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28th NECA Student Chapter Established at University of Hawaii

Oct 25, 2013

We are pleased to welcome our newest NECA Student Chapter at the University of Hawaii. There are now 28 NECA Student Chapters operating across the country.

Establishing student organizations at colleges and universities to encourage young people to consider careers in electrical contracting is part of our association's multi-pronged approach to heading off potential managerial shortfalls in our industry. As the market for electrical contracting services expands in diverse directions, finding capable managers to oversee current projects and plan for future growth is becoming a challenge for many contractors.

The NECA Student Chapter program consists of student-run chapters that are supported by NECA chapters and university faculty. Developing future managers through activities involving the best and brightest students is especially important because managerial and administrative personnel in EC firms must not only understand the business but also be able to work effectively in teams, solve complex problems, and communicate clearly. It behooves us to inspire smart, capable young people to join us — before some other industry snatches them away!

At the national level, NECA and our industry research affiliate, ELECTRI International, support NECA Student Chapters in a variety of ways, including presenting the annual Green Energy Challenge student competition and holding a NECA Student Chapter Summit in conjunction with our annual Convention.

NECA chapters that sponsor student chapters expose the students to industry-related educational programs, such as those offered by NECA's Management Education Institute; help arrange internships with local NECA-member contractors and field trips to NECA contractors' offices and work sites; and provide guidance with respect to special student projects. The new organization at the University of Hawaii is sponsored by the Hawaii Chapter, NECA.

The faculty advisor is Matthias Fripp, asssistant professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering.

More information about NECA Student Chapters, including guidance on how to establish one, is available here.

About the University of Hawaii

The University of Hawaii, or the University of Hawaii System as it is officially called, actually consists of three university campuses, seven community college campuses, an employment training center, three university centers, four education centers and various other research facilities distributed across six islands throughout the state of Hawaii. All schools of the University of Hawaii System are accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. The system's main administrative offices are located on the property of the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa in Honolulu.

Since classes began over a century ago in 1908, engineering has played an integral role in the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa’s curriculum. Accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, the College of Engineering offers BS, MS, and PhD degrees in three major areas of intensive study including Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering. The College of Engineering currently supports 900 active students.

The Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering offers BS, MS and PhD degree programs in Civil & Environmental Engineering. These programs cover construction management, environmental and water resources engineering, geotechnical engineering, structural engineering, and transportation engineering.

The Department of Electrical Engineering offers BS, MS, and PhD degree programs in Electrical Engineering. These programs cover electro-physics (solid-state devices and sensors, analog and digital circuit design, microwaves, and photonics), and systems (telecommunications, automatic controls, signal processing), while the MS and PhD programs also cover computers (architecture, algorithms, networking, hardware, and software).

Significantly, the new NECA Student Chapter’s faculty advisor, Prof. Fripp, says he specializes in "modeling the technical and economic performance of power systems with large shares of renewable energy, particularly focusing on the potential for demand-side response to ease the integration of intermittent renewable resources (e.g., if electric vehicles charge automatically during sunny or windy times of day)." He has taught courses on Electric Power Systems and Smart Grids and Renewable Energy Integration.

Sounds like the U of H's newest student organization is in good hands!