UA Student Chosen for National Electrical Engineering Award

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — A student studying electrical engineering at The University of Alabama was one of seven students in North America selected for a national scholarship.

Samantha McPeak, a senior from Key Largo, Fla., was recognized by the Power and Energy Society of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, or IEEE, as a John W. Estey Outstanding PES Scholar for 2013-14.

The scholarship recognizes undergraduate students studying in electrical and computer engineering who are high achievers with a strong GPA, distinctive extracurricular commitments and a commitment to exploring a career in the power and energy field.

Along with the scholarship, McPeak receives a travel honorarium to attend the IEEE PES Annual Meeting this summer in Maryland.

Since spring 2011, she has worked as an undergraduate research assistant with Dr. Sushma Kotru, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering.

Her projects include preparation, characterization and testing of thin-film solar cells; fabrication and testing of electrochromic devices; and testing of wide bandgap oxide materials for sensor applications. She co-authored a paper published in the Journal of Applied Physics, and her work was presented at the AVS 60th International Symposium and Exhibition in Long Beach, Calif.

McPeak is also active in many on campus organizations. She is treasurer for the IEEE Student Branch at UA, corresponding secretary for engineering honor society Tau Beta Pi and a member of the electrical and computer engineering society Eta Kappa Nu. She participated in the IEEE SoutheastCon 2013 Ethics Competition, and her team was awarded second place. She was also a recipient of the Outstanding Junior Award from UA IEEE chapter.

In 1837, The University of Alabama became one of the first five universities in the nation to offer engineering classes. Today, UA’s fully accredited College of Engineering has nearly 4,500 students and about 120 faculty. Students in the College have been named USA Today All-USA College Academic Team members, Goldwater, Hollings, Portz and Truman scholars.


Adam Jones, engineering public relations, 205/348-6444,