Academic Curriculum

MSc in Sustainable Energy Development
Where bold thinking energizes change.

Interdisciplinary Courses

The program's courses and capstone project reflect all facets of the sustainable energy industry. Students are required to successfully complete all core courses, a minimum of two elective courses, and a capstone research project (consists of 3 seminar style courses)

Core Courses

SEDV 601: Energy Systems I

Fundamentals of energy resources from production through consumption including technical, economic, social, and environmental, and policy aspects; Fossil fuels, nuclear and renewables; Electricity systems, the built environment, mobility, industries; Energy transitions and sustainable and Just Energy Strategies

SEDV 603: Energy Systems II

Analysis of energy systems, integration of renewable and non-renewable systems, energy storage, and energy system reliability; Energy balances, basic thermodynamic calculations, and system efficiency; Environmental impact analysis and economics of energy production and use; Students will work in teams on an analysis of a current or future energy project.

SEDV 605: Indigenous Peoples and Sustainability in Energy Development

In-depth analysis of indigenous peoples and ecological sustainability in relation to energy development. Systems ecology, ecological economics, cultural anthropology, indigenous rights and ethics provide theoretical foundations for sustainable development in global context of indigenous peoples with primary focus on Canadian indigenous peoples. Historical and legal-political context addresses treaties, policy and land-use including duty to consult and accommodate with emphasis on reconciliation.

SEDV 613: Energy Economics and Finance

Financial principles and evaluation techniques; Application to energy investment planning and to assessment of foundations in energy economics and policies; Financial decision-making tools to support environmental and social initiatives, programs, investments and projects.

SEDV 615: Environmental Impact Assessment in the Energy Sector

Principles and professional practice of environmental impact assessment, with application to energy development projects.

SEDV 619: Environmental Law in the Energy Sector

Legal systems, nature and sources; International environmental law and its implementation; Fundamental legal concepts including jurisdiction, procedural fairness, liability, property and contract; Environmental regulatory systems and alternative instruments; Judicial review; Enforcement and compliance; Alternative dispute resolution.

SEDV 621: Environmental Management Tools in the Energy Sector

Environmental management systems and issues are discussed as they relate to organizational and environmental impacts. Topics include: environmental management for both compliance and innovation; management processes including audits, development of indicators and reporting, green product development, risk management.

SEDV 623: Strategic Environmental Planning for Energy Organizations

The strategy of sustainable development concepts and principles and their application to energy policies and development opportunities for businesses, including stakeholder engagement.

SEDV 631: Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment

The concepts supporting life cycle sustainability assessment (LCSA) as it applies to energy production and consumption decision-making; life cycle thinking; goal and scope definition; mitigating problem shifting; inventory analysis; greenhouse gas emission quantification; environmental, cost, and social impact assessments; and multicriteria decision analysis.

SEDV 633: Energy and Climate Policy

The role of energy policy in sustainable energy development including the rational for policy, the policy making process, principles of policy analysis, and the impact of energy policy on energy systems. Theoretical overview of energy policy tools and examples of their use in practice. Review of current issues in energy policy domestically and international.

SEDV 635: Fundamentals of Water, Air, and Land Pollution

Water and air quality, Clean Water and Air Acts, drinking water criteria, common water and air pollutants and their impacts on human and ecological health; Water Energy Nexus – inter-relationships between the two; water and energy conservation; Water use in energy and mining industries; Options for Water Reclamation and Reuse; Fundamentals of water and wastewater treatment; Acid rain, particulates, SOx, NOx, Urban/photochemical smog, tropospheric ozone and its depletion, CFCs; Greenhouse gases and global warming, greenhouse gas effects, climate change, GHGs trends, negative effects of GHGs; Introduction to multi-media contaminant transport and contaminated sites; Introduction to Risk Assessment.

SEDV 699: Topics in Energy & the Environment

Study of selected topics related to energy and the environment and related subjects. Specific course(s) will reflect changing needs and faculty interests. 

Elective Courses

SEDV students are required to take a minimum of two elective courses and topics may change annually. 

Pollution Assessment, Control, and Mitigation

Industrial waters: issues, challenges and treatment options; Tertiary water treatment. Air pollution control mechanisms: Air pollutant measurements, NOX control, VOCs control, Odor control, tail gas, flares and incinerators, air quality tools. Energy sector sources of air pollutants, emissions from facilities, pipelines and fossil fuel combustion, Carbon capture and storage. Waste characterisation, Biogas and waste to energy conversions. Contaminated Site Assessment Methodology. Site Remediation Fundamentals.

Introduction to Entrepreneurship 

Focus on idea generation, feasibility analysis, and business model development of early-stage businesses using experiential team-based projects and case analyses.

Fundamentals of Project Management

Application of management principles to the project environment; planning, control, scope, time and cost processes; project organization and human resource issues. Students review a current major capital project and submit and defend a project report.

Innovative Technologies for the Global Energy Transformation

Our energy systems are changing. With the advent of new technologies, fundamental change is often heralded – and ultimately driven – by economic forces such as disruptive innovation. In the midst of this paradigm shift, science, public policy, and societal trends are inextricably connected. This course explores innovative technologies that are driving the ongoing global energy transformation, as fossil fuels are being replaced by cleaner energy sources

Capstone Project

A capstone project is a requirement of this program. Students’ progress through a 3 course series (1 half-course equivalent in total) to develop and complete an interdisciplinary project, reflecting a minimum of 3 areas of study, with energy and environment as the 2 anchors. What new and innovative ways will your project contribute to current knowledge?

SEDV 640 Capstone Project I: Research Design

Identification of potential capstone project research questions that are anchored in energy, environment and one other aspect of the student’s choice; Development of research designs and skills to determine the feasibility of investigating potential research questions, narrowing options, and advancing the best option into a short proposal.

SEDV 641 Capstone Project II: Proposal Development

Writing a comprehensive proposal designed to answer a research question. Seeking approval from a supervisor with expertise on the chosen topic, with guidance from the course instructor. Verbally presenting the research question and convincing the audience of its importance. Continuing investigation of the research question with progress reports submitted to both the supervisor and the course instructor.

SEDV 642 Capstone Project III: Research Exploration and Examination

Exploring the research question through an in-depth literature review, data collection, and analyses of the aspects of energy, environment, and one other. Completion and submission of a final report, professionally prepared, that explains the exploration and examination used. Presentation of findings.


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