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Working Professionals Seeking Bachelor's Degree Learn on Miniature Power plant

The University of Wisconsin - Fox Valley and the University of Wisconsin - Platteville have collaborated to offer a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering on the UW - Fox Valley campus in Menasha, WI. This program is primarily aimed at technicians who would like to earn a bachelor's degree and engineering professionals looking to add or refresh skills. The University's selection of Turbine Technologies RankineCycler Steam Power System will help in educating these non-traditional students.

UW - Platteville educators and staff dedicated the RankineCycler unit during a visit to the UW - Fox Valley Campus. Kurt Rolle, chair of the UW - Platteville Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering and distinguished author of the internationally acclaimed textbook Thermodynamics and Heat Power, said the RankineCycler Steam Power System will help students bridge the gap between theoretical classroom instruction and real-world applications.

"This fits right in with our hands-on approach," Rolle said. "We could do a virtual one of these real easy, but it would still only be virtual. Would you rather drive your car or sit in your office and virtually do it?"

With the lab unit, students will be able to run a number of experiments related to power generation and real-world thermodynamic principles. The size of a small office desk, the portable system replicates all major components of a full-scale powerplant.

At the UW - Fox Valley collaborative, students can receive a fully accredited bachelor's of science degree from UW - Platteville. The program moved into a brand new building in December 2003, replete with four engineering classrooms and laboratories.

Program advisor Jill Gordee said fluid dynamics and thermal fluid design courses will benefit from the steam turbine system, an integral part of their budding laboratory. In only its third year, the UW - Platteville mechanical engineering program at UW - Fox Valley is poised for expansion.

"We continue to attract area students and business people to our program," Gordee said. "This year we project having more than 120 students. We continually grow each year."

Meghan B. Adams of the UWP Daily Pioneer News Contributed to this Story



Posted in: General News, Steam Turbine Lab

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