Professional Development

The M.Eng. in Energy Systems program offers a multidisciplinary curriculum to prepare students for a wide variety of careers in the energy field. To round out your education, you are required to fulfill a professional development requirement via a practicum, a project, or coursework. The professional development requirement is aimed at developing the following skill set in the context of energy systems:

  • Leadership
  • Teamwork
  • Project development
  • Project management
  • Oral and written communication
  • Feasibility studies
  • Innovation and entrepreneurship
  • Engineering economics and business aspect of technology
  • Component or system-level conceptual design studies
  • Design and build activities
  • Experimental work
  • Detailed numerical simulations
  • Detailed theoretical analyses of physical systems
Engineering students test their inventions on the Bardeen Quad

Engineering students test their inventions on the Bardeen Quad


These skills form the backbone of a leader. While core engineering skills (near the bottom of this list) will be developed in other courses, skills near the top of this list are emphasized in the professional development requirement.

Approved Professional Development Coursework

Professional Development courses have been identified to satisfy the professional development requirements of the M.Eng. degree. One or more courses can be taken to fulfill the requirement. These do not require prior approval, but students are expected to communicate their plan to the program coordinator.

  • TE 450 — Startups: Incorporation, Funding, Contracts, and Intellectual Property
  • TE 460 — Entrepreneurship for Engineers
  • TE 461 — Technology Entrepreneurship
  • TE 466 — High-Tech Venture Marketing
  • TE 565 — Technology Innovation and Strategy
  • TE 566 — Finance for Engineering Management
  • TE 567 — Venture Funded Startups

Professional Practicum

Practicum (or internship) opportunities are available by employers across various energy-related industry sectors.

Capstone Projects

Capstone Projects offer opportunities to integrate advanced technical knowledge in a real-world project experience sponsored by an industry client.


Graduates of the Energy Systems program are equipped with the technical expertise and global understanding of Energy Systems, professional skills essential for success in the marketplace, and the right combination of experiences to hit the ground running in their new careers. Our alumni have earned positions with:

  • AGCO Corporation
  • Aldridge Electric
  • Ampion
  • Bright Power, Inc.
  • Burns & McDonnell
  • CEE
  • CERL
  • CHA Consulting, Inc.
  • Conti Solar
  • DCI Engineers
  • Department of Navy
  • Eaton Corporation
  • EDF Renewables
  • Energy Exemplar
  • Environmental Systems Design, Inc.
  • Envista Forensics
  • ExxonMobil
  • First Solar   
  • Gas Technology Institute    
  • Graphet Data Mining   
  • Heila Technologies    
  • IHS Markit- Energy Solutions   
  • Illinois Environmental Protection Agency
  • Integral Group   
  • Invenergy    
  • KPMG US   
  • LevelTen Energy    
  • MTU Onsite Energy   
  • Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems    
  • Organo
  • Palomar Solar   
  • Ranger Power   
  • Resilience at Horizons for Green Development (NGO)    
  • Renewable Energy Systems Americas, Inc.   
  • Sierra Club    
  • Shure Incorporated   
  • SunPower Corporation    
  • Sterling Engineering   
  • Sun Tribe Solar   
  • TERI – The Energy and Resources Institute (India)    
  • Tektronix (China)   
  • thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions    Tesla (Germany)   
  • Valdes Engineering Company    
  • UIUC – Facilities   
  • VividianSoft    
  • Verizon Data Services (Global Visse Inc.)

Engineering + Management

Christopher Hillebrand pursued an Energy Systems degree in order to equip himself with the tools needed to play a part in the energy transition to come in the next few decades. He chose Illinois because he could tailor his curriculum and receive training on the soft skills needed to meet his career goals.

“I’d really like to be able to use my skills in both engineering and business (as I am also working on an MBA) and hopefully focus on identifying prime opportunities on a national or regional basis for profitable future development of solar and energy storage."

Christopher Hillebrand (M.Eng. 2019)

Become a leader in Energy Systems Engineering.

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