MC Professor Receives Grant for Renewable Energy Research

by, Shannon Gleba, Copy Editor

Manhattan College’s Electrical and Computer Engineering department has been awarded a grant sponsored by the Ministry of Education in Saudi Arabia to work alongside researchers at Florida International University and Prince Sattam Bin AbdulAziz University in Saudi Arabia. In total, the grant is $2 million, with MC receiving an allocation of $330,000.

The lead investigator of the project is Mahmoud Amin, Ph.D., associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at the college. In addition, Professor Osama A. Mohammed, professor and associate dean of research at Florida International University, and Professor Fayez Fahim Mohamed El-Sousy from the Prince Sattam bin Abdulaziz in University will be working towards completing this Grand Challenge. 

Amin will be able to lend his knowledge in renewable energy sources in order to work towards completing the 36-month long project titled “Multi-objective Multi-Purpose Applications of Energy Storage in Electrical Power Systems with High Penetration of Renewable Energy.”

As described in the project information, “The main goal of this project is to develop a

mathematical model for the optimal operation of hybrid energy storage systems (HESSs) that enable high penetration of renewable energy.”

In addition to the intention of creating the mathematical model, Amin also hopes to encourage students to get involved in the research, as well as work to modernize the Sustainable Energy Systems Laboratory in MC’s Leo Engineering Building. Presently, Amin is in the process of choosing students to be his assistants, with no final decisions having been made.

“One of the main contributions of this project is to involve undergraduate students and graduate students,” Amin said. “So, there are opportunities for students to be hired under such a project as a research assistant for me. I am also working on developing new courses from this project, as one of the main outcomes of this project, [is] to establish new courses in the area. In addition to this, we are also working to upgrade our lab facilities.”

Sources of renewable energy have become increasingly important over the past few years, and Amin recognizes that it is important to introduce his students to the study of green energy. He personally completed his own masters and doctorate degree in the field, and has continued to do extensive research since joining MC’s staff in 2012. 

“This area is actually one of the most promising and rapidly evolving areas, not only in the nation, but I think worldwide,” Amin said. “One of the challenges currently is climate change, and the high amount of carbon dioxide in the environment. So, worldwide, everywhere is trying to move towards this direction, capturing energy from green energy sources, that is mostly the motivation for the future.”

Dean of Manhattan College’s School of Engineering Tim Ward understands the importance of research for students in the school as it prepares them for working in the field and their future careers.

Ward said, “The School of Engineering looks forward to commencing this grant and seeing how it will aid our students and faculty.”