Ray Larsen, IEEE Smart Village Founder, Receives Prestigious 2015 IEEE Richard M. Emberson Service Award

Larsen recognized for “inspiring locally owned businesses to provide sustainable humanitarian benefits in underprivileged communities”

IEEE Smart Village, a global humanitarian program helping remote, energy-deprived communities build toward sustainability with renewable energy and technology, announced today co-founder Ray Larsen has been named the recipient of the 2015 IEEE Richard M. Emberson Award.

“Our goal is not just to deliver basic electricity and education, but to empower communities to become capable of producing their own entrepreneurs in a wide range of fields in the future”

Larsen originally founded IEEE Community Solutions Initiative in 2009 to address the situation of energy poverty and billions of people with no access to the electric grid. The global humanitarian effort, which in 2014 became IEEE Smart Village, an IEEE Foundation Signature Program, goes beyond providing electricity and takes a holistic approach to community empowerment by raising up and educating local entrepreneurs to establish sustainable communities right where they live.

“This IEEE Service Award is a great honor and I share it with those volunteers, sponsors and partners worldwide who have come alongside me to invest in our mission to empower off-grid communities in sustainable ways,” said Larsen. “Our work is just beginning and I look forward to nurturing partnerships with local organizations within the remote communities that IEEE Smart Village serves to more efficiently and widely deliver energy and technology solutions.”

Since its launch, the program has served over 15,000 people in 34 villages globally including Haiti, Cameroon, Nigeria, South Sudan and Kenya with the vision to bring basic electrical and educational services to more than 50 million people by 2025.

“Our goal is not just to deliver basic electricity and education, but to empower communities to become capable of producing their own entrepreneurs in a wide range of fields in the future,” continued Larsen.

Sponsored by the IEEE Technical Activities Board, the IEEE Richard M. Emberson Award recognizes distinguished service to the development, viability, advancement and pursuit of IEEE technical objectives. Larsen was honored at the 2015 IEEE Honors Ceremony on Saturday, 20 June 2015 in New York. For more information about the 2015 IEEE Honors Ceremony, click here.

An IEEE Life Fellow, Larsen is a special projects engineering manager at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory at Stanford University.

IEEE Smart Village is conducting a series of meetings co-located with the IEEE Power & Energy Society (PES) annual General Meeting at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel, Denver, Colo., 26-30 July 2015. On Sunday, 26 July 2015, IEEE Smart Village will host an Ambassador and Entrepreneur Development Workshop held at the newly sponsored IEEE Global Classroom at the Posner Center for International Development. For more information on the IEEE Smart Village meeting series and how to attend, click here.

For more information on how to get involved and to donate to IEEE Smart Village, please visit http://ieee-smart-village.org.

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For IEEE Smart Village
Carrie Owens, +1 731-225-3414


IEEE Foundation
Karen Kaufman, +1 732-981-3436