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Sac State, SMUD form an energy partnership

04-07-2014

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Sacramento State President Alexander Gonzalez (front left) signs an agreement with the Sacramento Municipal Utility District to explore initiatives that will enhance job opportunities for graduates and research opportunities for students and faculty. Also signing is SMUD General Manager and CEO John Di Stasio (front right). Standing, from left, are Jim Reinhart, executive director, University Enterprises Inc.; Ramzi Mahmood, interim dean, College of Engineering and Computer Science; Frederika Harmsen, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs; Arlen Orchard, incoming general manager and CEO, SMUD; Paul Lau, assistant general manager, SMUD; and Susan Wheeler, Workforce Planning and Education Relations Strategist, SMUD. (Sacramento State/Steve McKay)

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Sacramento State is partnering with the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) to promote dynamic careers in power generation. President Alexander Gonzalez and John DiStasio, SMUD general manager and CEO, signed the agreement Friday, April 4, at Sacramento State.

The partnership unites two nationally recognized institutions: Sac State’s top engineering and computer science programs are ideal for shaping the future of the industry as technology and renewable energy grow in importance, and SMUD is the nation’s sixth-largest customer-owned electric utility. More than 27 percent of SMUD’s power comes from renewable resources.

As partners, Sac State and SMUD will explore initiatives to enhance job opportunities for graduates, research opportunities for students and faculty, and pursue external funding to support research activities and technical demonstration projects.

“This agreement further strengthens Sacramento State’s partnership with SMUD – and everyone in our region stands to benefit, from the students who pursue careers in the utilities industry to the millions of consumers who depend on clean and reliable energy,” Gonzalez says. “The future of power generation will be shaped by technology and renewable energy, and Sacramento State’s programs in engineering and computer science are an ideal match.”

Among those witnessing last week’s signing of the energy education and workforce development initiative were, from Sacramento State: Fraka Harmsen, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs; Ramzi Mahmood, interim dean of the College of Engineering and Computer Science, and Jim Reinhart, executive director of University Enterprises Inc. And, representing SMUD, were Arlen Orchard, incoming general manager and CEO; Paul Lau, assistant general manager; and Susan Wheeler, workforce planning and education relations strategist.

For media assistance, contact Sacramento State’s Office of Public Affairs at (916) 278-6156. – Dixie Reid