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WSU student receives IEEE Power & Energy Society scholarship

Ali Khan (left) poses for a photo with WSU's First Lady Noel Schulz.
Ali Khan (left) and Noel Schulz, WSU's first lady and a professor in the WSU School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, pose for a picture.

Washington State University student Ali Khan has received a scholarship award from the IEEE Power & Energy Society.  

The IEEE Power & Energy Society Scholarship Plus Initiative is awarded to students who are interested in grid technology, have high GPAs and attend universities in the United States, Puerto Rico or Canada. 

Khan, who is pursuing a master’s degree in electrical engineering, wanted to pursue the field because of the impact that energy economics has on people’s daily lives. While one kilowatt-hour (kWh) for American consumers costs nine cents, it can cost as much as three times more in some African and Asian countries, he said. 

“[For] people in Asia or Africa, quite a big chunk of their savings goes towards paying their electricity bill,” he said. “That is what motivated me to pursue electrical engineering from the very beginning. I wanted to make sure that electric power is more efficient and cheaper.”

After receiving his undergraduate degree, Khan worked for a startup founded by a WSU electrical engineering alumnus. The company, Allumiax, is headquartered in Seattle, and works with contractors and distributors to preform power studies and other services.  He is currently working in research and development at Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories (SEL).   

As he pursues his degree, Khan said he is excited about gaining skills that he has seen in other WSU graduates. 

“What I saw was the quality of WSU graduates, the mentoring they have received, the exposure that they have received and the kind of technical ability and interpersonal communication skills they have developed is really what distinguished themselves from people from other universities,” he said.  

Khan emphasized that a lot of companies making up the bulk of the economy in Washington, such as Boeing, Amazon, Microsoft, SEL, PNNL and others are all focused on engineering and that is a useful degree to strive towards, making an engineering degree worth the hard work.  

“If you draw out a percentage of what engineering firms are contributing to the economy compared to other firms, engineering is going to be a major chunk,” he said.  

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