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Bridging the Gap Between Energy and the Economy

The TCU Energy Institute at the Neeley School of Business launches a new Energy Certificate in Sustainability and ESG.

June 29, 2021

By Nicholas Ferrandino

Earlier this year, the TCU Energy Institute transitioned from the College of Science and Engineering to the Neeley School of Business. This partnership was created with the plan of honing in on the interdisciplinary crossover between the fields of sustainable energy and business.

Beginning this fall semester, TCU Neeley will take its first major step into this endeavor with the Energy Certificate in Sustainability and ESG. Running the length of nine credit hours, this program will give students the knowledge they need to make smart investments in one of the country’s most mercurial markets.

The core of this certificate program includes three courses that highlight the role energy plays in today’s economy. Students will learn about the variety of energy sources being utilized today, from traditional oil and gas products to new and emerging technologies such as algae biomass production and microbial fuel cells. They will also learn how to analyze data and gain a better understanding of the macroeconomics, general trends, and the markets of supply and demand involved in this evolving industry.

man and woman with laptop looking at windmills

These classes will be taught by TCU faculty who are all active business professionals in the energy industry. Their ongoing involvement in energy-based organizations enriches these classes with an insight that a professor would otherwise not be able to provide.

“That’s what makes this program so unique,” said Ann Bluntzer, acting director of the TCU Energy Institute and associate professor of professional practice in management and leadership. “The professors continue to work and invest in the industry while also spending their time with TCU students. The information they are bringing to the classroom is incredibly relevant.”

Also encompassed within the certificate program is a forum where CEOs leading today’s energy organizations will interface directly with students to share their experiences in navigating the ever-changing energy sector, as well as the lessons in leadership they have discovered as the heads of their organizations.

After completing the core classes, the program offers two different paths toward certification, each avenue providing its own distinct insight into the energy industry.

The more specialized of the two routes is the Sustainable Energy and ESG pathway. This pathway concentrates on the future of energy, its growing shift to renewable alternatives, and the steps that have been and will need to be taken as the industry continues its move toward a sustainable energy future.

This avenue includes two classes. The first class is a renewable energy viability course where students will be studying and running the benefits, drawbacks and the financial feasibility of a wide array of renewable resources. The second class evaluates the environmental, social and governmental issues around the energy industry and its utilization of different resources.

The other option available to students is the General Energy Management pathway. It will act as a more free-form option, giving students the option between any number of approved energy-related courses covering a variety of topics.

“Our business school is investing in a sustainable energy future,” Bluntzer said. “It goes to show TCU’s commitment to illustrate what it looks like to be a responsible global citizen, as well as the role that energy should play in that.”

With the Energy Certificate in Sustainability and ESG, the TCU Energy Institute alongside the Neeley School of Business intends for students to leave the program with the knowledge they need to not only make informed decisions on how they invest in the energy market, but to shape the industry for the betterment of our future.

Learn more about the Energy Certificate here.