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Case Study U.S. Department of Energy Advanced Manufacturing Office

Building a new generation of leaders to bridge the growing gap in the energy engineering workforce

Creating a technology talent pipeline with better measurement of energy engineering statistics

The Challenge

The U.S. energy engineering workforce is crucial in shaping our future economy, but there is a looming shortage in talent to fulfill the growing market needs. To close this gap, the U.S. Department of Energy Advanced Manufacturing Office needed a strategic approach to track their workforce outlook and the education and diverse skills required to build a new generation of engineers.


The Outcome/Solution

SRI International developed the first-ever national skills-based definition of energy engineering. The definition included 33 unique skills that were not identified, described or tracked in traditional engineering discipline descriptions.

After creating this new definition, the researchers at SRI went on to analyze the demographics of the U.S. energy engineering workforce. This process uncovered crucial insights into general trends that were used to spot potential labor shortages, and ensure educational programs focused on the right skills.

Building a new generation of leaders to bridge the growing gap in the energy engineering workforce

SRI collaborated with experts from academia, industry, and professional societies to build an in-depth understanding of the energy engineering workforce and establish an industry standard for the required skills.

By mining job posting data, SRI researchers were able to map job skills to occupations and industries, enabling the U.S. Department of Energy Advanced Manufacturing Office to estimate the optimal size of their energy engineering workforce that is required to meet future demands.

In addition to accurately forecasting the amount of workers required to meet future industry needs, SRI enabled the U.S. Department of Energy Advanced Manufacturing Office to identify gaps in specific skills that are relevant to the profession.


This publication was supported by a subcontract from Rutgers University, Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation, under Award No. DE-EE0000337 from the U.S. Department of Energy.

Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of Rutgers University or those of the U.S. Department of Energy. Neither the United States Government nor any agency thereof makes any warranty, express or implied, or assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness for the contents or use thereof.


September 2019

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