Energy Systems

Energy systems class at a power station.

Increasing demand for energy and environmental sustainability is fueling innovations in renewable energy systems and transportation electrification. The Energy Systems area includes power electronics, electric machines and drives, power systems and renewables. These disciplines must work together to generate, deliver, and condition power. Energy Systems covers everything between power generation and the end user, including: electric motors and generators (e.g., wind, wave, and other renewable energy generators); transmission and distribution systems (e.g., transformers and transmission lines); power electronic converters (e.g., power supplies); motor drives (e.g., electric drivetrain and propulsion. Topics addressed include energy conservation through more efficient electronic systems, intelligent energy management through smart grid approaches, and renewable technologies including solar PV, wind, and wave for energy generation and distribution. Oregon State's internationally-recognized professors specialize in renewable energy and transportation electrification.

Potential Job Opportunities

Power systems engineer: Designs, builds, and maintains the power grid infrastructure for companies like Portland General Electric, Bonneville Power Administration, Eugene Water and Electric Board, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, and Pacific Power.

Generator designer: Designs generators for power production onto the grid for companies like Bonneville Power Administration, Cummins, GE and Vestas.

Control engineer: Designs controllers for power distribution systems for companies like ATS Automation, Bonneville Power Administration, CH2M, GE and Vestas.

Electric vehicle engineer: Designs new, efficient consumer or off-road electric vehicle drive systems for companies like Ford, General Motors, Tesla Motors, Daimler, John Deere. Emerging aerospace electrification companies such as SpaceX, Amazon Prime Air, Boeing, UTRC, GE Aviation, Uber Air, Northrup Grumman, Lockheed Martin.

Renewable energy engineer: Designs and installs wind, solar, and hydroelectric production facilities for companies like GE Energy, CH2M, Solar City, EPRI, and Vestas.

Power supply engineer: Designs, builds and tests high efficiency DC or AC power converters for companies like Eaton, Apple, Intel, ABB, Siemens, and various power semiconductor companies such as Texas Instrument, Microchip, International Rectifier. Emerging data center power such as Facebook, Google, Amazon.

Modeling and firmware engineer: Builds models and firmware codes for controller design, system integration, communication among various power electronics, motor drives, and power systems. Jobs exist in all major companies or software specialty companies such as Mathworks, Plexim, Saber, Texas Instruments, National Instruments.

Government scientist/engineer: Researches and develops state of the art technologies for federal government agencies, such as Department of Energy national labs (PNNL, ORNL, NREL, Sandia, etc.), NASA, Department of Defense (Navy, Air Force, Army).




  • ECE 331 (Electro-Mechanical Energy Conversion)
  • ECE 431/531 (Power Electronics)
  • ECE 432/532 (Dynamics of Electromechanical Energy Conversion)
  • ECE 433/533 (Power System Analysis)


  • ECE 432/532 (Dynamics of Electromechanical Energy Conversion)
  • ECE 437/537 (Smart Grid)
  • ECE 438/538 (Electric Vehicles)
  • ECE 530 (Contemporary Energy Applications)
  • ECE 535 (Adjustable Speed Drives)
  • ECE 536 (Power System Protection)
  • ECE 599 (Advanced Power Electronics)
  • ECE 599 (Electrical System Resiliency)
  • ECE 451/ME 430 (Systems Dynamics and Control)
  • ECE 550 (Linear Systems)
  • ECE 464/564 (Digital Signal Processing)
  • ECE 473/573 (Microprocessor System Design)