In 2003, with support from the National Science Foundation, the first interdisciplinary Ph.D. program dedicated to wind science and engineering was developed. Later, the Texas Wind Energy Institute (TWEI) was established as a partnership between TTU and Texas State Technical College designed to develop education and career pathways to meet workforce and educational needs of the expanding wind energy industry. Partly funded by the Texas Work Commission, TWEI's vision was to provide leadership in most areas of wind energy education for the industry.
In an effort to streamline and to promote synergy, both WiSE and TWEI have now integrated to form the National Wind Institute (NWI). The time is right to expand our wind research; our rich TTU history proves longevity, and the numerous interdisciplinary public/private partnerships and projects are supported by our unique suite of research facilities and the abundant regional natural wind resources.
Support for these cutting-edge facilities comes in the form of expert technical and administrative staff, a select group of hard-working and focused students, and renowned faculty with ground-breaking ideas and the skills to make them happen.
NWI organizes and administers large multi-dimensional TTU wind-related research projects and serves as the contact point for major project sponsors and other external partners. These projects span from wind turbine research to our world-class debris impact facility. Having a space to collaborate with our partners is critical to our interdisciplinary work, and for the ongoing support of faculty affiliates and students.
Thus, the NWI manages and operates several research facilities as well as a 67-acre research field site to support atmospheric, engineering and other important disciplines to better understand wind energy and hazards mitigation.