ParkinsonRobert Parkinson - University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign

I am currently in my third year at the University of Illinois majoring in Electrical Engineering with the intent to focus on the Power and Energy Field. I recently finished my math, science and Introductory Electrical Engineering Pre-requisites. I have just started to dive into deeper courses such as Analog and Digital signal processing, Power Circuits and Electromechanics, and Green Electric Energy. Next semester I intend to take courses such as Digital Systems Lab, Power Electronics, and Power System Analysis. Last year I was able to serve as Corporate Director for our student branch of IEEE, President of my Fraternity and as a part time intern for Ameren at their on campus research center. In the next year I hope to continue working part time for Ameren as well as maintaining a position on the executive board of our IEEE student branch.

My inspiration to choose Electrical engineering sprouted simply with the fact and that I absolutely loved physics, math, and the basic engineering courses throughout high school. I knew that regardless of what type, I wanted to major in some sort of engineering. What led me towards choosing Electrical was actually a few events. First, my father's good friend Charles Cameron, the head of the Electrical Engineering program at the Naval Academy until just a few years ago, gave me a tour of the facility and talked to me about all of the various interesting branches. My second inspiration was my uncle Michael Jordan who worked at Con Edison of NYC until just a couple years ago. Both of them showed me some of the exciting real world applications that I could have the opportunity to get involved with in this field. My third and strongest motivation to choose the Power and Energy field was my inspiration to do something with my life that really could make an impact on the world. I have always been passionate about improving the quality of the environment and helping to extend the length of habitable living situations here on our earth. Branching off of that interest, I started to get very interested in all of the renewable energy options that have been surfacing over past few decades. I then made the decision that I wanted to get involved and work to support the innovation for the future.

I love the fact that a large portion of the Power and Energy field is a globally unified effort to better our living qualities here on our planet. I find it interesting how everything is changing and becoming digital. It gives me inspiring hope that eventually efficiency everywhere will be optimized and bi-product pollution will be reduced to a minimum. I am also excited to learn more about Power and Energy field in the next few years as the concepts themselves are very intriguing.

How has been selected as a PES Scholar impacted you?          


Since receiving the scholarship, achieving my goal of finding a position within the field of my interest has become much more of a reality than a dream. Once I was open to all of the PES members, partners and career tools it seems that now the opportunities are endless. Second, the financial support has greatly helped out my family. I recently found out that I will have to take an extra semester to obtain my electrical engineering degree and over the 3 years the scholarship actually covers that extra semester that neither I or my family had planned for. Another amazing impact is the relationship that I have built with my mentor. My PES mentor was actually already my faculty mentor at UIUC, however, my visits to him have at the least tripled since I became a PES scholar. Through those frequent visits we have grown much closer and he has helped me greatly along the way to achieve my goals.