Degrave Holden

Holden DeGrave - University of Alabama

I am a junior majoring in Electrical Engineering at the University of Alabama. I am interested in all things power. I just finished a two-rotation co-op with Southern Company in the System Planning area. I am also working with a professor researching characteristics of wide-bandgap semiconductors. Both experiences have captured my interest and solidified my decision to pursue a career in Power Engineering. Outside of my major, I’m currently my fraternity’s Community Service chair, and I have a passion for photography.

As cliché as it may sound, I’ve wanted to be an engineer for as long as I can remember. In elementary school, I visited a nuclear power plant and I remember being confused why everyone else was bored when I was having a great time. I guess learning the complexity of everything involved to ensure our lights turn on at the flick of a switch sparked my interest. That passion has persevered to present-day, and I’m more interested than ever in Power Engineering.

I love the dynamic and complex nature of Power Engineering. My co-op has exposed me to the plethora of events necessary to ensure a steady supply of electricity. Forecasting loads, assessing capacity, planning additional generation, scheduling maintenance cycles, assessing reliability, these are some of the things that we all take for granted when our smartphones charge as soon as they are plugged in. The field is only going to become more exciting as new sources of generation and the widespread adoption of renewable generation continues.

How has been selected as a PES Scholar impacted you?

Being named a PES Scholar has had a distinct influence on how I handle myself in the workplace. The recognition I’ve received from being named a PES Scholar has bolstered my confidence in my abilities and made me more comfortable sharing my perspectives and concerns with my coworkers. I’ve also become more comfortable working independently and knowing I’ll be able to deliver exceptional results. Lastly, being named a PES Scholar has helped motivate me to pursue a graduate education in Power Engineering.