Iowa Lakes Community College Program Profile

Program Name: Wind Energy & Turbine Technology

Information Updated August 2019

Michael Gengler, Iowa Lakes Community College's Sustainable Energy Resources & Technologies Program Lead Faculty Member

Lead Faculty

Michael Gengler is the lead faculty for the Wind Energy & Turbine Technology Program at Iowa Lakes Community College, 712-362-7950

Program Data

Date Program Started

First class was in 2004, the nation’s first AAS in Wind Energy & Turbine

Geographic Area of Students

Students come from all over the US, and international students have come from Africa, Turkey, Jordan, Thailand, and Central America.

# of Students in Program

Class size is typically 60 students

# of Faculty Members Teaching Energy

Six full-time faculty comprise our energy instructors, linking intuitive concepts across the following disciplines:

  • Water Quality
  • Environmental Studies
  • Electrical Technology
  • HVAC
  • Engineering Technology
  • Wind Energy


Gender: Male 94%, Female 6%

Ethnicity: Caucasian 91.2%, African American 1.8%, Race Not Reported 7%

Veterans: 7%

Average Age: 24

Program Overview

Delivery Mode(s)


Course Names

  • Electricity I
  • Technical Math
  • Career Seminar
  • Introduction to Wind Energy
  • Field Training & Project Operations
  • Technical Communications
  • Hydraulics
  • Electricity II
  • Field Training
  • Motor Controls
  • Energy, Sustainability & the Environment

Wind Energy & Turbine Technology Internship

  • Digital Circuits & Systems
  • Power Generation & Transmission
  • Electrical Maintenance & Safety
  • Intro to Industrial Instrumentation
  • Electric Motors & Generators
  • Programmable Logic Control Systems
  • Principles of Management
  • Wind Turbine Siting
  • Industrial Networking & Data Acquisition
  • Human Relations

# of Credits

Degrees / Diplomas / Certificates Offered

AAS: Wind Energy & Turbine Technology Degree – 2 years

Diploma: Wind Energy & Turbine Technology Diploma – 1 year

Industry Certifications:
Work at Height & Rescue for the Wind Industry; Snap-on Tools at Height; AHF CPR/AED; First Aid; Bloodborne Pathogens; Snap-on Power Tool Safety, Snap-on Hand Tool Safety, HYTORC Certification, Snap-on Multi-meter Certification, OSHA-10

Questions & Answers

We operate in two facilities comprising 50,000 square feet of classroom and lab space. We fly a Vestas V-82, 1.65 MW turbine that is used for training as well as power generation to offset utility costs. We have a 3 MW Vestas V-90 on a short tower, a 2 MW Gamesa G-87 on platform, a Vestas V-82 Hub trainer, various gearboxes for borescope and mechanical familiarization. Our automation lab provides for programmable logic, networking, data acquisition, fluid power and robotics. Our climb training room for Work at Height and Rescue in the Wind Industry (U.S.) also provides for Global Wind Organization (International) certifications. Foundational skills in electrical theory and industrial processes are taught in our laboratories for motors, generators, hydraulics, mechanical systems, power transmission, electronics and digital techniques, field training and project operations.

Market assessment shows wind energy technician as the 2nd leading occupational growth for the next 10 years. Truthfully, with around 114,000 jobs supporting wind energy currently, and with projected requirements for 230,000 by 2030 and 500,000 by 2050, demand for properly trained technicians far exceeds supply.

Our success comes from our faculty’s ability to connect dots from the natural environment to the built environment, with a focus on energy, sustainability and the environment. Our systems approach to teaching and mentoring results in graduates that possess a thorough understanding of top human challenges and their impact on our environmental and energy future. Our variety of hands-on trainers provides the realism students deserve and prepares them to go farther, faster. We focus on professional development, putting  our students and employers in regular contact, developing networking skills and giving them practice in presenting themselves to industry experts. 

Our industry advisory committees ensure that we provide relevant curriculum. One of our hallmarks is that our curriculum evolves continuously, keeping pace with what our advisory members demand. We are proud to work with companies like:

Our students have an internship requirement where they apply their skills across the spectrum of wind energy, from construction to overhaul, and many earn traveling technician internships. Internships are competitive, pay well, and provide students a first-hand look at the wind industry. Whether an internship or full-time employment after graduation, placement takes care of itself.

Our program has been featured in media by:

  • Duracell
  • National Geographic (Paris to Pittsburgh)
  • CNNs Great Big Story
  • National Public Radio
  • Wind Systems Magazine
  • Wind Power Engineering and Development
  • and others…

We have produced dropped object prevention training (Tools at Height) for Snap-on and NC3, safety webinars for AWEA, and appear regularly in regional news media.

Ready to Learn more?

View the syllabus for Iowa Lakes Community College's Intro to Wind Energy course, or visit Iowa Lakes directly for more information on their Applied Associate Degree & Diploma programs.

View Syllabus 🔒Visit Iowa Lakes