iMPS-RESS Bioenergy Option

Printer-friendly version

bioenergy power plant

Photo: Municipalities have discovered that renewable energy projects such as this biomass refinery fall into a few distinct categories and they don't differ much from projects they have dealt with in the past. Source: Penn State News.

The Bioenergy Option will create graduates who can lead the development of the rapidly expanding bioenergy industry. Many companies are not able to hire staff with appropriate training to meet their R&D, management, and production needs. As a result, there is a large and unmet need to train professionals at the master’s level with skills in applied science, communication, business, social and industry perspectives for the emerging bio-based economy. Important components of this industry include crop production, harvesting, storage, ecology, genetics, fermentation, engineering, value chain systems modeling, marketing, economics and sociology.  

NOTE: A background or courses in calculus, physics, thermodynamics, and plant biology is advised for students interested in this option. Students may contact the Option Leader for additional information.

All RESS students are required to take the following "core" courses:

  • EME 504 Foundations in Sustainability Systems (3 cr.)
  • EME 801 Energy Markets, Policy and Regulation (3 cr.)
  • EME 802 Renewable and Sustainable Energy Systems (3 cr.)
  • BIOET 533 Ethical Dimensions of Renewable Energy and Sustainability Systems (2 cr.)
  • EME 589 Management and Design of Renewable Energy and Sustainability Systems (3 cr.)


Students in the Bioenergy Option are required to take the following courses:

  • A B E 884 Biomass Energy Systems (3 cr.)
  • A B E 888 Conversion Technologies for Bioenergy Production (3 cr.)
  • FOR 880 Bioenergy Feedstocks (3 cr.)
  • A B E 885 Biomass Harvesting and Logistics (3 cr.)


In addition to the above, students must select 6 credits of electives as part of their program.  Here's the list of approved electives for the bioenergy option:

  • A E 862. Distributed Energy Planning and Management (3 cr.)
  • EME 803. Applied Energy Policy (3 cr.)
  • EME 810. Solar Resource Assessment and Economics (3 cr.)
  • EME 812. Utility Solar Power and Concentration (3 cr.)
  • MANGT 510. Project Management (3 cr.)* - see note below
  • SCM 800. Supply Chain Management (4 cr.)*
Courses marked with an asterisk (*) are offered by programs other than the RESS program.  Student permission and course availability will depend on the program offering the course.     
Note - MANGT 510 is available on a "space available" basis no more than one month prior to the start of the semester.  To register, please contact World Campus Registration at Phone: 814-863-5256, Email: 

In addition to the above pre-approved electives, the following courses, offered by programs other than RESS, may also be possible as electives, based on discussion with your advisor and approval of the program chair, by sending an email petition to the Academic Program Coordinator, Dr Daniel Ciolkosz (

  • AGRO 851: Applied Plant Population Management
  • BRS 896: Independent Studies
  • CEDEV 430: Principles of Local Economic Development**
  • CEDEV 452: Community Structure, Processes and Capacity**
  • CEDEV 500: Community and Economic Development: Theory and Practice**
  • CEDEV 505: Leadership Development**
  • CEDEV 509: Population, Land Use, and Municipal Finance**
  • CEDEV 567: Resilient Communities and Environments**
  • CEDEV 575: Methods and Techniques for Community and Economic Development**
  • EBF 483: Introduction to the Electricity Industry
  • EME 401: Energy in a Changing World
  • EME 444: Global Energy Enterprise
  • ENGR 405: Project Management for Professionals
  • ENGR 501: Engineering Leadership for Corporate Innovation
  • ENGR 802: Engineering Across Cultures and Nations
  • ENGR 804: Engineering Product Innovation
  • GEOG 430: Human Use of the Environment
  • GEOG 431: Geography of Water Resources
  • GEOG 469: Energy Industry Applications of GIS
  • METEO 469: From Meteorology to Mitigation: Understanding Global Warming
Courses marked with two asterisks (**)  require registration by contacting the office for that program, rather than using the university's registration system.  

If you have questions about the Bioenergy Graduate Option, please contact the Option Leader, Dr. Ali Demirci at

Other iMPS-RESS program options: Sustainability Management and Policy | Bioenergy | Solar Energy | Wind Energy