Edison International recognized for long-standing support 

For more than two decades, Edison International has supported education and research at UCR

April 3, 2024
Author: Sarah Nightingale
April 3, 2024

For more than 25 years, Edison International, the parent company of Southern California Edison, has been supporting research and scholarship at UC Riverside, investing in more than 150 STEM scholars and various STEM programs. The company’s most recent gift, $145,000 over the 2023-24 academic year, supports sustainability research, scholarships, and K-12 outreach programs. 

“Edison recognizes that UCR students are going to be tomorrow’s leaders solving our environmental issues,” said Larry Chung, SCE vice president of Local Public Affairs, a UCR alumnus, and UCR Foundation Board Trustee. “Edison is committed to helping support the ambition, talent, and education of UCR scholars.” 

Here’s a look at how the 2023-24 funds are being used:

Scholarships and Outreach

Of the $145,000 pledged this year, $90,000 supports 30 undergraduate students awarded Edison STEM scholarships. Offered to more than 150 students since 2013, the scholarships help UCR’s diverse student population succeed in STEM fields and, in turn, improve diversity in the STEM workforce.

“Obstacles I overcame to attend college were navigating being a first-generation student as well as coming from a low income, which I did by seeking opportunities inside and outside of school,” said Daisy Rojas Garcia, a scholarship awardee and electrical engineering major. “This scholarship has allowed me to fully immerse myself in my studies without having to worry about my financial situation. I appreciate what the scholarship has allowed me to do and contribute to UCR.”

Also this year, $5,000 was earmarked for the Mathematics Engineering Science and Achievement, or MESA, program. Since 1999 the program has helped students, particularly those from underserved groups, pursue and excel in higher education. UCR runs two MESA programs: the MESA Schools Program (MSP), which serves middle and high school students from 15 different Inland Empire schools, and the MESA University Program (MUP) which serves UCR college students through scholarships, professional development workshops, career advising, and mentorship.

Research at the Sustainable Integrated Grid Initiative, or SIGI.
A CE-CERT researcher working on the Sustainable Integrated Grid Initiative, or SIGI.


Edison’s most recent gift includes $50,000 for research projects, including the CREATE-IE initiative, which stands for “Collaborative Research to Expand and Accelerate Transportation Electrification in the Inland Empire. This faculty-led project is studying the technical feasibility, community impacts, and workforce implications of transportation electrification in the Inland Empire. To date, CREATE-IE has co-hosted two workshops attended by representatives from government agencies, fleet operators, utility companies, academic institutions, community-based organizations, and others to discuss challenges and opportunities for advancing transportation electrification in the region. 

Also supported this year is ongoing research at the Sustainable Integrated Grid Initiative, or SIGI, a testbed for the integration of intermittent renewable energy, energy storage, and all types of electric and hybrid electric vehicles. Located at UCR’s Center for Environmental Research and Technology, or CE-CERT, the SIGI microgrid is one of the largest renewable energy initiatives of its kind in the state, operating at the utility scale. Edison’s support will allow five to 10 graduate and undergraduate students to participate in real-world research and problem-solving projects at the site.

Importantly, Edison is a founding member and sponsor of the new California Grid Readiness (CGR) Consortium launched at CE-CERT this year. In partnership with other electric grid-related industries and government agencies, the CGR Consortium’s research program will provide assessments and recommendations on the readiness of the state of California’s electric grid to address the risks of climate change and the increasing stress due to the massive amount of electrification necessary to achieve the state’s climate goals over the next two decades.

Christopher Lynch, dean of UCR’s Marlan and Rosemary Bourns College of Engineering, said support has had an enduring impact on students and the region. 

“We are proud to witness students embarking on career paths that align with the vision and values of Edison International," Lynch said. Edison’s investment in their education is propelling them forward, creating a pipeline of skilled and motivated individuals who will undoubtedly contribute to California’s clean energy future.”