Electrical and computer engineering students receive GCPA Scholarship

Three students in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Texas A&M University have received the prestigious Gulf Coast Power Association (GCPA) Scholarship.

Angel Clark, Leah Murff and Benjamin Wiseman were presented their awards during a ceremony in April. Qualifications for the award include an interest in the power generation industry, a commitment to work in that industry and a good GPR.

The GCPA scholarship was initiated in 2007 from a desire to attract and support young people who had indicated an interest in the electric power industry in their pursuit of higher education. In 2008, following the death of GCPA's founding Executive Director David Olver, the scholarship fund was renamed in his memory as the GCPA-David Olver Memorial Scholarship Program.

Clark is a second year master's student studying power systems and power electronics. She attended the University of California, San Diego, for her undergraduate studies, where she received her bachelor's degree in environmental engineering. Her current research interests include energy storage, renewable integration and distributed generation.

Murff is a sophomore in the department. Her interests include solar energy and power generation and distribution. She’s a member of the Society of Women Engineers, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the energy club, where she is also co-chair of the solar and grid committee.

Wiseman is a senior electrical engineering major from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. A member of HKN, he recently completed an undergraduate thesis through the Undergraduate Research Scholar's Program, investigating how to improve power system models using synchrophasor data. After graduating in May, Wiseman plans to continue his research as a master's student under Dr. Le Xie. In his spare time, he serves as webmaster for Engineers Without Borders and participates in his chapel's Bell Choir.

The GCPA was formed in Houston in 1983 as the Gulf Coast Cogeneration Association by a handful of individuals from development companies and suppliers of goods and services involved in the new industry spawned by passage of the Public Utility Regulatory Policy Act of 1978 (PURPA). Since then, association membership has increased steadily, both in numbers and in the diversity of industry segments represented, until now, with 35 corporate members and around 220 individual members, it embraces virtually every aspect of the electric power industry.

In 1994, the board recognized that its members' interests had broadened beyond just U.S. cogeneration, to include power production, delivery and marketing of competitive electric energy supplies worldwide, using a variety of energy sources. The name of the association was changed officially in 1995, although Gulf Coast was retained to reflect the home base of the organization and to maintain name recognition. The association's focus was expanded and re-directed on the basis of the mission statement and objectives.