Edvina Uzunovic, VP Education

sept-govbdI will start the article by outlining the role of  IEEE PES Education, as well as my responsibilities as PES Vice President Education, as defined in the Bylaws: “The Society will deliver education that meets the professional needs of its members, consisting of an array of content and delivery mechanisms. Continuing Education Units (CEUs) will be offered when possible.”

In addition, the document states that:” The Education Advisory Group appointed by the VP-Education identifies educational needs of the power and energy industry, performs surveys to determine technical tutorial, workshop and webinar needs, and provides recommendations to the Society for meeting industry demands.

Under PES Education, various committees and subcommittees have been created to care about the members’ education and to deliver, as promised, education that meets the professional needs of its members. In this article, I will try to describe the objectives and the current status of a number of the committees and sub-committees; so that you get a picture what PES Education does for PES members.

IEEE Power & Energy Education Committee (PEEC) Survey

I am certain that most U.S. and Canadian educators are familiar with the PEEC Survey. The survey is run every two years and geared towards U.S. and Canadian universities with an objective to gather information about curriculum and faculty from electrical engineering, four year institutions in those countries. Information on the 2013-2014 PEEC survey is readily available online. We recently made some improvements to the PEEC Survey making its application more user friendly. Please note that the deadline for completing the 2015-2016 survey is September 30th, 2016. More about the PEEC structure and their work can be found on their website.

PES Careers

PES-Careers is an online resource that connects students seeking career experiences with power and energy industry for up to one year after graduation. There are three sites: US & Canada, Europe & Middle East, and Australia. Kindly visit the site in your region to subscribe and post your resume/job opening or internship.

PES Scholarship Plus Initiative

The Initiative provides scholarships and real world experience to undergraduates who are interested in power and energy engineering careers. It had been initiated in the U.S. in 2010, with the first generation of PES scholars being awarded in the 2011/2012 school year. After initiation in the US, it grew to Canada, Puerto Rico and recently, the initiative has been expanded to India. In 2015, the PES S+ Committees awarded 483,000 US$ in PES Scholarships to 209 students from 105 universities across the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico. Over 120 power and energy organizations have hired a PES Scholar recipient as part of their internship/career experience program or for a full time position. Since 2011, 942 scholarships were awarded to 587 students within the USA, Canada, and Puerto Rico.

The above numbered initiatives and programs are just a part of what we do. There are a number of initiatives and programs under PES Education not mentioned in this article. Now, let me approach the real subject of this article, and that is the future work and plans in the area of continuous education and technical tutorial, workshop and webinars.

PES Education is responsible for technical tutorials, workshops, and webinars presented for PES members. The generated material is available to PES members for free and is published at PES Resource Center.

The introduction of smart grid and the current status in the industry and academia indicate a need to pour more work into this arena. What we hear from our industry members is they need continuous education for the workforce, and more webinars and tutorials on the subjects relevant to smart grid.

We feel that currently there is a large gap in what is being studied at universities and that which is required by industry. A new generation of power and energy practitioners requires a different set of skills. The workforce training in forms of technical tutorials, webinars and workshops should focus on smart grid technologies with training in building, operating, and maintaining a modern electricity system, and integrating renewable energy sources. The subjects should target power electronics, information and communications technologies, policy, and economics.

That being said, we plan to create a PES Education platform to properly address the issues and to approach the work in front of us in a structured and organized manner. We plan to develop new committees dedicated to work in this arena only, and to populate those committees with the subject experts from industry and academia alike. Also, recognizing the fact that PES is a global society, the committee members should be coming from all parts of the world. We recognize the fact that the training should be crafted to address diversities in our membership.

In closing, PES Education officers and members would like to encourage all PES members to get involved, especially the newer and younger members of PES. We need your ideas and your feedback to properly address the work in front of us.

Kindly let me know any comments, critiques and any thoughts that you feel would improve PES Education.

Edvina Uzunovic
IEEE PES VP Education
Worcester Polytechnic Institute