MU nuclear engineering professors win Texty Award for energy textbook

Friday, March 2, 2012 | 3:50 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA —Two MU nuclear engineering professors Tushar Ghosh and Mark Prelas won a Texty Award for the second volume of their 2011 textbook, "Energy Resources and Systems."

"It is very rewarding that it has been picked out of the thousands of textbooks published every year," Ghosh said. "It is a one of a kind award for textbooks; it is very prestigious, and we are proud."

Texty Awards are given in eight academic areas by the Text and Academic Authors Association,  and the professors won in the computer science and engineering category.

Their publisher, Springer Publishing Company, nominated the book for the award.

The professors wrote the text for their energy and resource systems class. The book's focus is renewable energy resources.

"Every engineering school offers this course in one form or another," Ghosh said. "Our main motivation for writing this book was that we found that there was not yet a good textbook for this course."

Ghosh said it was imperative for engineering students to learn about renewable energy.

"If you look at global issues that will dominate society in the next 20 plus years, energy will be at the pinnacle," Prelas said. "It is one of those questions that the next generation and students coming through the university now will have to solve in order for society to progress."

Ghosh and Prelas have more than 20 years of knowledge and experience teaching this course and included examples in their text to help the students solve real-life problems.

"For most problems, there is not a definite answer," Ghosh said. "Students need to think critically and formulate their own opinion. If they want to engage in this area in the future, that can help them significantly in terms of how to produce energy from renewable resources without harming the environment."

"Energy and Resource Systems" is the second in a series, and the authors plan to have four volumes total. It takes them about a year to finish each textbook.

Ghosh and Prelas are currently working on the third volume of the series and predict they will finish the book this summer. It will cover nuclear advanced energy resources, nuclear batteries, advanced power, fuel cells and energy storage.

"We need energy in order to keep industry going; it is the lifeline of the economy,"  Ghosh said. "It is important that engineering students understand how to produce energy from renewable resources because they can meet the demand and provide an environmentally friendly way of producing energy."

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