Engineering Major Powers Her Way to Prestigious Scholarship

Written by: Julie Jacobs,
Olivia Hadlaw, electrical and computer engineering student and PES Scholar, helped educate children about healthy habits during a Global Brigades campus trip to Panama.
PES Scholars are committed to exploring the power and energy field.

The IEEE Power and Energy Society (PES) Scholarship Plus Initiative has selected Olivia Hadlaw, a second-year electrical and computer engineering major and Albert Dorman Honors College student, as a PES Scholar. She was one of 230 recipients who were chosen from among 529 applicants for the scholarship, which provides stipends along with assistance in finding professional opportunities and experiences in power and energy engineering.

Hadlaw and her fellow PES Scholars were identified by the initiative as “high achievers with strong GPAs with distinctive extracurricular commitments,” who “are committed to exploring the power and energy field.” As a member of the IEEE NJIT student branch, Hadlaw has become very interested in power engineering as a part of her electrical engineering studies, and even interned at Con Edison of Staten Island. Through the initiative, she has signed up with PES Careers, which will facilitate her landing internships, co-ops and a job down the line.

“We are very proud of Olivia,” said Leonid Tsybeskov, Ph.D., professor and chair, Helen and John C. Hartmann Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. “Her PES scholarship will be important to her career, and also serves to recognize our department.”

From South Amboy, N.J., Hadlaw knew from a very young age that she wanted to pursue engineering. She was introduced to the discipline through her father, an industrial engineer. Then she attended the Middlesex Academy for Math, Science and Engineering in Edison, N.J., where she focused on civil and mechanical engineering but also studied electrical and computer engineering.

“I spent my entire high school career learning about engineering,” she said. ”It really struck a chord with me. I enjoyed what I was doing in class.”

When an NJIT Honors College recruiter visited the academy and interviewed her there, she remembers thinking, “I knew I could come [to NJIT].” Since arriving, she has been quite busy. In addition to being an NJIT IEEE member, she serves as a New Student Orientation peer leader and is one of the project leads of Light Cycle, a sustainable energy source project coordinated by the NJIT chapter of Engineers Without Borders. She also belongs to the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) at NJIT and just attended the SWE’s national conference in Philadelphia, where the university’s chapter won the Professional Development award. And last year during spring break, she traveled to Panama with a campus club called Global Brigades to set up a medical clinic in a rural village.

Hadlaw is thrilled to be a PES Scholar and plans to reapply next year. As for the factors that contributed to her being chosen, she offered, “I work really hard at school. I do my best to do well academically. I do my best to be involved on campus. I think it’s a combination of my passion to do well, to get the most that I can out of my college experience and all the different activities that are a part of it.”