GE Donates $25,000 in Scholarships to UConn School of Engineering

PLAINVILLE, Conn. — As winner of GE’s prestigious Edison Award, GE Engineer and UConn Alumna Linda Jacobs is donating her $25,000 prize to create an endowed scholarship at UConn’s School of Engineering.

GE will present the donation on March 30 during the university’s second annual “GE Night” on the Storrs campus. Scholarships in the amount of approximately $1,000 will be awarded annually to a mechanical engineering student in perpetuity. Also, during GE Night, 10 graduate students will present progress on their projects as part of a five-year $7.5 million research and development program that GE’s Industrial Solutions business is funding on core electrical-protection technologies at UConn.

Jacobs was one of 14 GE engineers around the world to earn the Edison Award, which are recognized throughout the company, for her significant contributions in advanced industrial circuit breaker technologies as well as her leadership in mentoring early career engineers selected to participate in GE’s Edison Engineering Program. The Edison Award and Edison Engineering Program are named after Thomas Edison, a GE founder and one of history’s most prolific innovators.

“It’s extremely rewarding for me to work with fellow engineers designing products that improve the safety and reliability of electrical power distribution,” Jacobs said. “Having worked with top engineers from around the world, I can honestly say that the education I received at UConn was second to none. The UConn School of Engineering gave me the strong technical foundation necessary to make the contributions that the Edison Award recognizes. I hope this new engineering scholarship will encourage and reward future students who have also chosen to enter the mechanical engineering field.”

In her 30-year career at GE, Jacobs has earned eight GE Management Awards in both technology and human resources. She also holds 11 international patents. As senior consulting engineer for the global molded-case circuit breaker and air circuit breaker lines for the last 14 years, Jacobs has led many successful new product introductions and enhancements while continuing to guide a global team of more than 100 engineers. Both UConn and engineering play big roles in Jacobs’ family. Her husband, Peter Salster, worked as a GE technician in the electrical power test lab in Plainville, retiring in 2010. Her son Ryan currently attends UConn and her son Matthew is a former UConn student.

GE’s $7.5 Million Investment in UConn

Jacobs also is a key advisor for the first three research projects under way as part of GE’s five-year research partnership with UConn. Currently, GE and UConn are researching copper oxides, conductive ceramics, and advanced arc pressure modeling.

“UConn has been a top school for recruiting engineering talent at GE,” said Paul Singer, senior executive of engineering, GE’s Industrial Solutions business and UConn alumnus. “We are seeing great results with our research partnership and continue to hire a strong pool of engineering talent from UConn. Together, we are bringing great minds together to develop advanced solutions in electrical distribution.”
The GE-funded partnership includes a $1.5 million endowment for a GE professorship in the School of Engineering, a $2.7 million grant for graduate and undergraduate sponsorships and $3.3 million for GE-directed research in materials, manufacturing and advanced circuit breaker technologies.

“The relationship with GE is having a significant impact on collaboration between the university and industry, and it has educated numerous students. I am thankful to Linda who, as one of our graduates, has come full circle,” said Dr. Kazem Kazerounian, dean of the UConn School of Engineering.

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