Career opportunities in the solar industry
The International Master’s Degree in Global Production Engineering for Solar Technology (GPE Solar), starts in October 2009 for its second year. This Master, which specializes in solar technology, is undertaken completely in English at the Technical University of Berlin. The syllabus combines engineering and product-specific expertise in solar energy and photovoltaics with business development and management studies. “This is a unique program bringing together both technical and management material”, cites GPE Solar student Mario Aleman from Nicaragua.
The practical relevance of the course is ensured through cooperation of the TUB with the Renewables Academy AG (RENAC). The students can try “hands-on” planning, installation, operation and monitoring of photovoltaic and solar thermal systems in the RENAC Training Center. Here, components and professional training materials from leading equipment manufacturers including are available. Laboratory equipment for electrical science and simulation software are also on offer for practical experiments. For many GPE Solar students, a main reason for applying for the Masters at the TU Berlin is this powerful cooperation between the solar technology industry and the course faculty. The close ties with manufacturers, designers and system providers ensure that the course covers the latest practice-based developments in solar technology as well as German engineering know-how. “There is no Masters like the GPE Solar in Italy. I also wanted to study solar technology in English, so that I can sell my knowledge anywhere in the world. Since Germany was the first country in Europe to start investing significant funds in solar technology, I naturally decided to come to Berlin. The cooperation with RENAC is another good point: for its connections with the industry and professionalism.” were the reasons Angelo Coscia from Italy gave for his specialization in solar technology here.
After two years, students graduate with a Master of Science degree. The graduates can use this degree to access the diverse career opportunities that are opening in the thriving solar market. However students from the first year of the GPE Solar are also planning careers as, for example, consultants, project managers, design engineers or in the field of energy-performance contracting. For most students a large amount of motivation lies behind their choice: “With solar technology moving rapidly out of the R&D phase towards full-scale commercial use, the expertise I can gain at GPE will be instrumental in finding the efficiencies and promising innovations which will be necessary to make solar energy affordable – firstly for reducing and then totally eliminating the need for subsidies“, said Alberto Gallego.
Other students plan to found a company themselves later. Mario Aleman already founded a non-profit organization in Nicaragua during his Bachelor’s course in electro-technology, providing solar lighting for rural regions in Nicaragua. Inspired by that and regarding his perspectives after GPE Solar he said: “I wanted to look for professional opportunities overseas, launch a solar technology company and make a contribution to the world thorough solar energy in order to stop energy generation based on dwindling fossil fuels”.
Further information and application documents: www.gpe-solar.de