Energy ‘Crisis’ Provides Leadership Experience to Engineering Students | Penn State University

The lawsuit was settled out of court at 9:45 p.m. A few hours before their arrival, they were asked to testify to the crisis that began when a dam full of minerals flooded several villages on the Far-Pacific Island, killing many and contaminating the region’s drinking water supply. The students received no good news until 11pm – a Penn State research team, believed to be in the area, was unharmed.

The crisis continued for the next 24 hours, and student groups were assigned to address the growing problem.

“We were email, email, email later,” said Rosenlen Martin, a graduate in energy engineering this spring. “The night was very stressful. I could not read and continue that fast.”

The Roller Coaster Night was part of an energy crisis management project designed by John and Willie Lyon as a major energy business and financial course project focused on energy crisis management at Family Energy and Mineral Engineering (EME).

During the spring semester, students reviewed real-world crisis case studies, and were interviewed by energy experts to explore arguments and emergencies.

Shrea Manoji, who graduated with a degree in Energy Engineering this spring, said the entire class is a great opportunity for STEM students to be immersed in leadership thinking and ready to work in groups.

“It’s hard to imagine yourself in that situation. When they read only case studies, they do not think, ‘What will I do?’ It was really helpful to hear from someone involved in the problem, let them walk you through their decisions, and then pretend.

The groups continued to work all night and until Saturday morning, organizing board meetings and conferences for journalists.

Experienced Penn State graduates and the EME faculty played debating board members representing media companies from media organizations, and the college’s strategic communications staff filled the role of media. Both the board and the media asked for answers and scolded the student groups.

On Saturday, just 24 hours after the first email, the exam ended, and the board judged the students for their performance.

Manoe, who won the best individual performance, was grateful for the experience.

I think there is a crazy method that is not often learned, and that is why I think this course is different. They understand exactly what is needed to make decisions and to act in those stressful situations.

A.D. Liam Kumings, a bachelor of science degree in energy engineering and energy business and finance in 2020, participated in this year’s exam as a board member. Cummings won last year’s Best Individual Performance Award and has already seen the benefits in its first year.

“Participating and winning last year made me feel like I could handle anything that came my way.” Cummings said.

Peter Rig, a graduate of Penn State in 1979 in Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering and Energy Expert, is a pressure cookie for students to strengthen their teamwork and leadership skills.

“Today’s employers are looking for people who can join the workforce to solve multidisciplinary problems together and how they can work and collaborate with people of different backgrounds,” Rigby said.

Rig believed in the importance of real-world experiences and wanted to create a challenge that would force students to think on their own, defend their position, and solve unstructured problems. When he sees student executive teams working together, he is amazed at the results and sees success in many student futures because of their “crisis” leadership experience.

“This class offers a lot of non-traditional opportunities to learn and is a great vehicle to push people into an unfamiliar experience, where they can go wrong without experimenting with the consequences. It will be an experience that these students will never forget. »

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