Power Students Gain Industry Experience and Expertise in the LSU Classroom, Through Partnership With Entergy
April 05, 2021
Connecting Academia and Industry
While universities generally prepare students to get jobs or continue on with academic
research upon graduation, few take it as far as to officially partner with outside
companies to co-teach classes for consecutive semesters to make sure their graduates
stand comfortably on the bleeding edge of their future professions.
Since 2019, LSU professors have collaborated with Entergy on shaping the university curriculum, including hands-on labs, to make sure electrical engineering graduates are competitive and leave the university ready to work in utilities and the increasingly complex power engineering field, where they’ll need to know how to bridge electricity from conventional as well as renewable sources, such as solar and wind.
A current student in the LSU-Entergy class is electrical engineering senior Christine Wiley, who grew up in Krotz Springs, Louisiana. She first attended LSU in 2009 to pursue an undergraduate degree, but due to family and financial circumstances, ended up working two jobs and attending Baton Rouge Community College for a while before returning to LSU in 2018. Wiley will now graduate this May.
“By taking an engineering class co-developed by LSU and Entergy, I feel like I'll be ahead of the curve,” Wiley said. “Real-world work experience really matters—I know this from personal experience.”
“We need engineers who understand how to perform analysis of the power transmission system, and this collaboration was an excellent opportunity for us to partner with LSU to help develop those skills. We wanted to bring in real-life examples and make sure the students see the value in what they’re learning—how it will play out on the job in the near future. That’s why it was important for us to help develop this class from the start.”- Michelle Bourg, vice president of asset management at Entergy and electrical engineer (LSU ’02)