Eight students at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) have been awarded scholarships by the IEEE Power & Energy Society Scholarship Plus Initiative, the most of any university in the Northeast. The IEEE PES Scholarship Plus Initiative provides multi-year scholarships and career experience opportunities to qualifying electrical engineering undergraduate students in the U.S. and Canada.
The IEEE Power & Energy Society (PES) provides the world's largest forum for sharing the latest in technological developments in the electric power industry, for developing standards that guide the development and construction of equipment and systems, and for educating members of the industry and the general public. The mission of PES is to be the leading provider of scientific and engineering information on electric power and energy for the betterment of society and the preferred professional development source for its members.
"There’s a lot of energy behind the PES initiative and it's gratifying to see new talent connecting with employers. It's fun to know you’re making a difference in a big way. And I know we are," said Wanda Reder, co-chair of the scholarship. "In recent years, with the emergence of smart grid and renewables, it's a different game that is attracting a younger demographic. A recent survey showed that the number of graduates pursuing power engineering is up about a third since 2006. So, that's progress."
Electrical power engineering has a long history at WPI, dating to the creation of the department in 1896. Research work on high voltage engineering, and on electrification of transportation, from trollies to modern electric vehicles, has provided inspiration for the educational programs at the bachelor's, master's and PhD levels.
"Thanks to expert and inspiring faculty like Professor Alex Emanuel, many of our students are attracted to electric power engineering, and these scholarships are a great help in getting students started on their careers," said John Orr, professor of electrical and computer engineering, and co-director of Liberal Arts & Engineering at WPI.
The IEEE scholarship winners are Ali Akhtar '15, of Lahore, Pakistan; Mohammad Ghani '14, of Flushing, N.Y.; Jeremy Giguere '15, of Tiverton, R.I.; Jordyn Rombola '14, of Berlin, Conn.; Gregory Sharp '14, of Newton, Mass.; Christopher Sontag '14, of Leominster, Mass.; Patrick Sullivan '14, of Stoughton, Mass.; and Julia Truong '16, of Worcester, Mass.
The scholars will receive up to three years of funding — $2,000 the first year, $2,000 the second year, and $3,000 the third year — interspersed with up to two years of valuable, hands-on career experience, as long as they continue to meet renewal standards.