Returning the Favor through Funding IEEE Scholarships

With his full-time position at Saskatchewan Power Corporation funding his graduate degree in electrical engineering studies at night from 1975-1986, IEEE Life Member Abbas Abed remembers how vital financial support was to his entry into the engineering field. Since then, “supporting scholarships, especially in the field of power systems, is appealing,” he said. “By ensuring that students secure appropriate funding for their education, contributions can shape the future of the engineering profession by enabling students to focus on their studies instead of financial aid applications/activities, juggling work with advanced studies, or concerns over a large debt upon graduation.”

Abbas also hopes that his contributions can provide students with access to IEEE news and events. “Funding IEEE subscriptions and attendance at meetings keeps one up-to-date on the latest industry trends,” said Abbas, who has presented on matters related to utility voltage and power at numerous IEEE meetings worldwide since the 1990s.

Abbas credits his IEEE involvement with “supporting my continuing education as well as helping me develop a personal list of seasoned, international professionals who I’m proud to refer to as ‘my colleagues,’” he said. “I promote the IEEE Power & Energy Society Scholarship Plus Initiative as a way to provide educational funding, mentoring, and an international, professional networking system for the next generation of professional engineers.”

As the spouse of a longtime IEEE member and the recipient of several scholarships during her own years as a student, Abbas’ wife Diana agreed that donations to the IEEE Foundation can benefit recipients in many ways. In addition to providing critical funding for their studies as well as access to industry meetings and conferences, “as I entered the workforce, career advice, solid references, and actual job opportunities came from organization members, and professional education and networking continued thereafter,” she said. “Between Abbas’ award-winning, 30+-year career and continuous IEEE membership plus my own personal experience with and understanding of the value of scholarships and mentoring, we ‘vote’ for IEEE Foundation scholarships!”

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