During the 2022 IEEE Power & Energy Society (PES) Transmission and Distribution Conference & Exposition (T&D), Bahman Hovieda was everywhere: being recognized at the opening ceremony, speaking at a special luncheon for donors and hosting a session for young engineers about their futures in the industry.
For years, Hoveida has been a key member of the IEEE family and is an honored philanthropist in the IEEE Heritage Circle at the highest giving level. Now an IEEE Life Senior Member, and retired from the company he founded and sold, Hoveida continues to follow the power and energy industry and support various startups in the energy and clean-tech industries. Additionally, Hoveida is involved in philanthropic and charitable causes through the Hoveida Family Foundation.
One of Hoveida Family Foundation’s initial gifts was for the IEEE Foundation to support exemplary scholars. In November 2021, the IEEE Power & Energy Society (PES) Scholarship Plus Initiative announced the 72 high-achieving undergraduate electrical engineering scholars to be honored as 2021-2022 PES Scholars with strong GPAs and distinctive extracurricular commitments who are exploring the power and energy field.
Of the total, 33 are Hoveida Family Foundation Scholars; these undergraduate students majoring in electrical engineering benefit profoundly from this endowment, and Hoveida sees supporting their education as an investment in a sustainable future for us all. “We need a lot of young, fresh minds to solve the world’s energy problems through innovation. The planet’s existence depends on this. The commitment of new students to environmental causes impresses me,” he said.
“The majority of young people entering technical schools have an interest in environmental causes and helping the planet through sound engineering innovation,” said Hoveida, which he explains was not something he experienced during his undergraduate years in the 1980s.
News of Hoveida Family Foundation’s donation has reverberated through IEEE and IEEE Foundation. IEEE Foundation Director John McDonald’s 30-year friendship with Hoveida gives him insight into how well this cause fits with his friend’s ideals, as he has always empowered others to do their very best. McDonald said, “I met Bahman more than 30 years ago and supported his company, Open Systems International (OSI), with strategic contract awards when I was with KEMA Consulting. I respect Bahman very much and value our friendship. He empowers others to do their very best while staying in the background, not needing any recognition for himself. When Bahman sold his company and established the Hoveida Family Foundation, he said that he would love to support educational and science causes.”
When Hoveida learned about the IEEE PES Scholarship Plus Initiative, to encourage Electrical Engineering students to take courses and work in the power and energy industry, it was a perfect fit for the goals of his new Hoveida Family Foundation.
For the 33 scholarship recipients, Hovieda Family Foundation’s investment will follow them throughout their careers, carving the path to a sustainable future that brings power and energy to every community. The students will receive a financial award, one year of IEEE PES student membership, and have the opportunity to be mentored by leading professionals in the power and energy industry as they begin to explore a career path that ensures the grid shifts and grows alongside the society to which it brings power and energy. One can only imagine that the college sophomore Bahman Hoveida once was would be incredibly proud of the Hoveida Family Foundation’s investment in students like him, and the future IEEE Foundation and PES Scholarship Plus value so deeply.