PSEG and Stevens, a Powerful Partnership

Support from PSEG is powering scholarships, research and other activity at Stevens.

Colleges and companies looking to collaborate should study the broad, impactful and enduring partnership between Stevens and PSEG, the energy provider to millions throughout the northeast.

For years, PSEG (the Public Service Enterprise Group) has supported Stevens by funding scholarships, research and STEM education programs. In turn, Stevens has prepared hundreds of graduates to fill complex jobs at PSEG, and pursued innovation the company could use to serve the public.

“Our partnership with Stevens is an example of how industries and universities can work together to advance one another’s missions,” said Ralph Izzo, PSEG’s chairman, president and CEO. “PSEG is proud to support the development and enhancement of educational programs that inspire students to pursue their interests in sustainability. Companies like ours will look to the next generation of innovators to help with issues such as climate change and energy independence. That requires people with the knowledge, curiosity and creativity.”

In 2015, PSEG made a pivotal contribution to the SU+RE House, a student-built home that placed first in a national Solar Decathlon for energy-efficient housing. PSEG then funded transport of the house back from the competition grounds in California and establishment at the Liberty Science Center as a public information attraction on solar energy and storm-resilient housing.

PSEG also recently awarded Stevens $1.5 million to strengthen their mutual pursuit of energy innovation and public service. In addition to supporting research into energy conversion and storage, the award funds scholarships for students from underserved communities, both for undergraduate enrollment and to attend the university’s pre-college program.

PSEG is a founding partner of CIESE, the university’s Center for Innovation in Engineering and Science Education, which has taught STEM concepts to pre-teens since 1988. PSEG is supporting a new curriculum where underserved youth design, build and test solar-powered devices, wind turbines and more, while also meeting professors and visiting campus labs. Plus, PSEG has also been the leading sponsor for OnStage at Stevens, the university’s performing arts series, which has brought the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and other notable performers to Castle Point.

Of course, President Farvardin is grateful. “As a result of this partnership,” he said during the grand opening of the SU+RE House at Liberty Science Center, “Stevens is going to become a better place, PSEG will benefit, and our entire community will be enriched. I believe this partnership will be transformational, and it will become a national model for fruitful and impactful relationships between universities and industries.”

Also at the celebration, professors Stephanie Lee, John Nastasi and Jean Zu spoke about PSEG’s impact on faculty. Zu, dean of the Schaefer School of Engineering and Science, noted that the company’s support has enabled Stevens to recruit Jae Kim, a professor from MIT. “A strong faculty lies at the heart of a strong university,” Zu said, “and PSEG is helping Stevens to strengthen an already talented core group of researchers and faculty members.”

Lee, an expert in renewable solar panels who is researching lighter, safer and more powerful batteries, concurred. “Our team is focused on making these batteries in a way that is compatible with large-scale, low-cost manufacturing. The PSEG-Stevens partnership has already helped me reframe my research ambitions and goals by providing a platform to share ideas with industry leaders.”

One of the talented students who received a scholarship from PSEG, Yonaida Brito ’18, shared her story of coming to the United States as a young girl, learning from her industrious parents, and earning a degree from Stevens. “My educational pursuits would not have been possible without the generous support from scholarship sponsors like PSEG,” Brito said. “I want to thank them for believing in the power of Stevens and students like me who weren’t dealt the best set of cards but dreamed big and worked hard.”