The following information was released by the office of New Jersey Rep. Donald Norcross:
CHERRY HILL, NJ Today, U.S. Congressman Donald Norcross (NJ-01) announced that the National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded a $300,000 grant to Rowan University to enhance the power of engineering education at the university to help meet the nation's needs for a highly qualified next-generation Smart Grid workforce. The funding also supports research and development projects to improve the effectiveness of STEM education for all students.
"Investing in our smart grid workforce means investing in the future of this country for generations to come," said Congressman Norcross, a member of the House Committee on Education and Labor and the only electrician in Congress. "As an electrician who worked for years connecting power to our homes and businesses, I know firsthand the dangers these frontline workers face, and by bettering our energy grid we can create safer working environments and smarter structures. We also know that climate change is a present threat, and a smart grid will conserve natural resources and improve our environment. This funding will train engineering students for the future and equip them to join a workforce that evolves alongside modern technology."
"The electricity grid has been recognized as the largest and most complex machine ever made, sending $400 billion energy a year through seven million miles of transmission and distribution lines in the United States," said Dr. Jie Li, Principal Investigator and associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at the Henry M. Rowan College of Engineering. "As one of the nation's most critical infrastructures, the electric power grid is undergoing a fundamental revolution in the physical structure, management policy, and business operation, ultimately leading towards a 'Smart Grid' ─ an enabling engine for the nation's economy, environment, and future. In order to build a reliable, resilient power grid and to integrate renewable energy, we need to retool the power grid using more advanced techniques. Our educational programs also need to take these topics into account."
The NSF is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 to promote the progress of science and to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare of our country. The organization supports research, innovation, and discovery that provides the foundation for economic growth in this country.
Contact: Britton T. Burdick, Communication Director