New Jersey Institute of Technology and Ørsted have signed a memorandum of understanding for a 10-year, $1.5 million partnership that will create new scholarship and career development opportunities in the field of offshore wind for NJIT’s engineering and computer science undergraduate students.
The agreement addresses science, technology, engineering and math education gaps for underrepresented students in Newark, as it will expand a range of STEM outreach events, initiatives and college-prep programming for local elementary, middle school and high school students at NJIT, offered through the university’s Center for Pre-College Programs and the NJIT-Newark Math and Science Initiative.
The MOU is contingent upon Ørsted, a world leader in offshore wind development, receiving an award from the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities for its Ocean Wind 2 project. Ocean Wind 2 would be a 1,200 megawatt offshore wind farm that would provide enough energy for 500,000 New Jersey homes.
NJIT President Joel Bloom said the agreement will have huge impact at NJIT and in Newark.
“This agreement marks the beginning of a promising partnership that opens dynamic new opportunities for our hard-working and high-achieving students with one of the world’s leading developers of renewable energy projects,” he said. “Just as important, it also bolsters NJIT’s longstanding commitment to improving access to STEM careers for young people in our city.
“We are grateful for Ørsted’s interest in partnering with NJIT, and we look forward to working with them in ways that support New Jersey’s transition to offshore wind and other green energy solutions in the years to come.”
David Hardy, CEO of Ørsted Offshore North America, was happy to sign the agreement.
“We’re proud to partner with an institution like NJIT that does a great job in preparing its students for the start of their careers, irrespective of their families’ financial situation,” he said. “This scholarship fund will ensure that the next generation of offshore wind IT workers are ready to step into the many new roles that will be available for them after graduation.”
Under the MOU, annual Ørsted Opportunity Scholarships would become available to NJIT undergraduate students pursuing degrees in fields of study related to Ørsted’s information technology operations, such as electrical and computer engineering, IT, computer science and data science.
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Along with financial support and mentorship opportunities, the scholarships potentially create new co-op, internship and full-time job opportunities for NJIT students in areas related to offshore wind development, as well as IT infrastructure and operations at Ørsted’s new North American Digital Operations Headquarters being established in Newark.
The new partnership also would provide funding to NJIT’s CPCP, which currently offers in-school and after-school STEM programs to more than 3,000 local elementary and secondary school students each year. It also would serve to expand the number of Newark high school students that are able to pursue STEM degrees at NJIT through the university’s MSI program.
The math-intensive program, launched in 2019 by CPCP, NJIT’s College of Science and Liberal Arts, the cty of Newark and Newark Public Schools, aims to significantly increase the number of Newark residents enrolled at NJIT for undergraduate education to 600 students in the next five years.