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Energy Industry Leaders Discuss the Importance of Expanding the Technical Workforce

13 June 2012 - The IEEE Power & Energy Society (PES) will host a discussion focused on the importance of developing the technical workforce within the power and energy industry to meet the needs of the world’s energy future. Patricia Hoffman, IEEE member and Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy is a featured speaker, along with Wanda Reder, IEEE Fellow and Vice President of Power Systems Services at S&C Electric Company; Christopher Root, IEEE Senior Member and Senior Vice President of Network Strategy at National Grid USA; and Dr. Robert Thomas, IEEE Life Fellow and Professor Emeritus of Electrical Engineering at Cornell University.

The panel discussion, entitled “Building the Technical Workforce for Our Energy Future,” is planned for Thursday 14 June, from 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. EDT at the Union League Club in New York City. Invited guests include representatives from U.S. government, academia, power industry and utility segments.

“Executives across the power and energy industries share a concern for the pipeline of talent entering the power engineering workforce especially as more and more of the Baby Boomers who built today’s power system to its present strength prepare to retire,” stated Wanda Reder. According to the Center for Energy Workforce Development, nearly 50 percent of those currently in position are eligible to retire from the industry within the next five years.

The panel discussion coincides with the public kick-off of the IEEE PES Scholarship Plus Initiative, a three-year scholarship program attracting top undergraduate engineering candidates to pursue power engineering careers. In its inaugural year, the program distributed scholarships to 93 students at 51 universities across the United States. The IEEE PES Scholarship Plus Initiative provides multi-year scholarships and career experience opportunities to qualifying U.S. 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.

The IEEE PES Scholarship Plus Initiative plans to distribute more than 300 scholarships to students at more than 100 universities across the country in 2012. To date, the scholarship has raised nearly $4 million in corporate, foundation and individual donations, nearing the half-way point to its $10 million goal.

Industry Pioneers Support IEEE Efforts
Two industry leaders have each showed their support of the program through their respective $1 million donations; S&C Foundation, which is affiliated with S&C Electric Company, as well as Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories. Other prominent supporters of the Fund interested in solving power engineering workforce problems include The Grainger Foundation, Alstom, Doble Engineering, Powell Industries, Cooper Power Systems, Southern California Edison, ISO New England, Autodesk, PSE&G, Ulteig, Westinghouse, MidAmerican Energy Foundation, NSTAR, PJM Interconnection and GE Foundation.

The scholarship fund is administered by the IEEE Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation established in 1973 in the State of New York exclusively to support the scientific and educational purposes of IEEE. 

For more information on how you can support the IEEE PES Scholarship Plus Initiative, visit www.ee-scholarship.org, call 732-981-2866 or email Angelique Rajski, Capital Campaign Manager, at a.rajski@ieee.org. To donate, visit www.ee-scholarship.org/sponsorship/donate-now/.

 

Media contacts:

Francine Tardo
+1 732 465 5865
f.tardo@ieee.org

Monika Stickel
+1 732 562 6027
m.stickel@ieee.org
 

 

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