UI-ASSIST Student Awarded IEEE Scholarship

IEEE Award winners

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

Washington State University (WSU) student Ali Khan is pursuing a master’s degree in electrical engineering and won the award from the IEEE Power & Energy Society.  

One of the reasons Khan wanted to pursue a master’s in electrical engineering was because of the economics of electricity, and the impact that energy economics has on our daily lives.  

He said while one Kilowatt-Hour (kWh) for American consumers costs nine cents, it cost as much as three times more in some African and Asian countries, this creates a need for electrical engineers.  

“[For] people in Asia or Africa, quite a big chunk of their savings goes towards paying their electricity bill, 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,” Khan said.  

After Khan achieved an undergraduate degree, he 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 perform power studies and other services.  

Khan chose to study at WSU because of the communication skills, mentoring and exposure that graduates from the University have. He is currently working at Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories (SEL) in Research and Development.   

“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,” Khan 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,” Khan said.  

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