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IEEE PES Scholarship Plus Initiative Update

February/March 2014

The IEEE PES Scholarship Plus Initiative provides multi-year scholarships and career experience opportunities to qualifying U.S. & Canadian electrical engineering undergraduate students. As long as the scholar continues to meet renewal standards, he or she will receive up to three years of funding — US$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.  

PES Scholarship Plus in the News

IEEE PES Scholarship Plus Initiative Application is OPEN

We are now accepting applications from undergraduate students in the US & Canada for the PES Scholarship Plus Initiative.  Over the last three years, we have distributed over US$1.1M to 364 students from over 137 universities across the US & Canada.  In 2013, PES Scholars were from 42 of the 50 US States (+ Washington, DC) and 5 Canadian Provinces.   We would love to have a recipient from each US State and all Canadian Provinces in 2014.  The deadline to submit an application is June 30, 2014.

2013 Smart Grid Hiring Trends Report – Reminder

The 2013 Smart Grid Hiring Trends Report offers human resource professionals and hiring executives unique insight into emerging Smart Grid human resources challenges, solutions and trends. Featuring 76 unique tables illustrating nearly 30 distinct Smart Grid hiring topics, this research arms industry professionals with a powerful benchmarking tool that will ensure the development of a successful Smart Grid human capital strategy.  A. Cullen & Associates, in partnership with Zpryme, is donating $100 of the proceeds from the sale of each report to the IEEE PES Scholarship Plus Initiative. The report is available for purchase.

Career Experience/Internships

Getting students to participate in career experience opportunities is fundamental to the success of the Initiative.  The objective of the career experience program is to expand the number of available career experience opportunities for students, particularly by companies that may not have been offering them in the past, to provide an efficient way for companies to supplement their own career experience programs, and to encourage companies to increase their efforts to build the pipeline of students interested in power engineering careers.  PES Scholars have reported getting internships in the following industries:

  • Electric Services: Distribution Utilities
  • Electric Services: General
  • Electric Services: Gen/Trans/Distr. Utilities
  • Electric Services: Generation Providers
  • Electric Services: Transmission Provider
  • Manufacturing: Electric Transmission and Distribution Equip.: Transformers, Switchgear
  • Manufacturing: Electronic And Other Electrical Equip., Components, Except Computer Equip.
  • Research:  Academic Institution
  • Services: Engineering Services in Energy and Power Systems

If your company has an internship program, please visit PES Careers. PES Careers is uniquely designed to help students find a power engineering job after graduation (or career experiences while a student), and to help employers efficiently find the best candidates for those positions. IEEE PES offers PES Careers without charge as a service to students and their future employers, and to help address emerging engineering workforce challenges.

PES Mentoring Program

Another important part of the PES Scholarship Plus Initiative is the mentoring program. The Mentor Program offers a person the chance to give back to the next generation of leaders in the power and energy industry. We are actively seeking successful leaders in the field—both men and women—to serve as mentors to one or more of the PES Scholars. Mentors can communicate directly with PES Scholars via email, telephone or  in-person. Participation in the mentoring aspect of the program is voluntary for PES Scholars. Sign up to be a mentor!

PES Scholar Profile – Bridget Davis

  • marchdavisWho am I? My name is Bridget Davis and I am from Newark, OH. I am a senior EE major at Ohio Northern University. In May, I will be graduating and moving to Abilene, TX to work as an engineer for American Electric Power in Field Transmission Services. In my spare time I play club rugby, where I was club president and team captain. I am also president of the ONU IEEE Student Branch chapter, treasurer for the ONU Society of Women Engineers chapter, and a sister of Phi SIgma Rho (an engineering sorority).
  • Career Goals: I will start out as Engineer IV, but I hope to eventually pass the PE exam and become a Principle Engineer, which is more of a supervisory position.
  • Why did you choose to study engineering and the power engineering field? I attended a Women in Engineering camp at Ohio State while I was still in high school. While there, we learned about different types of engineering and got to participate in engineering related activities. I quickly realized that this was what I wanted to do. When I eventually chose electrical engineering and got to college I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. However, I went to a school career fair and did some research on AEP and power engineering and fell in love. I learned a lot while working for them and found the field interesting. When I started taking power classes, my choice was confirmed – I knew that I wanted to work in the power industry.
  • What do you love about it? The thing I love most about the power industry is the large scale. I can actually go out to a substation and see the path that the power is taking and hear it’s hum along the power lines. On my most recent internship I got to climb inside a failed transformer and see all the parts inside of it and what went wrong. I’ve been to several manufacturer’s plants and have been able to see the process in which circuit breakers and transformers are made. To me that is really cool. I am a very visual person, so to be able to see the power working and the path it takes is really interesting to me.
  • Whom do you admire and why? The person I admire the most is my professor, Dr. Khalid Al-Olimat. He is the professor that teaches the power classes at ONU. His style of teaching made learning easy and fun. Dr. Al-Olimat was always very positive and helpful whenever questions arose. He is also the professor that encouraged me to to pursue this scholarship. His enthusiasm matched mine when I found out that I had not only received the PES Scholarship but also the John W. Estey Outstanding Scholar award. His extensive knowledge and passion for power engineering have spilled over into me and I am grateful for his guidance and support during my four years at ONU.
  • What’s the most important thing you have  learned in school? I think the most important thing I have learned in school is that there is no one right way to solve a problem. That’s the beauty of engineering. One can allow their creativity to flow while solving a problem at the same time.
  • What advice would you give to other students entering college? The best advice I can give to new college students is to follow your passion. If you love what you do then it will be easy and fun to go to work.
  • What did you like about your career experience? I was fortunate enough to work for three summers for AEP as an intern. While with them, I was able to learn so much about the power industry and it really sparked my interest. As I mentioned before, I have had some amazing opportunities to see lots of different aspects of the power industry and I am grateful to have been able to have those experiences. Not only was I able to learn about power but I was able to learn about myself; what I liked and what I didn’t like, which then led me to be able to decide what kind of job I wanted after graduation. I also liked, that while working, I was working on real projects with other engineers. Then, when I came back the next summer, I could go out to the sites and actually see the product of a project that I helped work on. Even though I played a very minor part in those projects, it still provided a sense of accomplishment to be able to say “I worked on that”

Thank you for your Support

Thanks to our current donors, the Initiative has raised over $5.2 million in just under 3 years. You are encouraged to join us by giving back to the industry and “pay it forward” by donating to the Initiative. Your donation will educate and inspire the next generation of power and energy engineers. As the only program of this magnitude in the country, we hope that you will find this a worthy initiative to attach your name to.

Should you be a previous donor, please consider making an additional gift to the Initiative. Your continued support is truly appreciated!  The Initiative needs support from individuals like you by ‘giving back’ to IEEE, and from the industry that ultimately benefits from gaining new engineers.

Thank you for your anticipated support of the Initiative!

Donate to the IEEE PES Scholarship Plus Initiative by visiting the PES Scholarship Plus Initiative website.

If you have any questions on donating to the program please contact Angelique Rajski – or 732-981-2866

Individuals and companies in Canada can provide support for the program through the IEEE PES Canadian Scholarship Fund which is managed by the IEEE Canadian Foundation (ICF). The ICF, is registered in Canada as a charitable organization associated with IEEE Canada, awards special grants to new and innovative projects within Canada that seek to apply technology for the benefit of humanity.  For additional information and how to donate in Canada visit the IEEE Canadian Foundation Web site.