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Meet our Donors


Dr. Edmund O. Schweitzer, III
IEEE Fellow

Encouraging Students to Explore the Power Engineering Field

Dr. Edmund O. Schweitzer, III (Ed) is a pioneer in digital protection. In 2002, he was elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering, and in 2012, was awarded the IEEE Medal in Power Engineering for his leadership in revolutionizing the performance of electrical power systems with computer-based protection and control equipment.

Ed is the recipient of the Graduate Alumni Achievement Award from Washington State University and the Purdue University Outstanding Electrical and Computer Engineer Award. He was awarded two honorary doctorates, and has served on the faculties of Ohio University and Washington State University. He has written dozens of technical papers and holds more than 35 U.S. patents pertaining to electric power system protection, metering, monitoring, and control.

In 1982, he founded Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, Inc. (SEL), headquartered in Pullman, Washington, USA, to develop and manufacture digital protective relays, related products and services. Today, SEL serves the electric power industry worldwide.

In 2012, Ed became a unique multi-type donor to the IEEE Foundation’s PES Scholarship in the amount of $1.1 million. Whereas the Schweitzers designated their personal gift locally, SEL’s $1 million gift is national in scope to help build the technical workforce of the energy future within the US. “SEL, my wife Beatriz, and I believe it is important to support programs that encourage students to explore the power engineering field. These students will make future contributions to the industry and we are so happy to be a part of that,” Ed stated proudly.

“SEL is committed to providing opportunities for research and development of new innovations to assist the industries we serve. The PES Scholarship assists students who will be the electrical engineers of tomorrow,” stated Ed. “Innovation is what drives us and we are excited to see what these students will create!”




Dr. Arthur W. Winston
IEEE Life Fellow

Forever Generous

Dr. Arthur W. Winston, an IEEE member since 1955, valued his membership for the technical material and meetings which helped with his work. At the age of 29, he was asked to chair a major IEEE exposition with lectures and exhibits, which introduced him to many IEEE activities. He has been involved ever since.

Arthur is compelled to participate in IEEE activities for many reasons: working in an area that interests him, the feeling of making a contribution, and meeting and interacting with interesting people world-wide. “IEEE affords an opportunity to keep current with technical and social interests. My membership has kept me mentally and spiritually active, vital and young,” Arthur said.

Arthur became aware of the Foundation when he joined the IEEE Board of Directors. He was elected IEEE President in 2004 and then served 7 years on the IEEE Foundation Board until 2012. He served as Vice President of Development, 1st Vice President, Chair of the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee, liaison Representative to the IEEE Life Members Committee, and on the Finance Committee through the years.
“The Foundation meets the social imperatives that IEEE alone does not. I favor Foundation sponsored educational programs that are scalable and far-reaching since I believe that education is a passport for life,” Arthur said.  
A loyal, annual donor, Arthur found another way to support the IEEE Foundation that suits his current stage of life. He is now Forever Generous and a valuable member of the IEEE Goldsmith Legacy League. “I believe that the Foundation’s work should be supported,” Arthur says. “As someone who has recently retired, cash flow becomes an issue to be considered. So my wife, Lily, and I decided the best way for us to contribute is to include IEEE Foundation in our trust.”

Dr. Leah H. Jamieson

Professor. Victor B. Lawrence
IEEE Life Fellow

Supporting the Innovation Engine of IEEE

Professor Victor B. Lawrence is Director of the Center for Intelligent Networked Systems, and Associate Dean and Charles Batchler Chair Professor of Engineering at the Stevens Institute of Technology, NJ, USA. He worked in the information technology and communications R&D field for more than 30 years at AT&T, Lucent Technologies and Bell Laboratories.
Victor joined the IEEE to develop his career, network and learn from other’s research. “Joining IEEE meant staying connected with the technical community, staying up-to-date with advances in the field through IEEE publications, events and conferences,” he said. Victor finds being a member of such a large and reputable organization very appealing. He has served as Chair of the IEEE Awards Board, Editor-in-Chief, IEEE Transactions on Communications and served on the IEEE Communications Society Board of Governors.

An IEEE Foundation Board Member since 2011, Victor is most interested in the Foundation’s outreach programs into developing and emerging countries. “Work in this area can move billions of people from poverty and improve their life.” Victor is a key proponent of R&D globalization and is championing the effort to bring fiber optic connectivity to Africa.
Victor says that he donates to IEEE Foundation programs because of the very efficient way the programs are chosen and implemented. “The Foundation has unique philanthropic services, humanitarian initiatives and history programs that are of great interest to the IEEE community. The Foundation is the Innovation Engine of the IEEE,” he said.
It is important for all IEEE Members to support the IEEE Foundation, Victor feels, saying, “Members’ support helps to shape the scope and activities of the Foundation and creates opportunity to make an impact on the future of the IEEE.”


Bichlien Hoang
IEEE Senior Member

Giving Back to a Much Larger Community

Bichlien Hoang is an IEEE member, staff member and donor. Serving as the senior program director in IEEE Technical Activities’ Future Directions department, she seeks out new and existing technologies for integration into IEEE’s intellectual property. But she has also spent a lifetime in the business of building a brighter future.
Bichlien firmly believes in IEEE’s core purpose of Advancing Technology for Humanity. “Supporting the IEEE Foundation as an IEEE staff member is another way of expressing support for the IEEE core purpose, which I firmly believe in,” she said. “IEEE Foundation provides the means to achieve that purpose by enabling worldwide efforts to materialize,” Bichlien added.

The IEEE Humanitarian Technology Fund and the IEEE Foundation General Fund are most appealing to Bichlien. “Coming to the USA as an immigrant and a ‘boat person’ from Vietnam, I am particularly sensitive to those that have suffered loss as the result of wars or national disasters and are in dire need of technology-based resources to rebuild,” she said. She also donates to the IEEE Foundation General Fund to allow it to support projects that further the scientific and educational purpose of IEEE. “As a former teacher in Vietnam, education is very important to me, and I know my donations benefit educational programs,” Bichlien said.

“Giving back to the community is one of my priorities,” said Bichlien. She added, “Each year, the grants provided by the Foundation have allowed projects in different regions and countries, with different focus and purpose, and different target populations to come to fruition. Donating to the IEEE Foundation helps me give back to a much larger community, thanks to the worldwide reach of the Foundation. We can all do our part to make this world better by giving back."

John W. Estey
IEEE Fellow

$1 Million to Outstanding Scholarship

Originally from Toronto, Canada, John W. Estey holds a BSEE from Queen’s University and a MBA from the University of Chicago. John served for 13 years on the IEEE PES Governing Board and two years as Director of the IEEE.

John dedicated a lifetime of service to S&C Electric Company.  He joined S&C Electric Company in Toronto in 1972 and moved to the Chicago, Illinois, USA headquarters later that year, wherein he filled numerous responsible positions in the company’s R&D and Marketing operations. In 1988, he was elected President and Chief Operating Officer, and became the third CEO in S&C Electric Company’s history in 1997.

Unbeknown to John, Stan Slabas and Wanda Reder, colleagues at S&C, decided to honor John’s40th anniversary with the company. Stan and Wanda worked with the S&C Foundation Board, as part of S&C’s Centennial celebration, to name a scholarship after John. S&C Foundation’s contribution of $1 million to the IEEE Foundation and the IEEE PES Scholarship Plus Initiative was announced as a surprise during S&C’s Centennial celebration in September 2011.

S&C’s full gift is earmarked for the IEEE PES John W. Estey Outstanding Scholar Award in the amount of $5,000 to the top performing student in each IEEE-designated region within the United States, into perpetuity. “I was blown away and very honored,” stated John, which compelled him to donate personally. “Since I am from Canada, the IEEE Foundation and I agreed on an amount that would allow the John W. Estey Outstanding Scholarship to extend to a student from Region 7 (Canada) and I was pleased to contribute to the Foundation for that purpose.”

2012 marked the first year of recipients of the John W. Estey Outstanding Scholarship, which awarded six scholarships across the United States. Roll out into Canada begins in 2013.


Dr. Eric Honea
IEEE Senior Member
and Dr. K. Kendall Guthrie

A Perfect Match

Dr. Eric Honea and his wife Dr. K. Kendall Guthrie both support the IEEE Foundation. Eric donates primarily to the IEEE Humanitarian Technology Fund and Kendall through her employer’s matching gift program. By having Eric’s donations matched by Kendall’s employer, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, their support for the IEEE Foundation has been tripled.

Eric has been a member of IEEE and the IEEE Photonics Society (and its predecessor, the Laser and Electro-Optics Society) for more than 15 years. He continues appreciating the benefits of the organization, including its publications and conferences. An employee at Lockheed Martin Laser and Sensor Systems, Eric follows trends in the field, especially those relevant to his work in photonics technology.

 “Learning about the IEEE Foundation through the annual appeals to IEEE members, we are pleased to support the IEEE Foundation’s philanthropic efforts. Through the generous matching program of my wife’s employer, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, we have been able to multiply our contribution to the IEEE Foundation,” Eric shared. Kendall added, “My employer encourages employees to support their own passions. They match any charitable gift our family makes 3:1. That makes it fun to give because we know our donations draw out even more money for our favorite causes.”

Kendall, a social scientist, appreciates that “the IEEE Foundation supports humanitarian projects focused on technology, education and their applications in developing nations. We have two teenage daughters and are especially keen on improving science education in the elementary and middle schools. That’s where people first develop their love of science,” she said.

Eric and Kendall added, “If IEEE members have spouses that work for larger organizations, they should see if they can qualify for matching funds as well.”



Ramachandra G. Ramakumar
IEEE Life Fellow

Creating His Legacy--A Gift to IEEE and IEEE Foundation

Ramachandra G. Ramakumar (Rama) joined IEEE in 1962 after receiving his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA and has maintained his membership ever since. “Joining IEEE was important for my professional career as an educator which started in 1957 at Coimbatore institute of Technology, Coimbatore, India (University of Madras).”  Rama held many leadership roles and chaired numerous technical paper sessions and panel sessions on topics related to renewable energy.

Rama joined the College of Engineering, Agriculture and Technology faculty at Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK, USA in 1967 and for 45 years he has been involved in renewable energy work, and nurturing the advancement of this technology. “Recently things have turned around considerably with utility-scale penetration of wind, photovoltaic and other technologies. When an opportunity arose, I felt it was important to recognize and encourage activities in renewable energy with a suitable IEEE Society-level award for contributions and excellence,” said Rama.

Rama is recognized in the IEEE Heritage Circle – Alexander Graham Bell level for his contribution to the IEEE Power & Energy Society Ramakumar Family Renewable Energy Excellence Award Fund. Rama said, “My wife Gokula, son Sanjay and daughter Malini played vital roles in enabling me to achieve my modest professional accomplishments and, as such, I named the award for my family.” Establishing this award fund is Rama’s legacy gift to IEEE and IEEE Foundation. “The award will recognize outstanding contributions in the field of developing, utilizing and integrating renewable energy resources in the national and global energy scenarios,” Rama said. He added, “As the world transitions to increasing use of energy technologies that have minimal carbon footprint, IEEE Power and Energy Society should play a leading role to enable this transition. Encouraging activity towards this goal is the primary objective of this award.”

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