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SDSU’s power, energy scholarship selections among best in U.S.

Five SDSU electrical engineering majors earned Power and Energy Systems Scholarships through the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering in 2020-21. Pictured, from left, are Jesse Kreutzfeldt, Kade Griesse, Olivia Corneil, Matt Stoel and Tyler Fogelson.  
Five SDSU electrical engineering majors earned Power and Energy Systems Scholarships through the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering in 2020-21. Pictured, from left, are Jesse Kreutzfeldt, Kade Griesse, Olivia Corneil, Matt Stoel and Tyler Fogelson.  

Excellence in educating engineering students in the electric power and energy field continues to be a strong suit for South Dakota State University.

This was highlighted by the performance of SDSU undergraduate students in the prestigious Power and Energy Society Scholarship Program of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

There were five SDSU selections: Jesse Kreutzfeldt, Matt Stoel, Olivia Corneil, Tyler Fogelson and Kade Griesse. Kreutzfeldt and Stoel are repeat recipients and receive $3,000 scholarships. The others in the list receive $2,000 scholarships. All are electrical engineering majors.

The PES Scholarship Program, initiated in 2011-2012, has a mandate to support the most promising future engineers in the power and energy field by recognizing “high-achieving undergraduate students in electrical engineering programs who have committed to exploring the power and energy engineering field through both coursework and career experiences.”

The five SDSU selections in 2020-21 are among 118 nationwide from 67 schools. In the 10-state Midwest region, no school had more selections than SDSU. In fact, SDSU tied for second nationwide with five selections. The University of Texas-Austin also had five selections while Arizona State (12) was the national leader

Since 2011, SDSU is one of only 12 universities nationwide to have at least one PES Scholar each year. SDSU’s 40 scholarships in this program ranks second in the region to the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign’s 53. Also, in 2018-2019 and 2019-2020, SDSU’s Grant Metzger and Matt Stoel, respectively, received the Estey Outstanding Scholar Award, which is distributed annually to the top PES Scholar in each of the six IEEE U.S. regions and Canada.

Sid Suryanarayanan, the head of the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department at SDSU, called the selection results “consistent of the high quality of education we impart in EECS. The current winners, and those from the past, have benefitted largely from the dedicated mentorship efforts of Drs. (Bob) Fourney, (Tim) Hansen, (Steve) Hietpas and (Reinaldo) Tonkoski. Our students’ success is one of the best metrics for assessing the impact of our program.”

Hietpas, coordinator of the Center for Power Systems Studies, having served on the PES Scholarship committee years ago, knows first-hand the caliber of student applicants from the region’s schools. He said, “For our program to have this many successful applicants is a strong testament to the quality of our students and the strength of our power and energy program at SDSU.”A profile of the SDSU recipients:

• Kreutzfeldt, a senior from Wentworth, is the son of Mark and Brenda Kreutzfeldt and a 2017 graduate of Chester Area High School. At SDSU, he holds a 3.7 GPA and also has received the East River Electric Scholarship. He has interned at Missouri River Energy Services the last two years. Career plans are to stay in South Dakota and work for a power company.

• Stoel, a senior from Sioux Falls, is the son of Leon and Tammy Stoel and a 2017 graduate of Sioux Falls Washington High School.

At SDSU, he holds a 4.0 GPA, is president of the campus chapter of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, is involved in the Navigators campus ministry and is a recipient of $2,000 Tau Beta Pi Scholarship for 2020-21.

Stoel has been a substation engineer intern with Ulteig Engineers in Sioux Falls since May 2019 and his senior design project is a Missouri River Energy Services solar garden. Career plans call for him to work as a substation engineer for Ulteig Engineers.

• Corneil, a junior from Willmar, Minnesota, is the daughter of Amy and Jon Werder, of Ramsey, Minnesota, and Dave and Christel Corneil, of Maple Grove, Minnesota. She is a 2018 graduate of Willmar High School.

At SDSU, she holds a 3.77 GPA, is treasurer of the IEEE chapter at SDSU, co-chair of a mentoring program organized by HKN, which is the IEEE honor society; a volunteer with GEMS, an engineering workshop for high school girls; an Angels mentor and a Habitat for Humanity volunteer. She has been selected to the Eta Kappa Nu and Tau Beta Pi honor societies and received 2020-21 scholarships from the Center for Power Systems Studies and Bartels.

This summer, she had an internship with Willmar Electric Service, and is now actively seeking an internship at one of our region’s utility or consulting companies.

• Fogelson, a sophomore from Fairmont, Minnesota, is the son of Michael and Jennifer Fogelson and a 2019 graduate of Fairmont High School. At SDSU, he holds a 4.0 GPA and is the electrical team lead for the “lunabotics” competition in addition to being involved in IEEE, Tau Beta Pi and HKM peer mentoring.

• Griesse, a sophomore from Rock Rapids, Iowa, is the son of Dave and Amie Griesse and a 2019 graduate of Central Lyon High School. At SDSU, he holds a 4.0 GPA, is the robotics facility manager and vice president of marketing for the Joint Engineering Council. This summer, he was an intern with DGR Engineering in Rock Rapids.