David Hiskens, an undergraduate electrical engineering student, was recently awarded two scholarships to support his studies in the field of power and energy. The IEEE Power & Energy Society named him a future power and energy leader by awarding him a Power and Energy Society (PES) Scholarship for the 2012-13 academic year.
He was also selected to receive one of the inaugural John W. Estey Outstanding Scholar Awards. These awards are given to the top PES Scholar in each of the 6 IEEE regions in the United States. A true engineer, David says it’ll keep him in LEGOs.
David is interested in controlling the energy that flows through the nation’s grid system. “I really like networks,” said David. “How something that happens in one little node can vastly effect something that happens a far distance away. I’m interested in how that all plays out in an entire system, and the electricity network is a really big one.”
He’s particularly interested in optimizing the electricity flow by minimizing the distance and the costs. “I’m also interested in feedback loops,” added David. “It’s cool looking at signals and then learning how to control them.”
He had an internship at a consulting firm in Australia, his native country, two summers ago where he modeled the energy market and used that information to come up with predictions for energy usage 10-20 years in the future. “I was doing a lot of optimization – looking at what happens when transmission lines are operating at peak capacity.”
David still has a lot of energy to do things other than study!
He wrote and taught a curriculum on plug-in hybrid electric vehicles at a local high school as part of a Department of Energy funded project, and he is joining HKN, the national honor society for Electrical and Computer Engineers, this semester.
Outside the world of engineering, he is an intern at his church, and leads the youth group as well as smaller groups throughout the week. He will be returning to Tijuana, Mexico next year to do a mission trip; it will be the fifth time he’s been there.
David is a junior this year. He can be seen from time to time serving pizza and other items at the HKN/IEEE sponsored dB Café in the EECS Building.