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Sayonsom+Chanda%2C+a+graduate+student+at+WSU+awarded+for+his+work+in+electrical+engineering%2C+discusses+his+research+for+the+upcoming+year+Wednesday%2C+Aug.+28.
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Driven by energy, fueled by philanthropy

Sayonsom Chanda, a graduate student at WSU awarded for his work in electrical engineering, discusses his research for the upcoming year Wednesday, Aug. 28.

Sayonsom Chanda, a graduate student at WSU awarded for his work in electrical engineering, discusses his research for the upcoming year Wednesday, Aug. 28.

Sayonsom Chanda, a graduate student at WSU awarded for his work in electrical engineering, discusses his research for the upcoming year Wednesday, Aug. 28.

Sayonsom Chanda, a graduate student at WSU awarded for his work in electrical engineering, discusses his research for the upcoming year Wednesday, Aug. 28.

Brittany Amerson, Evergreen reporter

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Eating lunch at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) annual general meeting, graduate student Sayonsom Chanda never imagined he would end up winning third place in the Power and Energy Society’s student poster contest.

Out of 193 participants, Chanda was the only student from North America to place in his category at the event in Vancouver, British Columbia.

“It’s like winning an Oscar. You don’t expect to win anything unless you’re Woody Allen,” Chanda said. “I was just so surprised when the judges said WSU placed, I actually choked on my food.”

His inspiration for his poster, titled “Modeling and Analysis of Campus Microgrid Distribution System,” comes not only from his advisor Anurag Srivastava, but also from his desire to develop a microgrid system for Pullman.

“With developing the system it would be able to provide power to campus in the case of a terrible storm or power outage,” Chanda said. “However, it would also be able to provide power to surrounding areas like the Pullman police station and the Pullman Regional Hospital.”

Graduate student Deepali Jain was excited to learn Chanda had won the award.

“He works so hard, and I was so proud that he won a prize for us Cougars,” Jain said.

Graduate student Fransiska Anna Martina was not surprised when she found out Chanda had won.

“Sayonsom is very special not only because he is a brilliant and dedicated Ph.D. student in the EECS department, but also because he is a great and helpful friend,” Martina said. “He is completely diligent in his studies and confident in what he wanted to present. That is clearly shown in his poster.”

With this award under his belt, Chanda plans to keep developing his microgrid system and complete his doctorate.

“I hope to become a microgrid expert,” he said. “I want to be able to help as many people as I can. Whether that be giving people access to microgrids in their area, or having consultations with them to help them find a solution that best fits their needs, I just really want to help others.”

Chanda is from Calcutta, India. He studied at the National Institute of Technology Durgapur in Bengal, India, where he received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. He is now a part of the Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences (EECS) department.

Chanda first realized he wanted to be an electrical engineer while growing up in India where the threat of an energy crisis was everywhere. After being constantly told about a pending crisis, he was inspired to help people.

“I heard about running out of oil in 50 years and energy outages and crises all the time growing up as it was a huge problem in India,” he said. “After researching and reading more into it, I knew that engineering is what I wanted to do.”

Jain has no doubt that Chanda will excel and make a difference with his studies.

“He wants to transform his research into something that benefits mankind,” Jain said. “He looks forward to playing an important role in the imminent global energy crisis and taking electric energy to everywhere on the planet. I am certain he will be able to realize his dreams and help benefit the world.”

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