To more directly engage energy engineering companies with its people and programs, the Energy Production and Infrastructure Center (EPIC) at UNC Charlotte has established a new affiliates program.
The EPIC Affiliates Program offers several options for levels of involvement, based on the requirements of participants. The program currently has 10 members, spanning all levels of involvement.
The manager for the Affiliates Program is Christina Kopitopoulou. Her energy engineering background includes a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, a master’s in sustainable energy technology, and experience working at the North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center at NC State.
“The purpose of the Affiliates Program is to combine resources and solve common problems,” Kopitopoulou said. “There are many energy companies around Charlotte, and they want to see how they can get involved with EPIC and get connected with each other. The Affiliates Program makes this possible.”
The program is designed to leverage EPIC resources to deliver economic, technology and workforce development services to members. Economic development support includes access to EPIC facilities, involvement with E4 Carolinas and energy innovators session with student inventors. Technology development includes feasibility study projects, credit towards senior design projects, preferred access to EPIC laboratories and membership in EPIC research clusters. Workforce development includes preferred recruiting of summer interns, member-only career fairs, sponsorship of international summer student interns and accommodations for adjunct faculty in the EPIC building.
“The levels of involvement and service vary, based on the membership level,” Kopitopoulou said. The levels are KiloWatt for an annual cost of $5,000, MegaWatt for $15,000, and GigaWatt for $50,000.
“At the GigaWatt level, the biggest difference is $30,000 goes towards a program seed project,” Kopitopoulou said. “This is a feasibility project that involves EPIC resources such as faculty and graduate student expertise, and research cluster facilities.”
All members benefit from special career fairs and internship programs. They also have preferred access to networking opportunities.
“As affiliate members they have more personalized ways of meeting students, which is important in recruiting workers,” Kopitopoulou said. “They also have many ways of interacting with EPIC faculty and with each other. The energy industry here is a changing, interesting environment, and being connected to it is critical. Every day somebody is coming up with a new idea. It is exciting. Being an EPIC affiliate is the best way to keep up with everything.”
For more information see http://epic.uncc.edu/about/epic-affiliates