McPeak Samantha

Samantha McPeak

2013-15 PES Scholar – University of Alabama

John W. Estey Outstanding Scholar - 2013

Becoming a PES scholar has shaped my career and is the reason I became a substation engineer at Black & Veatch. I knew in high school that I wanted to be an electrical engineer but was shocked (and slightly overwhelmed) by how many fields there were to choose from. I tried out a few different routes like materials research and telecommunications but didn’t truly find my calling until I came across the IEEE Power and Energy Society.

After becoming a PES scholar and 2013-14 John W. Estey scholar, I started delving into the field - I took several power courses, interned as an I&C engineer for projects at nuclear power plants, and made use of the resources provided by the PES Scholarship Program.

The best aspect of the program is that it’s not a one-time deal. With my continued interest in the field, I was eligible to receive the scholarship for three years. And besides the financial support, the other resources provided by the program are invaluable, like the career portal, mentorship program, and networking opportunities. For example, through the John W. Estey scholarship, I was able to attend the 2016 IEEE PES General Meeting where I learned about new developments in smart grids and met top professionals in the field.

I’m so glad to be a part of the PES Scholarship Program. It has been vital to my career and I cannot imagine where I would be without it.