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IEEE PES Scholarship Plus Initiative Update

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

Upcoming Events

  • International Conference of Doble Clients – We are very happy to have been invited back to attend the International Conference of Doble Clients which will be held in Boston, MA (6 – 11 April). If you’re attending this exciting event, please stop by the PES Scholarship Plus exhibit to learn more about the program.
  • IEEE PES Transmission & Distribution Conference & Exposition – We will be Chicago attending the 2014 IEEE PES Transmission & Distribution Conference and Exposition. Come visit our booth (L12) near the Recharge Zone 2.   Additionally, we have scheduled a PES Scholarship Plus Initiative Recognition Luncheon on Tuesday, 15 April. During this luncheon you will hear the latest news on the program and have an opportunity to meet some PES Scholars & Donors. This is a free event and attendance is limited. If you’re available to attend, please RSVP as soon as possible.

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.

We are happy to report that PES Scholars are getting the opportunity to contribute to the Power Industry by getting a full time position and/or internship. 75% (60 of 81) of the PES Scholars who have graduated or are graduating in May have indicated that they have full time job or are planning on going to graduate school. 73% (78 of 107) of the PES Scholars who are continuing their education have secured an internship at company or a research opportunity at a university.

We still have students who are looking for full time and internship opportunities. If your organization has openings, please visit PES Careers or send us an email. 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 Scholar Profile (in Their Own Words) – Logan Brecklin

pesscholarshipLogan was selected as the 2013 IEEE PES Scholar John W. Estey Outstanding Scholar for Region 4 (Mid-West Region).

Who am I?

My name is Logan Brecklin and a senior Electrical Engineering major at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. I will graduate in May 2014 with emphases in Power and Energy as well as Controls, and will be working as an Associate System Protection Engineer with the American Transmission Company (ATC) in De Pere, WI. Aside from electrical engineering, my interests include: remaining active in clubs, such as when I was the 2013 President for the IEEE HKN chapter at UW-Platteville; playing intramurals; staying active by running marathons as well as jogging or weight lifting every day; and hanging out with friends, and visiting famous, local landmarks.

Career Goals

My career goals consist of continuously learn about every aspect of power engineering while working in my Associate System Protection Engineer position and progress towards roles of leadership within the utility sector. After a few years of experience in industry, I plan on obtaining my Professional Engineering (PE) Certification and also obtaining an MBA while working full-time.

Why did you choose to study engineering and the power engineering field?

Looking back on my childhood, I now see that it was inevitable that I would become an engineer. As a toddler, I didn’t stop at assembling forts in my rooms or making structures out of “Legos”. I searched endlessly around my house to find miscellaneous materials for different mini-projects. I have one vivid memory of collecting “Jenga” blocks, marbles, cardboard paper, and other supplies to construct a small-scale model of a bowling lane. I placed it on an inclined surface, so that when I flicked the marble at my make-shift pins, it would hit the pins, but then be funneled to the ball-return lane.

As time has passed, my interest in constructing things has only increased, with my extensive ideas becoming even more developed. By growing up with a father and brother as engineers, my fascinations were further encouraged.

I specifically chose the power engineering field because of advice from my parents, relatives, and – through an extended connection – a UW-Platteville professor only known as “Dave” (who I later found was Dr. David Drury, PE, a recently retired electrical engineering profession I had the honor to learn from). I had always liked seeing the physical make-up of things, such as how a bridge structure works, but was influenced into going into electrical engineering because of my good math skills.

What do you love about it?

I love electrical engineering because performing circuit analysis was like a puzzle to me, and the problems just became more complex and challenging as I progressed through the curriculum. Power engineering specifically interested me because I finally saw the real-life applications of circuits and power systems in our electrical grid. To further improve our power system is a goal that enthralls me to learn everything about the utility industry, such as how we can work across companies to improve power quality, reduce emissions, optimize generating schedules, and build a more sustainable future for generations to come.

Whom do you admire and why?

I admire many of my professors and peers that I have had the honor to work alongside during my career at UW-Platteville, but I would have to say I admire my dad the most. My father, Charles Brecklin, wholly embodies every value and trait that I desire to have in myself. Despite the difficulties that have arisen in his life, he used hard work in place of excuses and self-motivation in place of dependence. He took it upon himself to further his and his family’s situation, and I am forever indebted to him for that. He designed and helped construct three separate houses in his lifetime, with my parents’ latest home being almost entirely built from his calloused hands – all while working a full-time position! He was my biggest influence in choosing power engineering as my area of study, and I will continuously ask for his wisdom for decades to come.

What’s the most important thing you have learned in school?

The most important thing I have learned in school is that you can strive for perfection, but nobody can ever be perfect! Every circuit component has a tolerance, every situation has extraneous circumstances, every group encounters challenges, and every person makes mistakes. But it’s admitting your mistakes and accepting these challenges that make you a stronger and better person.

What advice would you give to other students entering college?

My advice to students entering college is that college is completely different from high school and you must realize that. College provides much less structure than the high school atmosphere, so you must be very self-motivated and organized to remain afloat in college. That being said, you’ll encounter many new experiences that you’ll cherish for the rest of your life. Although you should take your education very seriously, never lose sight of the big picture and the relationships that you form. It’s vital to maintain a balanced lifestyle and to not over-stress yourself.

What did you like about your career experience?

I had the honor to work for the American Transmission Company as an intern for three summers and three winter break periods. During my time at ATC, I worked in the Project Engineering department and with the System Protection department. While in my intern role, I found that all of the knowledge I learned at UW-Platteville was well-worth it and provided a strong base for me to become a successful engineer in industry. No matter which department I was with at the time, I was able to pull from all facets of my electrical engineering knowledge to understand and complete the projects assigned to me. The awesome mentors and full-time employees I was able to work with during my internships also provided practical knowledge that can’t be taught in an academic atmosphere. I was able to learn about myself, my interests, and my true passion(s) in power engineering. With all of these experiences, I had no reservations in pursuing a system protection engineering position; the profession provides many challenges and will have me learning new information for years to come.

Program Expansion

The IEEE PES Governing Board has made a commitment to expand this initiative to other parts of the world.  If you have comments or would like to be involved in this process, please send us an email.

Thank You for Your Support

We are very pleased to announce that ShivKrupa, Black & Veatch, PLH Group and V&R have recently joined our distinguished list of company supporters. We are also proud to announce that American Transmission Company and Ulteig have recommitted their support for the program in 2014!

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 world, 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.

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.