Six students in the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department were named IEEE Power & Energy Society (PES) Scholarship Plus Initiative 2017-18 awardees. This signature program of the IEEE Foundation provides $7,000 in undergraduate educational support over a 3 year period. With these six recipients, Northeastern is tied for 3rd most PES scholarship winners at one university across the United States and Canada.

According to IEEE, “The PES Scholarship Plus Initiative supports the most promising future engineers in power and energy. Recipients are high-achieving undergraduate students in electrical engineering programs who have committed to exploring the power and energy engineering field through both coursework and career experiences.”

For the 2017-2018 scholarships, there are 210 recipients in 101 universities. This is also the first year were more than 30% of the winners are female, according to the scholarship organizers.

Alina Rossi-Conway, one of the winners from Northeastern, said she’s happy to have been awarded this scholarship because it brings attention to an underrepresented discipline:

“I'm so excited to have been awarded this scholarship--not only for the money, but for what it represents. With increased penetration of renewables and increased prevalence of electric vehicles, our power grid is facing unprecedented challenges and our decaying infrastructure is ill-equipped to meet the needs of the 21st century.”

Jessica Bardio

Rossi-Conway went on to say the new benchmark of over 30% of awardees being female is exciting but hopes that standard will continue to be surpassed. “The women students that I've worked with in class and in labs on campus have proved to be some of the most diligent and thoughtful students I've encountered in my studies, so the fact that scholarship awards are starting to reflect this is promising. We need more women in engineering to combat the complex challenges we have facing us—let's get it up to 50%!”

Jessica Bardio, another scholarship winner, had the same sentiment when it comes to continuing to grow the diversity of programs like this. “[…] there’s still a lot more to be done. I think it’s also important to keep in mind that having a diverse set of engineers doesn’t just mean having a 1:1 male to female ratio. There are other minority groups that we need to think about and include in these metrics. Though, I am glad to hear that a more diverse population is getting involved in power engineering and is getting needed financial support,” Bardio said.

Congratulations to all of the recipients of this scholarship across the country, but especially to our very own Jessica Bardio, Gregory Jeffrey, Alina Rossi-Conaway, Gianna Scioletti, Gregory Tolj, and Andrew Whitaker.