The New Energy of Nicaragua — EE 3940

Seminar description

Award-winning teaching professor Paul Imbertson (ECE) has been involved with local energy production in Nicaragua for more than a decade. He is now turning his experience and connections into a winter break seminar for credit.

Energy production in Nicaragua has relied heavily on imported oil, but this is rapidly changing. Nicaragua is a prime location for renewable energy production—volcanoes for geothermal, steady ocean breezes for wind farms, numerous waterfalls for hydro, and agriculture for biogas. But access to electricity, especially in rural areas, is far below their Latin American neighbors. As such, large green energy projects will impact the overall energy mix, while localized energy production is still needed in many communities.

Through site visits, shop time, community engagement, hands-on work, and time spent with university host faculty, this program will introduce students to renewable energy production methods on the large and small scale.

Students will be introduced to the people and sights of Nicaragua—a land of beaches, volcanoes, and winding roads. Spanish language background is not required, but there will be opportunities to practice Spanish for interested students. The seminar will take place in Managua, León, and Jinotega, Nicaragua.

Seminar details

Term: Winter Break 2017-18

Travel dates: Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017–Monday, Jan. 15, 2018

Eligible students: Open to upper-division CSE students, non-U of M students. Admission is by application.

Credit: Students will receive three credits for EE 3940 (electrical engineering).

Language prerequisite: No language prerequisite

Program leader: Professor Paul Imbertson (Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering)

Estimated program fee: The final program fee for this seminar will include three credits, round-trip airfare, housing, excursions, international health insurance, and group meals. Final costs for this program have not yet been finalized.

Apply now: For students interested in applying, email for instructions on how to submit an application. Application deadline is Oct. 15, 2017.

For more information: Contact CSE International Programs at

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This seminar is sponsored by the University of Minnesota—Twin Cities IEEE Student Branch. Visit the IEE student branch website.