Inspiring the Future

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!”


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 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.”


Mr. John Meredith
IEEE Senior Life Member

A Proud Supporter

John Meredith joined a joint IRE/AIEE Student Branch during his first week in college in 1960. Following graduation and assignments with the United States Navy, John became involved with IEEE’s Idaho Section and then Pikes Peak Section serving in several officer positions.

John helped organize and then chaired a Solid-State Circuits Chapter. He was appointed to IEEE Region 5’s Executive Committee as Education Activities Chair. He was elected to serve as Region 5 Director in 2004-05 and also served as IEEE-USA President in 2007. In 2006, he was elected to the IEEE Foundation Board of Directors and chairs the Foundation’s Nominations and Corporate Governance Committee. He frequently and effectively presents on the Foundation’s behalf to encourage and excite other Members to donate and support the programs of the Foundation.

“The IEEE Foundation allows me to channel my giving to projects and activities related to our profession. The projects and initiatives funded by the IEEE Foundation are making a difference,” said John. “I’m proud to be a supporter.” John and his wife, Lorraine, donate to various Foundation funds, but his primary focus is to preserve IEEE history. “History is all about the future -- it provides inspiration to create solutions to the grand challenges of today. Our legacy provides a great example for those who strive to make the world a better place,” John said. As the IEEE Foundation representative to the IEEE Life Members Committee, John supports the IEEE Life Members Fund and has a strong interest in the IEEE Awards Program.

“I encourage all IEEE members to learn more about the IEEE Foundation and the opportunities to support its programs, activities and initiatives. I also encourage members to become involved by proposing philanthropic projects that will make a difference,” John said.


Dr. Leah H. Jamieson

Dr. Leah H. Jamieson,
IEEE Fellow

Supporting What You Believe In

The recent focus on the role of engineers and engineering in humanitarian efforts is what compels 2007 IEEE President Leah Jamieson to support the IEEE Foundation. “The Foundation is helping IEEE realize its goals of advancing members' careers and shining a light on the importance of our fields in making the world a better place.”

Dr. Jamieson, the Ransburg Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Associate Dean of Engineering for Undergraduate Education at Purdue University, in West Lafayette, Indiana, says the biggest benefit of membership is the opportunity to have an active role in IEEE’s mission of advancing technology for the benefit of humanity.
“IEEE has given me an amazing professional community and has helped me grow in my career. I benefitted from attending IEEE conferences and felt very connected to and respected in my field.”

Dr. Jamieson, an IEEE Fellow, has been involved in the IEEE Computer Society, the IEEE Signal Processing Society, Technical Activities V.P., Publication Services and Products Board V.P. and in 2007, as IEEE President, she was involved in IEEE strategic planning and was founding chair of the IEEE Public Visibility Committee.

According to Dr. Jamieson, philanthropy is a tangible way to support the things you believe in. Gifts to the IEEE Foundation can help a young person learn more about engineering, computing and technology; enable recognition of innovators whose work has changed our lives; or help create new opportunities to connect engineering and humanity.

“I believe that IEEE has the potential to change people's lives, from creating the meetings where new ideas are sparked to conveying the excitement of our fields to young people who may become the innovators of the future, said Dr. Jamieson. “I'm grateful for all that IEEE has done for me, and I'm glad to have a chance to give back for all I've gained.”

Henry L. Bachman

Henry L. Bachman, IEEE Life Fellow

Building Our Future by Focusing on History

Henry Bachman joined IEEE as a student in 1951 because he was interested in learning more about engineering than what was taught in the textbooks. “In particular, I looked forward to hearing industry leaders give lectures at the student branch meetings.” As a professional, he recognized the importance of his membership. “In my mind there was never a question of maintaining IEEE membership or not; it was just part of my learning and professional experience.”

The biggest benefits of membership, for Mr. Bachman, are the leadership qualities he developed as a volunteer and volunteer leader, as well as the lasting friendships gained through active participation at all levels within IEEE. He is especially proud of his major role as Executive Vice President during the IEEE Centennial celebration.

The IEEE Foundation has evolved greatly since 1987, when he was IEEE President, and since 1994 when he served as IEEE Foundation President. “Then, the Foundation was simply a legal entity to permit tax free contributions, primarily intended for awards. It has continued to grow and better formulate its mission and responsiveness to that mission.”

Favorable tax considerations led Mr. Bachman to draw from his retirement account in 2008 to fulfill his annual Foundation contribution. “IRA giving reduces retirement income, which is otherwise taxed as general income. Donating through my IRA was more beneficial tax-wise for me than increasing my itemized deductions.”

The Life Members Fund is most often the recipient of Mr. Bachman’s charitable giving. “The focus on history, which would otherwise be largely lost to those new entrants to the profession, and the activities and programs directed at engineering students, is what compels me to give.”

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