Energy Center

The Crossroads Smart Grid Grant Details

Ivy Tech Community College, in partnership with Purdue University received a $4.7 million grant from the US Department of Energy to develop an education and training program designed to minimize the education-workforce gap in the electric energy sector. The focus of the training project is to bring together education and industry to develop and deploy a suite of educational/training modules and courses to meet industry needs as required for the 21st century “Smart Grid,” as well as to bring institutional experience and expertise to bear on related challenges of recruitment, retention, graduation and employment.

 Evolution towards a national Smart Grid is occurring in the context of major national and regional energy sector workforce concerns which include:

  • Effects on grid reliability and capability with the loss of knowledge and expertise due to retirements
  • Up-skilling of the existing workforce to meet changing and increasingly technical requirements
  • Filling the career pipeline with students interested in energy careers
  • Improving employability and retention


The Crossroads Smart Grid Training Program

The grant is supporting four distinct, yet interrelated, activities:

  • Both Ivy Tech and Purdue are developing new courses, modules to insert into existing courses, and other programmatic improvements that permit and support Smart Grid related concentrations in existing degree and training programs (Course details and schedule are available on request).
  • The grant has purchased equipment for training labs in eight International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (JATC) Centers across Indiana (Indianapolis, Merrillville, Michigan City, South Bend,, Lafayette, Fort Wayne, Evansville, and Terre Haute) for the development of apprentice and journeyman upgrade training in Building Automation, Commercial Facility Automation, and LED Installation/Programming (Availability and contact information on request).
  • Development of the Smart Grid 101 platform, designed to meet the needs of both existing utility employees and students interested in electric power career paths. Having listened closely to the stated needs of electric industry companies, Ivy Tech has created Smart Grid 101 as a series of short modules (some as little as two hours each) that will aggregate to a one to two day program. The Overview module covers key basics. The more advanced modules will permit individuals to acquire the knowledge and skills required to meet the specialized needs of their employer, or support their pursuit of a sub-specialization in a degree program that will advance their career or prospect for a new job.
  • Purdue’s programs will also design and deliver a variety of educational outputs including: short modules on specific Smart Grid related topics, full courses dedicated to relevant topics, new certificate and training options and refined concentrations in four-year degrees in technology and engineering. Purdue proposes to develop teaching labs needed to adequately develop the courses at the bachelors and graduate levels to ensure that we have a robust number of engineers to provide technical oversight of the envisioned Smart Grid. In addition, Purdue’s program will include developing Smart Grid 201, as a short course designed to answer higher level key electrical engineering issues for management to use for planning, design, and demand response issues.

Smart Grid Navigation

Smart Grid Contact Information

For more information, contact

J. Eric. Dietz
Department of Computer and Information Technology
Knoy Hall of Technology, Room 259
401 N. Grant Street
West Lafayette, IN 47907
Phone: 765-494-8130

About the Energy Center

The Center’s mission is to grow the Purdue energy research and education enterprise. We engage researchers and students in a community that delivers new discoveries and develops disruptive technologies with national and global impact.


Maureen McCann

Director, Energy Center,
Global Sustainability Institute

Pankaj Sharma

Managing Director, Energy Center,
Global Sustainability Institute

Mann Hall, Rm 105
203 South Martin Jischke Dr.
Purdue University
West Lafayette, IN 47907-1971