IACs train the next-generation of energy savvy engineers, more than 60 percent of which pursue energy-related careers upon graduation. IAC assessments are in-depth evaluations of a facility conducted by engineering faculty with upper class and graduate students from a participating university. After a remote survey of the plant, the team conducts a one or two-day site visit to take engineering measurements. The team performs a detailed process analysis to generate specific recommendations with estimates of costs, performance, and payback times. Within 60 days, the plant receives a confidential report detailing the analysis, findings, and recommendations. In six to nine months, the IAC team calls the plant manager to verify what recommendations have been implemented. Universities periodically apply to host an IAC and receive DOE funding to provide assessments. The IAC program has offered assessments since 1976.

Each year, about 500 engineering students at IACs receive hands-on assessment training at operating industrial facilities and gain substantiative experience performing evaluations of industrial processes and energy systems. Alumni report the training sets them apart in the job market.

Employers seek out IAC graduates. IAC students graduate with the skills and abilities to conduct energy, waste, and productivity assessments; use instrumentation and diagnostic equipment; work safely in an industrial environment; and communicate successfully through written reports and presentations to clients. These skills–that can only be gained through real-world experience–make graduates highly attractive to employers. 

The Department of Energy IAC website has job listings for students of the IAC program. These job listings are posted by employers looking to hire graduates of the program.