Swanson School, Eaton Corp. Form Partnership To Train Students in Electric Power Engineering

Issue Date: 
March 2, 2009
Gregory ReedGregory Reed

The University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering and Eaton Corporation, a diversified industrial manufacturer, will collaborate to train students in the burgeoning electric power engineering field and usher in the next generation of power-delivery technology.

Supported by a $500,000 sponsorship from Eaton, the collaboration will focus on developing courses across a broad range of electric power engineering and system topics, including the growing field of smart power grids and a digitized, efficient electricity-delivery system. The collaboration will also cultivate new and continuing research related to power systems, power quality, energy efficiency, and alternative energy systems.

The new initiative builds upon previous successful collaborations between Eaton, based in Cleveland, Ohio, and Pitt’s Swanson School. Those projects took place in Eaton’s Power Quality Lab in Pittsburgh, where Pitt students used Eaton’s state-of-the-art facilities for their capstone senior design projects and worked on the development of power quality equipment, methodologies, and demonstrations.

“We are pleased to have Eaton’s continuing support as we prepare our students to meet the challenges they’ll face in the dynamic field of power engineering and to contribute collaboratively to advanced research in the areas of power and energy technologies,” said Gregory Reed, a renowned electric power engineer who is director of the Swanson School’s Power and Energy Initiative and a professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. “Eaton’s support of our power engineering program will expose our students to a uniquely wide range of classroom, laboratory, and field situations.”

About 75 undergraduate and graduate students in the Swanson School are expected to take electric power engineering courses annually. The courses not only will help the Swanson School to continue to attract high-caliber students, they also will help educate part of the next generation of power and energy engineering professionals.

Jerry Whitaker, president, Americas Region, Eaton’s Electrical Sector, said,  “It is critical that we meet the rising demand for electric power engineers,” particularly in light of the nation’s rising energy needs and the increasing number of experienced power engineering professionals who are retiring.  “Our collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh will help address this national need and bolster the Pittsburgh region’s position as a leading center of power engineering,” he added.

Eaton’s electrical business is a global leader in power distribution, power quality, control, and industrial automation products and services. Eaton’s 2008 sales totaled $15.4 billion. The company has approximately 75,000 employees and sells products to customers in more than 150 countries.