Stanley Atcitty, an energy storage systems researcher for Sandia National Laboratories, will give the keynote address at the 2016 Virginia Tech Graduate School Commencement ceremony at 3 p.m. on Thursday, May 12, in Cassell Coliseum.

In 2006, Atcitty was the first American Indian male to receive a Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering from Virginia Tech.

President Barack Obama awarded Atcitty the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers in 2012 for his accomplishments in power electronics for the electric grid and for mentorship in the Native American community. This is the highest honor bestowed by the U. S. government for outstanding scientists and engineers who show exceptional leadership at the frontiers of scientific knowledge during the twenty-first century. 

Born and raised on the Navajo reservation, Atcitty appreciates the importance of a good mentor.

“Inspiring and encouraging students is my passion — it’s where my heart is,” he said.

He is a Distinguished Member of Technical Staff at Sandia National Laboratories, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in the Energy Storage Technology and Systems department. He leads the power electronics subprogram as part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Storage Program and has gained international recognition for its state-of-the-art research and development under his leadership. 

Five of his projects have won prestigious R&D 100 awards from R&D magazine. His interest in research is power electronics necessary for integrating energy storage and distributed generation with the electric utility grid. 

Atcitty has more than 50 publications and holds four patents, with two more pending. In 2007, he received the American Indian Science and Engineering Society Technical Excellence Award for his American Indian community involvement and technical achievement. He was featured in a middle school level children’s book, Energy Basics – Energized!, published by Sally Ride Science in 2012. In 2013, he coauthored Power Electronics for Renewable and Distributed Energy Systems.

Atcitty earned his bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in electrical engineering from New Mexico State University.

A complete schedule of all departmental and college convocation ceremonies may be found on the commencement website. Virginia Tech will offer live streaming video of both the Graduate School Commencement and University Commencement ceremonies from the university homepage.

Share this story