Daniel C. Cambron was an active student member of IEEE throughout his undergraduate and graduate school years, but he didn’t stop there – the dynamic entrepreneur has continued to nurture and build on that positive relationship in his career and credits IEEE with helping him find his professional path.
Following his induction into IEEE-HKN by the Beta Upsilon Chapter at the University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, USA in 2013, Cambron was an IEEE Power & Energy Society (PES) Scholar in 2014-2015 and went on to receive his B.S. degree (summa cum laude) in electrical engineering and computer engineering and M.S. degree in electrical engineering from the University of Kentucky in 2015 and 2016, respectively. In 2015, Cambron was awarded IEEE’s prestigious Charles LeGeyt Fortescue Scholarship, which recognizes graduate students for outstanding contributions to the field of electrical engineering and carries a stipend of up to US $24,000.
Today, Cambron, who earned his PE license in 2021, serves as Co-Founder and President of Lexington, Kentucky-based electronics and software development company Lexcelon, but his ties to IEEE remain strong. In 2022, he served as Vice-Chair of IEEE’s Lexington Section and in 2023 took on the role of Section Chair, where he hopes to “grow the section and bring together the wealth of electrical engineering talent in the Lexington area.”
Looking back, Cambron can’t say enough about the impact his IEEE scholarships had on both his personal life and professional endeavors.
“The Charles LeGeyt Fortescue scholarship allowed me to pursue graduate study completely independent of a professor’s research,” Cambron explained. “I independently decided to work on a battery current estimator, and the benefits of that freedom drew me towards an entrepreneurial career. I don’t think I would have started a product development company were it not for that experience leading me in this direction.”
“At the same time, my participation in HKN and PES offered great opportunities to network,” he continued. “I was introduced to IEEE as an organization and got to meet many engineers in my field and learn about their career paths. HKN provided an avenue to meet other students as well; in particular, I remember attending an HKN conference in California with a fellow student who to this day remains a close friend of mine,” he said. “These experiences showed me the many career opportunities available to me — which included staying in Kentucky and forging my own path instead of going to the west coast to work for a big tech firm — and also inspired me to become involved with my local IEEE section, through which I have the opportunity to serve as Chair this year.”
As a former beneficiary of IEEE donor-supported programs, Cambron takes pride in giving back to IEEE and the field by serving as an IEEE volunteer leader. And from personal experience, he also confirmed that student fellowships and scholarships can have a huge impact on a recipient’s future.
“They can definitely lift a financial burden and open up opportunities to students who might not otherwise have a chance to pursue a high-quality education, but they can also lift people up in nuanced or even unexpected ways,” he said. “For me, IEEE scholarships set in motion a chain of events leading to my current ownership of a thriving small business and plans to be a lifelong IEEE member!”