The Ameren Corporation has opened an Innovation Center on the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) campus. The Center will collaborate with university students and faculty and other companies to develop innovations to help Ameren better meet the future needs of its customers. The UIUCs College of Engineering is among the highest ranked in the United States is often collaborates on information security projects for the energy industry.
Mary Heger, Ameren Services chief information officer, explains, By establishing an innovative and collaborative work center at a world-class research university with access to top students and faculty, we can better leverage information technology to seize business opportunities and improve our customer satisfaction. We also hope to develop a talent pipeline to help us continue to build a skilled workforce. This is important as we transition to smart grid technologies and explore future new energy services that may be wanted and needed by our customers.
Undergraduate and graduate students will participate on a range of projects that focus on the needs of the utility of the future. Some of these projects will use the facilities at Amerens Illinois Technology Application Center in Champaign, an on-grid testing site for smart grid technologies.
Chancellor Phyllis Wise notes, The Ameren Innovation Center will give our students the opportunity to work on smart energy solutions for the Midwest and beyond. Such real-world experiences are examples of the transformative educational opportunities at Illinois that grow from our leadership in engineering, computing and energy.
Ameren is a St. Louis-based utility that serves 2.4 million electric customers and more than 900,000 natural gas customers in a 64,000-square-mile area.
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