Anne-Marie Sahazizian Scholars Represent a Lasting Legacy

A devoted member of IEEE since 1980, Anne-Marie Sahazizian, P.Eng., Life Senior Member, enjoyed a renowned career as an electrical engineer at Ontario Hydro and Hydro One in Canada; she was also an active member of IEEE’s Toronto Section as well as the IEEE Standards Association, Standards Board, and Charles Proteus Steinmetz Award Committee and received the IEEE Standards Medallion “for major contributions to the development of standards” in 2012. Though she passed in September 2019, her proud legacy will live on thanks to her family’s creation of the “Anne-Marie Sahazizian Scholarship Fund.”

Established by Sahazizian’s children through their generous donation to IEEE’s Power & Energy Society (PES) Scholarship Plus Initiative, the Anne-Marie Sahazizian Scholarship Fund aims to celebrate Anne-Marie’s outstanding contributions to the field and passion for supporting the next generation by increasing the number of well-qualified, entry-level engineers in the power and energy industry. Beginning with the 2020/21 cycle, six Sahazizian Scholars will be selected -- four from IEEE Regions 1 or 2 (Northeast USA) and two from Region 7 (Canada) – with preference given to qualified female applicants. Only Scholars who have already been selected as recipients of the IEEE PES Scholarship are eligible to be considered for this recognition; recipients have the opportunity to receive up to three years of funding to help develop their careers and augment their ability to lead in Anne-Marie’s name.

“I approached IEEE about creating the scholarship on September 16, 2019 – the day after Mom passed away,” explained son Anton Sahazizian, who, along with his sister Alice, their spouses, the IEEE Foundation, and the IEEE Power & Energy Society, established the Anne-Marie Sahazizian Scholarship Fund in her memory as part of the IEEE PES S+ Initiative. “My mother’s nearly 40-year association with IEEE had afforded her the opportunity to travel and meet peers, many of whom became lifelong friends, and the idea of honoring her legacy through an organization to which she was so devoted seemed very natural.”

IEEE colleagues remember Anne-Marie’s tremendous impact on the profession. John D. McDonald, P.E., IEEE Life Fellow, who helped support the creation of her scholarship fund, shared that “Anne-Marie was a close friend and we worked together in the IEEE PES Substations Committee for many years. She had a passion for standards and co-authored Chapter 1 of my book, Electric Power Substations Engineering.”

“Anne-Marie was a devoted and talented engineer and member of the IEEE for many years and was truly a role model for the next generation,” agreed Olivier Trescases, 2019 IEEE Toronto Section Chair, of his colleague’s enduring legacy.

“At my mother’s funeral, a lady I’d never met recounted how my mom had recruited her as a young engineer and mentored her, while another shared that she’d studied many technical articles my mother had written and saw her as a role model for women engineers – two interactions which truly moved me,” Anton said. “Our family’s hope for the Anne-Marie Sahazizian Scholarships is that they carry on my mother’s legacy of helping young and particularly female electrical power engineers to develop their professional careers. We believe that’s very much what Mom would have wanted.”

The IEEE Foundation and PES S+ are honored to be the vehicle through which investments in the careers of aspiring power engineers are made possible and to continue the legacy of this great woman, leader and volunteer -- Anne-Marie Sahazizian.

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