The New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) and Ørsted have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that lays the foundation for a partnership that will provide new needs-based support for undergraduate scholarships and pre-college STEM programs at NJIT.
The MOU entails a 10-year, $1.5 million agreement that would create new scholarship and career development opportunities in the field of offshore wind for NJIT’s engineering and computer science undergraduate students. The agreement also addresses STEM education gaps for underrepresented students in Newark by aiming to 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 (CPCP) and the NJIT-Newark Math and Science Initiative (MSI).
The MOU is contingent upon Ørsted receiving an award from the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities for its Ocean Wind 2 project – a 1,200 MW offshore wind farm.
“This agreement marks the beginning of a promising partnership that opens dynamic new opportunities for our hardworking and high-achieving students with an experienced developer of renewable energy projects,” says Joel S. Bloom, president of NJIT. “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.”
Under the MOU, annual Ørsted Opportunity Scholarships would become available to NJIT undergraduate students pursuing degrees in fields of study related to Ørsted’s IT operations, such as electrical and computer engineering, information technology, computer science and data science. 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 would also 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 would also 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 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.