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WSU students earn the most IEEE power scholarships

By Alyssa Patrick, College of Engineering and Architecture

A total of nine WSU students received the prestigious Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering (IEEE) scholarship in power engineering, which is tied for the highest number of scholarships that the organization awarded to one university.

The scholarships are from the IEEE Power and Energy Society Scholarship Plus Initiative. According to the PES website, the scholarships are awarded to “high achieving undergraduate students in electrical engineering who have committed to exploring the power and energy fields through both coursework and career experiences.”

“PES launched the Scholarship Plus Initiative in 2011 to increase the number of well-qualified, entry-level engineers to the power and energy industry,” said Anurag Srivastava, assistant professor in the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. Srivastava also serves as the WSU representative and IEEE Region 6 committee member for the PES Scholarship.

“The program provides not only scholarship and industry experience, but many ways to gain knowledge in power engineering careers, including mentoring and special recognition as a PES Scholar,” Srivastava said.

In 2013, 228 students across the United States received the scholarship. In 2014, IEEE PES aims to distribute more than 300 scholarships, according to Srivastava.

In addition to a cash scholarship over three years, the PES scholars are required to get professional career experiences each year.

“It is a tremendous honor for several of our students to receive these important scholarships,” said Behrooz Shirazi, EECS director. “Their success demonstrates that WSU continues to take a leadership role in preparing the next generation workforce in power engineering and in addressing the national challenge of updating the electric power grid.”

WSU has one of the top power engineering programs in the U.S. In 2012, Chen-Ching Liu, Boeing Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering, founded the Energy Systems Innovation Center, which works with industry partners on energy issues and the smart electric power grid.

The WSU students who received the award are: Travis Kinney (WSU Vancouver), Gwendolyn Crabtree, David Dearing, Sanel Hirkic, John Hofman (WSU Vancouver), John Martinsen, Jared Pisinger, Douglas Rapier, and Chris Rusnak.  Kinney also received the John W. Estey Outstanding Scholar award, which is given to the top PES Scholar in each region.

Eligible students can apply for next year’s scholarship online at www.ee-scholarship.org.

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