The University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Engineering's Solar Energy Lab (SEL) is the oldest of its kind in the world. It has been recognized nationally and internationally for accomplishments in practical applications for solar energy. UW-Madison's SEL was awarded the highest distinction given by the International Solar Energy Society, the Weeks award, for outstanding achievements in developing practical uses of solar energy.

The goal of the laboratory is to educate students through research experiences in solar and conventional energy utilization and to remain on the competitive edge of new developments. The SEL emphasizes applications of engineering fundamentals to energy problems, and leads students to advanced degrees in mechanical and chemical engineering.

Graduates with degrees in this area obtain positions in industry, government laboratories and academic settings. Many students have taken research and development jobs in large heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) firms, control companies, renewable and conventional energy firms, and consulting architectural and engineering firms involved in engineering applications.

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