IEEE Power & Energy Society Erich Gunther Future Power Innovator Scholarship

apply now 200
Description: To recognize those students in a power engineering discipline that are dedicating their education to the power engineering sector and pushing the bounds of current thought to make the power and energy industry better.  This award is established to recognize the future of our industry through the young p
eople who will propel a vision beyond the one we can now see for ourselves and will help strive to drive the lifeblood of our current world, electricity, to a new, and even more brilliant, future.  


Eligibility: Must be a full time student attending a U.S. university or college that offers courses in power engineering.  Individuals must be in their final two years of receiving their Bachelor's degree or working towards achieving their Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering. No current member of the IEEE Board of Directors, the IEEE PES Governing Board, the IEEE PES Awards and Recognition Committee, the IEEE PES Erich Gunther Future Power Innovator Scholarship Committee, or IEEE staff may be candidates, or endorse candidates. Eligibility and Selection process shall comply with procedures and regulation established in IEEE and Society governing documents, particularly with IEEE Policy 4.4 on Awards Limitations.

Prize Items: Single Annual Award - US $2,500 scholarship payable to the recipient’s school to assist the student with school expenses, plaque, and a travel stipend of up to $750 to attend the presentation ceremony.  
Frequency: Annual – the award will be presented only if a suitable awardee is identified.  
Funds: The award will be funded from contributions managed through the IEEE Foundation. Additional funding may come from individual voluntary contributions made directly to this IEEE Foundation.    
Nominee Solicitation: The nomination of candidates for this award shall be made on nomination forms available via the IEEE PES website. Additionally, nominations shall also be solicited via publication of suitable notices in IEEE Power & Energy Magazine, PES e-Newsletter, notices to PES Chapters/Student Branch chapters. In addition, a press release shall be made available to appropriate news, trade and technical publications. The citation may be proposed by the person originating the nomination.  It will be reviewed and modified as appropriate Review Committee.  The IEEE PES Executive Committee shall make the final decision on the wording of the citation.
Award Committee: The Committee shall consist of at least four members including a chair.  All members of the committee shall be PES members in good standing.  The chair shall be appointed by the PES Vice-President Education and shall serve no longer than 3 years; the remaining members shall be selected by the chair, subject to the approval of the PES Vice-President. For the first ten years that the award exists, one member of the committee shall be recommended by Enernex, the founding sponsor of this award, to ensure that the recipients embody the traits and characteristics that Erich Gunther brought to his work.   Enernex shall make the recommendation on an annual basis.  In order to stagger the terms, initially, at least one of the other non-chair members shall serve a one year term, and another a two-year term.  Any other non-chair members would be appointed to three-year terms.  The two initial non-chair members with short terms shall be eligible for reappointment for an additional full three-year term following their initial terms.  Thereafter, other than the Enernex recommended member, members shall be appointed to three-year terms, and no Committee member shall serve for more than three terms.
Schedule: 30 June - deadline for nomination submission
Selection/Basis for Judging: Selection will be based on evaluation of accomplishments as revealed by documented testimonials from peers, teachers or industry members.  Recipients must be electric power utility students enrolled and in good standing and have a dedicated focus in electric power sector.  Emphasis will be on the creativity and dedication to the electric power industry and a demonstrated passion for the betterment of electricity for mankind.  It is possible for collaborators to receive the award jointly in which case the monetary portions of the award will be divided among the recipients.  A Committee majority vote will determine the recipient.


Past Recipients:

  • 2018 - Sophia Tijani, Texas A&M University
  • 2019 - Linh Le, University of Houston
  • 2020 - Matt Stoel, South Dakota State University
  • 2021 - Roberto Penaloza Valencia, South Dakota State University
Presentation:  The award will be presented annually at a regularly scheduled PES meeting of the recipient’s choice.  The presentation of the award shall be preferably made by the PES President.
Publicity: The recipient will be announced via the publication of suitable notices in IEEE Power & Energy Magazine, PES e-Newsletter, PES Social Media accounts and notices to PES Chapters/Student Branch chapters.


The application period will open on 1 March

Learn about Erich Gunther

IMPORTANT:  Nomination forms must be written in English.  One per year. If no suitable candidate is proposed in a given year, the award will not be presented for that year.
PES, being one of IEEE’s Organizational Units, follows IEEE Policy 4.4H.
IEEE Policy 4.4.H
•Eligibility and Process Limitations. Individuals serving on any board or committee involved at any stage of the recipient selection or approval process for an award shall be ineligible to receive, or act as a nominator or reference for that award. This conflict of interest limitation shall apply to all awards given by the IEEE or any of its organizational units.