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PNNL engineer receives New Faces of Engineering honor

IEEE/IEEE-USA recognizes Vlachopoulou’s work to strengthen U.S. power grid

February 22, 2013 Share This!

  • Maria Vlachopoulou

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RICHLAND, Wash. – Maria Vlachopoulou, an engineer at the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, has been recognized as IEEE/IEEE-USA's 2013 New Faces of Engineering honoree during National Engineer Week (Feb. 17-23, 2013).

The honor highlights the impact and contributions of engineers age 30 or younger. Vlachopoulou was one of 13 engineers recognized for this international honor and was featured in a full-page ad in USA Today on Feb. 18.

Moe Khaleel, director of PNNL's Computational Sciences & Mathematics Division, says Vlachopoulou's research in energy systems, statistical and mathematical modeling, optimization and software engineering is supporting the transition of the U.S. power grid to a more secure, efficient and robust system. "Maria's work directly impacts two national priority areas — securing our long-term energy security and reliability while reducing our dependence on foreign sources of oil," he said.

Vlachopoulou earned master's degrees from Purdue University in 2010 in electrical and computer engineering, and in industrial engineering. She also has multiple publications related to her work on novel algorithms for energy forecasting — a vital component of power grid reliability.

The New Faces of Engineering honor also recognizes each recipient's work within their communities. Vlachopoulou is the founding chair of the IEEE Women in Engineering group in Richland, Wash.; and in the Tri-Cities, Wash. community, she volunteers with local high school and middle school students to cultivate interest in careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, areas.

All 2013 New Faces of Engineering honorees and their contributions are featured at the National Engineers Week Foundation website.


IEEE-USA advances the public good and promotes the careers and public policy interests of more than 205,000 engineering, computing and technology professionals who are U.S. members of IEEE.

Tags: Awards and Honors

Interdisciplinary teams at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory address many of America's most pressing issues in energy, the environment and national security through advances in basic and applied science. Founded in 1965, PNNL employs 4,300 staff and has an annual budget of about $950 million. It is managed by Battelle for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science. As the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, the Office of Science is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information on PNNL, visit the PNNL News Center, or follow PNNL on Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and Twitter.

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