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The University of Pittsburgh

Through a strong foundation of education and learning, Eaton helps the next generation of electrical engineers prepare for long-term career success.

Helping to design the future

The University of Pittsburgh (Pitt) and Eaton share a passion for educating the next generation of power professionals and preparing them for long-term power industry success. Our 10+ year partnership has manifest in over $4 million of support for state-of-the-art facilities, undergraduate and graduate courses including renewables and microgrid technologies, international internship opportunities and numerous research projects.

While many university labs across the country are over 30 years old, Eaton and Pitt work tirelessly to maintain modern labs featuring the latest technologies and applications. Pitt’s new 18,600-square-foot Energy Innovation Center energy hub features incubator space where graduate students, professors and corporate partners work together to define the future of power systems. At the on-campus Power Systems Lab, undergraduate students get hands-on experience using the same advanced technologies found in the field. And students of all levels gain valuable insights in testing electrical devices under real-world conditions at our Power Systems Experience Center (PSEC).

Educating students for the future requires steadfast dedication and partnership. Our continued support through the donation of equipment, expertise and design planning and implementation helps Pitt maintain its stance as a leading university for power systems education. We’re proud of the work we’ve accomplished together and look forward to influencing more of tomorrow’s power advances.

The curriculum we’ve developed in partnership with Eaton matches what industry needs to provide students an early advantage in their careers and positions them for long-term success.
Dr. Gregory Reed, director, electric power engineering, The University of Pittsburgh
Eaton-sponsored senior design projects
100+
Eaton-sponsored senior design projects
Students trained in Eaton’s power program annually
70
Students trained in Eaton’s power program annually
Donations and time invested by Eaton
4M
Donations and time invested by Eaton

Moving power and people forward: the new Energy Innovation Center

Ours is an unwavering dedication to students’ career success. This dedication comes to life through our collaboration on the design and implementation of Pitt’s Energy Innovation Center (EIC). The lab provides more flexible space for energy research, encourages collaborative partnerships with industry and exemplifies our joint mission to move power and people forward. Here, graduate-level students focus less on design restrictions due to cost and instead turn their attention to next-level power innovations that make a difference.

Eaton has been involved with the EIC since its inception, contributing $3 million in design consultation, medium voltage power system layout development and facility equipment recommendations for the Electric Power Technologies Laboratory. This large-scale space for R&D exceeds the capabilities of Pitt’s on-campus power lab and encourages partnerships with industry. The corporations and other learning institutions that join us at this off-campus location have more flexible options on the intellectual property they influence, allowing for more collaborative opportunities on future R&D projects.  

Industry engagement is a large component of the electric power engineering program at Pitt. Thanks to Eaton's in-kind support, students at the EIC experience equipment in operation and evaluate their R&D concepts beyond computer simulations. Moreover, the lab’s "get-your-hands-dirty" approach and vendor partnerships further optimize designs.
Brandon Grainger, Ph.D, associate director, electric power engineering, The University of Pittsburgh
The largest power capacity for a university power lab
5 MV
The largest power capacity for a university power lab
Full-scale medium voltage systems available for R&D and training
15 kV
Full-scale medium voltage systems available for R&D and training
Supporting microgrid, solar and energy storage systems with large-scale DC power
1K V DC
Supporting microgrid, solar and energy storage systems with large-scale DC power
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Thanks to capabilities from hardware-in-the-loop testing to medium voltage equipment, I’m ready and excited to work with industry to help tackle tomorrow’s power challenges.
Santino Graziani, Pitt graduate student and Eaton engineering intern

A mix of theoretical study, hands-on training and recruitment

The Electric Power Systems Lab at Pitt’s Benedum Hall is the first large-scale collaboration between Eaton and the Swanson School’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Inspired by and built in partnership with Eaton’s highly successful Power Systems Experience Center in Warrendale, Pennsylvania, the 1,500-square-foot lab features the latest in power technology, engineering curriculum and modern R&D activities. New students are drawn to the lab’s unique mix of fundamental theoretical study and applied hands-on experiences. Electrical engineering undergraduates with an electric power concentration work directly on power distribution equipment, motor controls, renewables connectivity and switchboards to gain a firsthand understanding of products used in the field. Further, Eaton and Pitt designed and built six custom student workbenches to bolster learning.
Students using the power systems lab annually
400
Students using the power systems lab annually
Eaton sponsored R&D and senior design projects
100+
Eaton sponsored R&D and senior design projects
Full-scale customized hands-on workstations
6
Full-scale customized hands-on workstations

Learning from the best

Many Pitt master’s degree and Ph.D. candidates spend significant time at Eaton’s Power Systems Experience Center (PSEC) to design and build demonstrations. Since 2007, Eaton and Pitt have hosted more than 12 co-ops and interns and have overseen more than 20 senior design projects at PSEC. With access to innovative resources close to campus, students get experience at wiring equipment and working with tools they typically don’t have an opportunity to use.

With PSEC in their corner, students experience technologies and learnings that align with industry needs today and tomorrow, so they’re better prepared for long-term success.

Our students love coming here. They call it a Disney Land for engineers.
Dr. Gregory Reed, director, electric power engineering, the University of Pittsburgh