dr. Leon Tolbert, and a controllable load testbed, overseen by Dr. Fran Li.