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Engineering the Future: Meet HG&E’s 2019 Cadet Engineers

September 04, 2019:

Looking back on the moments that define them, 2019 Cadet Engineers Rachael Shannon and Ian Beauregard spoke about education and family as the greatest influences in their lives. Rachel and Ian are the 2019 recipients of HG&E's Cornelius J. Moriarty, Jr. Scholarship for Cadet Engineers.

Class president, athlete, and thespian, Rachael Shannon comes to HG&E with an impressive resume. A graduate of Mater Dolorosa Catholic School and Pope Francis High School, Rachael is not only intelligent but her personality can light up a room. When talking about engineering and her future, one might say she is giddy.

“During a school project, our whole class had to build a bridge out of Popsicle sticks,” said Rachael with a smile. “I was obsessing over every corner, trimming down the Popsicle sticks to make them fit perfectly. When I looked around at my peers, they didn't seem to worry as much about the angles and design.” This was an eye opening moment for Rachael --she was sure that engineering would be her path.

In the fall, Rachael will be attending Smith College, studying engineering science. “I am really interested in sustainability and may consider environmental engineering,” said Rachael. “The complexity of where our power comes from in Holyoke is so interesting.” HG&E is a great place to learn about the practical application of sustainability in the power industry, which is exciting for Rachael.

As a Cadet Engineer, Rachael is getting a head start on her career, working alongside HG&E Project Engineer Bill Sullivan. A former cadet engineer himself, Bill has provided Rachael with important insight into his career. In addition to her time with Bill, Rachael has shadowed HG&E employees throughout the organization, from customer service to hydropower and everything in between.

Each morning this summer at 7:00 am, Rachael is met by her peer and office-mate, Ian Beauregard. Like Rachael, Ian has had his sights set on engineering for many years. A graduate of Lt. Clayre P. Sullivan School and Holyoke High School (HHS), Ian is attending University of Hartford in the fall to study engineering. What engineering path, he is still unsure and plans to spend the first year figuring that out.

“I am interested in civil, environmental, and possibly electrical engineering,” said Ian. “I may even minor in business, because I was able to take eight college classes at Holyoke Community College through Holyoke High School's dual enrollment, many of the classes were business related.”

Ian has three brothers, two older and one younger. His two older brothers paved the way to the University of Hartford's School of Engineering. His mother is also a graduate of the university, which made his college decision an easy one.

At HG&E, Ian is working with Cadet Engineer Joseph Cavanaugh and Project Engineer Jonathan Zwirko on a variety of projects. The most interesting project he has worked on is evaluating the use of old facilities and reviewing possible areas for improvement and redesign for modern uses.

“As a Cadet, I am learning so much about engineering, but also about presenting information,” said Ian. “I have always loved computers and bought my first desktop when I was in eighth grade. Here, I am learning new codes for Excel and making 860 graphs, it's really fun.”

Outside of the office, Ian likes to golf with his brothers, play soccer and volleyball, travel, and spend time with his friends and family.

Both Ian and Rachael hope to come back to Holyoke after college and give back to the community that raised them, possibly as employees of HG&E.

The Cornelius J. Moriarty, Jr. Scholarship for Cadet Engineers is open to City of Holyoke residents who are graduating from a duly accredited senior secondary school and have been accepted into an accredited engineering program. The Cadet Program has allowed HG&E to keep engineering talent local. Currently, twelve full-time employees came through the program at the start of their careers. For additional application criteria, please visit

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