Clarkson University Magazine: Alumni Gateway

A $1 million corporate grant

from long-time partner GE Energy supports graduate students who will perform research in conjunction with GE’s Smart Grid and Smart Grid technology.

The GE Smart Grid Fellowship Program, which began last fall, will fund the education of 11 graduate students over two years.

The program has two main goals: to advance research into a self-monitoring and self-regulating network of electric power and to prepare the next generation of talented engineers and software developers to enter the energy field.

 The GE fellowship program builds on Clarkson’s historical strength in the area of electric power and significantly enhances the school’s research efforts in the area of smart grid and smart grid technology. 

“GE and Clarkson have a long history of collaboration and this represents a great opportunity to expand that relationship in one of our signature research areas,” said Clarkson President Tony Collins. “With the world’s pressing issues demanding more renewable energy, this fellowship program gives our students a unique opportunity to work directly with industry to develop technologies for the next generation of the Smart Grid.”

Each fellowship student will work with a dedicated Clarkson professor and a GE representative to develop research projects and conduct experiments. Students are working on different tracks of Smart Grid research, including increased communication between consumers and the grid and economic models of energy costs.  

“During our first round project reviews, which were conducted recently, the GE team was very impressed with the knowledge and articulation of the students and the depth of the Smart Grid research programs, which the students chose,” said Dan Heintzelman ’79, president & CEO of GE Energy Services. “We look forward to continuing a close partnership of Smart Grid research with Clarkson well into the future.”

The Smart Grid is viewed as an important first step toward decreasing the U.S.’s carbon dioxide emissions, 34 percent of which are generated by the U.S. electricity grid. With the Smart Grid system, GE hopes to dramatically increase the percentage of power generated from renewable sources, detect power outages with increased accuracy and automatically divert electric power during peak load periods and emergencies to maintain service for the maximum number of people and businesses.

GE Energy is one of the world’s leading suppliers of power generation and energy delivery technologies. Today, over 590 Clarkson alumni work for different divisions of GE around the globe, including several top executives.