Diversified industrial manufacturer Eaton Corporation and the University of Pittsburgh on April 21 presented best practices and ideas aimed at addressing workforce challenges and cultivating new talent in electrical and power engineering. The panel discussions were part of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Power and Energy Society Transmission and Distribution Conference in New Orleans, La., and were an outgrowth of the path-breaking collaboration between the global power management company and the university’s Swanson School of Engineering.
The two panel discussions focused on how Eaton and Pitt’s Swanson School of Engineering are developing courses and research related to next-generation power delivery technology. Additionally, the initiative, which received a $500,000 sponsorship from Eaton, is helping to persuade top-talent students to pursue power engineering careers.
“As our energy and power management challenges increase, we are also experiencing an uptick in the retirement of many highly experienced power engineering professionals, so it’s absolutely critical that we meet rising demand for power engineers,” said Richard Stinson, president, Power Distribution Operations – Americas, Eaton’s Electrical Sector. “Our collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh can serve as a case study.”
The power engineering collaboration has already proven successful on several key fronts, including:
“Collaboration between industry and academia is essential to ensuring that we have enough engineers to satisfy market demand and national energy needs,” said Dr. Gregory Reed, director of the Power and Energy Initiative in Pitt’s Swanson School. “By giving top students exposure to a unique array of classroom, laboratory and field situations, Eaton is enabling a smooth transition from the classroom to the workplace.”