Julia Conger - The University of Texas @ Austin
PES Scholar - 2015 & 2016
I am a third-year electrical engineering major attending the University of Texas at Austin with a concentration in energy systems and renewable energy.
It's hard to say exactly when I decided to become an engineer, but I would bet it had something to do with the fact that my family is full of engineers. I chose engineering because I wanted to be challenged in ways I'd never been before, and electricity and magnetism always fascinated me. I knew that as an engineer I would be able to clearly see my impact on the world. I also wanted to make sure my career would have a positive effect on the world, and I hope to help make the world a more responsible and sustainable place.
I was also inspired by UT's program for renewable energy when I came to visit as a junior in high school. If I had gone to any other university I was considering chemical engineering, but I was impressed by the work being done at UT on battery storage, distributed generation resources, and smart grids, so I wanted to be a part of it.
In life, I like to think about the bigger picture, and this aligns with my choice of power engineering. Power and energy is ubiquitous; the problems that the engineers in the PE field solve every day are problems throughout the world. It has an effect on everyone, whether or not they are conscious of it. If the PE field can increase energy efficiency and the use of sustainable technology globally, we will have left the world a better place than we found it. I am excited to be in this field because as technology keeps advancing, we keep improving and moving forward.
I love that the power engineering field is filled with people who are passionate about the impact of their work. The problems we solve affect people on a large scale, so we have to be big picture thinkers.
How has been selected as a PES Scholar impacted you?
After becoming a PES Scholar, I was able to go on an engineering study abroad with the aid of the PES scholarship, I have learned a lot from my PES mentor about graduate school for power engineering, and I have been able to connect with other PES Scholars at my university. I am excited for my future in engineering and am thankful to PES for its generosity.