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IEEE Scholarship Program Helps Increase the Number of Newly Minted Power Engineers

Power & Energy Society initiative has helped 900 students since 2011

3 min read
Image: IEEE Power & Energy Society Scholarship Plus Initiative
Image: IEEE Power & Energy Society Scholarship Plus Initiative

THE INSTITUTEMore than 2,400 new power engineers have been added to the U.S. workforce in the past seven years, according to the IEEE Power & Energy Society education committee. That’s good news for an industry that in 2009 was found to be facing a severe shortage of workers for the next decade, with about half the estimated 7,000 U.S. engineers in the field expected to retire. That finding came from a survey by the Center for Energy Workforce Development, a nonprofit consortium of U.S. electric, natural gas, and nuclear utilities and their associations.

The influx of students entering the power field is due in part to the efforts of the IEEE Power & Energy Society (PES) Scholarship Plus Initiative. The anticipated labor shortage was one of the key factors that led to the initiative’s creation in 2011.

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Self-Driving Cars Work Better With Smart Roads

Intelligent infrastructure makes autonomous driving safer and less expensive

9 min read
A photograph shows a single car headed toward the viewer on the rightmost lane of a three-lane road that is bounded by grassy parkways, one side of which is planted with trees. In the foreground a black vertical pole is topped by a crossbeam bearing various instruments. 

This test unit, in a suburb of Shanghai, detects and tracks traffic merging from a side road onto a major road, using a camera, a lidar, a radar, a communication unit, and a computer.

Shaoshan Liu

Enormous efforts have been made in the past two decades to create a car that can use sensors and artificial intelligence to model its environment and plot a safe driving path. Yet even today the technology works well only in areas like campuses, which have limited roads to map and minimal traffic to master. It still can’t manage busy, unfamiliar, or unpredictable roads. For now, at least, there is only so much sensory power and intelligence that can go into a car.

To solve this problem, we must turn it around: We must put more of the smarts into the infrastructure—we must make the road smart.

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