The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) approved an agreement with HBCU schools to boost engineering diversity.
The LA Sentinel reports LADWP reached an agreement with Advancing Minorities’ Interest in Engineering (AMIE), a nonprofit that develops industry, government, and university partnerships, will coordinate technical and scientific research on behalf of the LADWP with 15 historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) schools of engineering.
The LADWP will partner with HBCUs on research projects to meet required city and state mandates in a five-year, $5 million partnership. LADWP President Cynthia McClain-Hill said the LADWP is working to be more inclusive, and the HBCU partnership is part of that effort.
“LADWP has incredibly challenging goals ahead of us, and guaranteeing that we have consistent access to high-quality scientific research is an essential part of staying on target,” LADWP McClain-Hill told The Sentinel.
“I am thrilled that the Department has chosen to align with AMIE and these nationally recognized research institutions that also have a strong tradition of empowering African Americans who were historically excluded from higher education opportunities. As LADWP looks to become a more inclusive organization, this is a significant partnership.”
The HBCU schools involved in the partnership include Alabama A&M University, Florida A&M University, Hampton University, Howard University, Jackson State University, Morgan State University, Norfolk State University, North Carolina A&T State University, Prairie View A&M University, Southern University, Tennessee State University, Tuskegee University, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, University of the District of Columbia and Virginia State University.
The LADWP and HBCUs could work together on research and technical projects that may include commercial stormwater capture potential analysis, microgrid, and energy storage system assessment. The findings from the research partnership could help the LADWP with water conservation and recycling, climate adaptation planning, and green energy efficiency programs, including solar and wind.
California is currently dealing with one of its longest droughts, and climate change is already profoundly impacting the state. In addition to research, the LADWP will work with HBCUs on training in the fields required to manage the city’s water and power systems.