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SPSU Alternative Energy
Innovation Center
Building Q
Suite 250
1100 South Marietta Pkwy
Marietta, GA 30060


The Center

The Alternative Energy Innovation Center was created on the Southern Polytechnic State University campus to encourage research, engage in educational outreach programs, and promote good practices in energy conversion, storage, and delivery. To find out more about us use the menu on the left of the screen to explore.


The mission of the Alternative Energy Innovation Center (AEIC) is to conduct research, engage in educational outreach programs, and promote good practices in energy conversion, storage, and delivery. The AEIC will continually seek outside funding to support its activities and will strive to enhance SPSU student degrees by coordinating a degree emphasis on sustainability across the campus.

To meet this mission, the following steps will be taken:

  • Seek a number of grants to support basic research in alternative energy.
  • Develop a campus-wide partnership with a variety of departments to offer courses that educate and engage students in topics related to sustainability.
  • Develop a sophisticated web presence for disseminating information concerning sustainability and alternative forms of energy generation, storage, and delivery. We will push the envelope of interactive educational tools and video exploration.
  • Promote tours of our research facilities for K-12 students, SPSU students, and the general public.
  • Work with other universities, research agencies, local authorities, industry, and individuals to clearly identify the pressing needs in Georgia for alternative energy and sustainability initiatives.


  • Establish a nationally recognized alternative energy research program

AEIC will conduct a coordinated and extensive program of research to design, develop, model, and evaluate new alternative energy technology, techniques, and test procedures. Research will focus on innovative new technologies and techniques that will help to establish us as a true "innovation" center.

  • Provide degree emphasis in sustainability for SPSU students

The AEIC will coordinate a degree emphasis in sustainability by partnering with a wide variety of departments across campus. This emphasis will provide a well rounded approach to sustainability education by encouraging exploration of diverse perspectives.

  • Provide educational and training resources for SPSU and the greater community

The AEIC will become a center for energy related technology transfer. Through online educational resources and continuing education courses, the knowledge and expertise within the AEIC will be disseminated to the surrounding community. The SPSU community will also benefit since the AEIC will help augment existing courses on campus by supplementing classroom learning and laboratory exploration.

  • Serve as an energy system testing center

Using the advanced alternative energy equipment and laboratory instrumentation, the AEIC will provide testing services to the energy and sustainability industry.

The Director

Scott Tippens created the Alternative Energy Innovation Center (AEIC) at Southern Polytechnic State University in order to bring together a wide variety of disciplines and industry partners with a common goal.  The AEIC strives to be a center of innovative research in the areas of alternative energy generation, storage, and distribution for the campus. The center will also engage in educational outreach to help our students, the surrounding community, and the world improve their knowledge of energy and how energy systems really work.

Scott received both his undergraduate and Master of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Georgia Tech.  Upon graduation he worked for two years at IBM in Research Triangle Park North Carolina where he was awarded two patents for work on token ring network systems.  Scott later moved back to the Atlanta area and worked for two years with Georgia Tech Research Institute.  While at GTRI, Scott developed 3-D modeling software for radar return data, designed encrypted communication systems, and worked in fiber optics research.

In the Fall of 1993, Scott became a faculty member at SPSU and has been teaching extensively in the areas of alternative energy, advanced digital system design, systems engineering, and robotics.  Scott has been the faculty advisor for the Autonomous Underwater Robotics team for 7 years and currently serves as Vice Chair for the Atlanta Section of the IEEE.

In 1999, Scott created and co-directed the Teaching and Learning Academy. The Teaching and Learning Academy changed the way technology was introduced  to faculty.  In the Academy, faculty participants were given release time for the term in order to pursue weekly class sessions. Each participant learned not just how to use teaching technology but how to use it effectively in the classroom.  When the program ended in 2000 due to a lack of funding support, approximately one-third of the faculty had participated.

In 2002, Scott was the founding director for the newly created Center for Teaching Excellence.  The center's mission is to engage faculty in discussing issues of teaching and learning through informal gatherings, formal presentations, and teaching fellows selected each year from a pool of faculty applicants.  The center also created a library specifically targeting teaching and learning and provided numerous web resources for the faculty as well.  To keep things fresh, the charter for the center limited director terms to two years, and Scott stepped down in 2004.