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Engineering the Future

September 01, 2021:

Connected by friendships, sports, academics, and community, the 2021 recipients of the Cornelius J. Moriarty, Jr. Scholarship for Cadet Engineers made their way through a global pandemic and persevered, graduating high school with high honors. Maeve Norton, Marcel Guzik, and Colin Boyle brought their hope for the future and excitement for engineering into HG&E this summer, and we cannot wait to see what the future holds for these talented young Holyoke residents.

With a goal of developing resources for the transition to a carbon-free future, Maeve is working in HG&E's Gas Division alongside Bill Sullivan, Gas Engineer and former Cadet. Spending time in the field learning about the gas business and distribution infrastructure, Maeve is also exploring alternative natural gas pipeline solutions, including hydrogen and renewable natural gas. She understands the state's net-zero roadmap and the critical work that will need to be accomplished in order to meet these aggressive energy targets.

“I am interested in developing clean energy technologies and protecting the environment,” said Maeve. “It's been so cool learning about HG&E. As an example, growing up in Holyoke you see the canals are there, but I had no idea how important they are to HG&E's operation.”

Maeve credits her science-loving father and enthusiastic biology teacher, Mr. Cotto, for helping to develop her passion for biology and setting her on a path to engineering. She will be attending Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) this fall, majoring in Biotechnology. Maeve has three brothers; the eldest also attends WPI and will be a senior this year.

Maeve's Holyoke High School classmate and friend, Marcel, is just down the hall this summer working with Robert Letellier, HG&E's Computer Systems Engineer and former Cadet. Marcel will also be attending WPI this fall with a major in Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Marcel has always been interested in deconstructing small electronics and finding ways to put them back together. “My father is a CNC Machinist and encouraged me to fix things,” said Marcel. “My family came to America from Poland when I was 13 months old. My mom and dad worked so hard and built a great life here for me and my siblings; they are enormous role models.”

Prior to this summer's introduction to HG&E, Marcel had not considered a career in the power industry. From field work with HG&E's lineman to lengthy tours of the dam and canal system, he was most impressed when visiting HG&E's switchboard, seeing how all the various functions come together to bring electricity into homes and businesses in Holyoke.

“I love Holyoke, I grew up here and I can see all the positive impacts HG&E is having here,” Marcel explained. “I like being a part of positive change. This experience has me seriously considering a career in the electric industry, and possibly at HG&E.”

On the soccer field, Colin had an opportunity to play side-by-side with Marcel, which made working together an easy transition. If you ever have an opportunity to meet Colin, you will immediately discover his incredible work ethic and his excitement for all things STEM.

“Rube Goldberg is the idea of using complex steps to complete simple tasks,” said Colin with contagious excitement. “Junior year, in AP Physics, my group developed a 20-step process to turn on a light switch. We used potential energy, kinetic energy, and other principles of physics. It was so much fun; I knew I wanted to be an engineer.”

This summer, Colin has worked on several complex projects with Sarah LaRose, HG&E Environmental Engineer and former Cadet, as his mentor. Dive survey specifications, recreational monitoring, repaving, and demolition were just a few of the important initiatives he participated over the last few months.
In addition to engineering projects, Colin was able to participate in HG&E's community outreach program and deliver a presentation to school aged children at the Holyoke Boys & Girls Club. “I had no idea how much HG&E was doing for the community,” Colin explained as he talked about the students who attended his session.

Colin, a graduate of Hampshire Regional High School, is attending Cornell University this fall and will be majoring in Civil Engineering with a minor in Business. Colin has an older brother who helped develop his interest in engineering and to his younger sister he is already a role model.

These three students experienced their high school senior year during a historic global pandemic, which caused extended remote learning. Once in a lifetime milestones will be memorable for different reasons than the classes that came before them. But, as they enter college with vaccines and mask mandates, they are not fazed; they are simply excited for the future and what the world has in store for them.

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, 12 full-time employees came through the program at the start of their careers.

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