Many young professionals become engineers because they want to solve the world’s problems, and for the Carnovale brothers, this desire runs in the family. With two electrical engineers for parents, Ben, Jack, and Nate Carnovale were introduced to the field at a young age, and soon playing with electronic toy sets evolved into solar panel installation projects. Now, the brothers, each at different stages in their career, continue to follow their passion for electrical engineering, fueled by excitement for problem solving. 

Ben is a junior at the University of Pittsburgh. Last year, he attended IEEE Rural Electric Power Conference (REPC), where he presented his paper “Thermal Modeling of Distribution Lines for Power Systems Studies”. That same year, Ben also completed an internship at Eaton in their Power Systems Control Group.

“My dad had a huge impact on my journey in the power industry. Growing up, the experience center/power lab that my dad ran was like a second home to me. It was across the street from the rink we played hockey at, and when it was just starting up when I was younger, my dad would take me after games and practices. I watched the lab grow as I grew up, and I was always fascinated by what I saw at the experience center.”

Jack is a senior at the University of Pittsburgh where he  has  conducted research in electric power under Dr. Robert Kerestes  In his research, he led a project to implement a picogrid, or small scale microgrid, in Pitt’s engineering building. Jack plans to continue his research as a graduate student and return to Eaton for a third internship with them in Power Electronics.

“Once I went to college for electrical engineering, I found myself drawn to power and energy courses because I loved learning about these problems that, at their fundamental level, made sure that the world around us can work. Power and energy are woven into almost every aspect of modern society.”

Nate graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a bachelors (2019) and masters (2021) in electrical engineering. During his time at Pitt, he completed three internships with Eaton in power systems automation, controls and microgrids. After graduation, he spent two years in a leadership development program at Eaton where he worked on new product design for uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) and in Eaton’s Research Lab focusing on electric vehicle technologies and motor drives.  He currently works for Eaton as a systems engineer, designing large battery energy storage systems up to the megawatt scale.   

“I believe that I was molded by my upbringing to have the curiosity of an engineer – to wonder why and to really try to find the answer to that question.  At the University of Pittsburgh, I got involved with many of the power and energy classes available.  I’ve always found this field exciting and always growing, and it was no surprise that I wanted to pursue a career in it.”

The IEEE PES Scholarship Plus Initiative was started in 2011 with the goal to provide aid to undergraduate students with an interest in entering the power and energy industry. Ben, Jack, and Nate have received the scholarship and attribute the support it provides as a factor of their success in their professional careers.

Ben appreciates the financial assistance that comes from being a PES Scholar, as well as the distinction.

“Being able to pay for school is always a consideration, and receiving this award provides great assistance for doing that. Also, IEEE PES is a renowned group in the engineering world, so having this award on my resume has expanded my opportunities.”

Jack used the scholarship to connect with faculty and companies, as well as keep up to date with the latest in the power and energy field.

“(Scholarship Plus) helped me get recognition from and connect with faculty at the University of Pittsburgh and companies in the electric power industry. It has also given me exposure to IEEE newsletters and journals which actively inform me of innovations and important discussions in the field of electric power and energy.”

Nate reflects on how Scholarship Plus guided his academic and career path.

“While at the University of Pittsburgh, the IEEE PES Scholarship Plus Initiative helped me connect with professors at Pitt involved in our power program, which greatly impacted the courses I decided to take during my undergrad, internships I pursued, and influenced my plans to pursue graduate school in power.  I am confident that the IEEE PES Scholarship Plus Initiative played a key role in supporting and aligning me on what I would consider a successful start to a promising career in power and energy.”

Each of the Carnovale brothers have been selected as John W. Estey Outstanding Scholars during one of the years they received the IEEE PES Scholarship Plus. This recognition is given to the top PES Scholar of each region of that year, and includes funding for education expenses, as well as a plaque and a stipend to attend the IEEE PES Annual General Meeting. This scholarship is made possible thanks to funding from S&C Electric Company, a presidential level supporter of IEEE PES Scholarship Plus.