Two ECE Students Win Prestigious IEEE Power & Energy Society Scholarships

Ami Vyas, two-time scholarship winner
Ami Vyas in the Electronics Lab

Two ECE undergraduates, Ami Vyas (EE ’17) and Zachary Lasiuk (EE ’17) won scholarships through the IEEE Power & Energy Society Scholarship Plus Initiative for the second year in a row, highlighting the rigor and academic excellence of the ECE Department.

Vyas and Lasiuk join 230 PES scholars who were chosen this year for their high-achieving academic performance and demonstrated commitment to the power and energy field. Vyas and Lasiuk will each receive $2000 for the 2016-17 academic year. Vyas’ scholarship brings her additional recognition as a Schweitzer Meritorious Scholar, an honor given by Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories to twenty PES scholars each year. The IEEE PES is a nonprofit comprised of over 26,000 engineers and scientists worldwide. It is the world’s largest forum for sharing technological developments in the electric power industry.

Vyas, advised by Professor Min-Chang Lee and Professor Brian Kulis, became interested in the power and energy field while conducting research in the Engineering Materials for Energy & the Environment Lab (EME2Lab) in the Division of Materials Science & Engineering. She spent over two years researching the process of converting waste from burning oil shale into a useful byproduct.

Zachary Lasiuk with his senior design team
Zachary Lasiuk with his senior design team in the Senior Project Lab

Lasiuk, whose advisor is Professor Jeffrey Carruthers, worked in a variety of engineering fields, including electrical, mechanical, acoustic, software and sales. “Recently I have been thinking of questions like ‘How do you bring consistent, safe, reliable power to refugee camps?’ and ‘How do you generate the power required to shoot a satellite into space from a rail-gun?’” he says. “From the mundane to the science-fiction, power and energy form the basis for engineering solutions.”

Winning the scholarship for the second year in a row gives Vyas a sense of pride in her work as an engineering student and hope for her future career as a professional engineer. “It’s great to be able to connect with others in the power and energy field and see the new developments being made,” she reflects. Lasiuk also takes away a sense of accomplishment. “I don’t work to be recognized, but after plenty of long nights in the lab it is reassuring to know that my hard work doesn’t go unnoticed,” he says. “I greatly appreciate PES for their support.”

Last year, Nathaniel Michener (EE ’16) joined Lasiuk and Vyas as PES scholars and won additional recognition as the Northeast region’s John W. Estey Outstanding Scholar. Two years ago, Marissa Petersile (EE ’15) was named a PES scholar.

For more information about PES undergraduate engineering scholarships and how to apply, visit