Voith Hydro Inc has awarded $25,000 in scholarships to students enrolled in Penn State College of Engineering’s Women in Engineering Program (WEP). 

The first group of Voith scholarship recipients, Rebecca Fuhrman, Lauren Katch, Kayli Rentzel, Julia Sternberg and Rachel Sternberg, have all demonstrated extraordinary academic success and were presented with a certificate from Stanley Kocon, CEO, Voith Hydro Inc., North America, on October 23 at Penn State University Park following a keynote lecture Kocon gave at an ExecutiveXcellence Speaker Series.

“The students selected this year truly represent the high caliber of engineering students that we have at Penn State,” said Karen Thole, distinguished professor and mechanical engineering department head. “This scholarship is an incredible opportunity to support them in their studies and we’re extremely thankful for Voith championing this effort.”

Voith Hydro Inc set up the annual scholarship as a way to give back to the community that supports it, it said in a statement. Eligible Penn State applicants had to reside near the company’s York County facilities in one of the following Pennsylvania counties: Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon, Perry or York. “Based on their academic credentials, these engineering students represent some of the brightest from our part of Pennsylvania,” Kocon said. “We’re honored to assist them in their studies and eager to help diversify the engineering workforce of the future.”

Two of the students, Julia and Rachel, are twin sisters from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. As seniors studying mechanical engineering, both have been determined to support women in their field by mentoring students through WEP.

“I usually mentor about 12 students a year,” Julia said. “I’m glad to do this because we can bring a different perspective to the table. We think differently and we have different perspectives on engineering, so we can definitely help solve problems.”

In addition to supporting WEP members, the scholarships aims to support exceptional future engineers to pursue careers in the hydroelectric industry. To further this goal, the students who receive the scholarship will be eligible to apply for internships at Voith, adding to their knowledge of the field.

“The support and generosity of Voith in funding this scholarship is really great,” Julia said. “It can help inspire more women join the engineering track and stay there.”

Rachel agreed and said, “Their support of my goals is really appreciated. I’m so excited to help change the ratio, helping more women work in engineering professionally.”