February 14, 2023

University of Minnesota Partnership on Electrification Engineering Certification Course

UMN Newsroom Partnership Hero

Building a World-Class Electrification Workforce

Thermo King is a leader in developing future-focused technology for the transportation industry. Our commitment to developing innovative and sustainable solutions that helps allow for the safe transport of temperature-critical cargo extends to the environmental impacts of our people, operations, products and services to create a better planet for future generations.

A strong workforce is key to the continued development of sustainable technology. Thermo King’s Power and Energy team brings together expertise in electrical, software and mechanical engineering, and battery chemistry. The team has 14 members, with plans to grow the team by 40% in 2023. In addition to our commitment to building the engineering workforce at Thermo King, we want to equip the future workforce with the skills and resources they will need to succeed.

Thermo King and the University of Minnesota's Technological Leadership Institute (TLI) have partnered to launch the nation's first graduate-level certificate in electrification engineering. The new program will train engineers to convert fossil-fuel power systems to Direct Current (DC) electric. This is an important step in helping move the nation, and the world, to green power sources through education. The three courses in the program are MOT 5101: Introduction to Electrification, MOT 5102: Electrification for Engineers, and MOT 5103: Advanced Electrification.

“These courses will provide students with a unique opportunity to advance the development of electrified systems while gaining an up-close look at how companies are pursuing electrification,” said Aftab Khan, vice president of engineering and technology for Thermo King Americas. “As the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and other transportation funding continues to accelerate demand for transitioning away from fossil-fuel systems to hybrid and fully electric designs, the knowledge these students will gain will be invaluable. We’re proud to partner with the University of Minnesota to develop these courses and build a world-class electrification workforce."

Investment in hybrid and all-electric systems is happening quickly. In fact, $28 billion in new clean energy manufacturing investments have been announced since the Inflation Reduction Act was passed in August 2022. “This partnership is a huge win for both TLI and Thermo King,” said Travis Thul, senior fellow and director of operations for TLI. “This program will help train the workforce needed to meet the demand for more sustainable solutions.”

Advancing the development of electrified systems

Launching in fall 2023, the program will provide students with a comprehensive understanding of electrification trends and state-of-the-art technologies. Students will learn the engineering and scientific components needed to achieve the efficiency, cost savings and environmental benefits of electric infrastructure.

Thermo King, Polaris Inc., MTS Inc., the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Zeus Electric Chassis Inc., Wabtec Corp. and the St. Anthony Falls Laboratory will support curriculum development and site visits so students get an up-close look at how companies pursue electrification.

Learn more about the program and admission requirements.