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2019 John Gray Scholar: James Manning

By District Energy posted 07-03-2019 00:00


2019 John Gray Scholarship Award Winner


At its 110th Annual Conference in Pittsburgh, PA, the International District Energy Association (IDEA) awarded the 2019 John Gray Scholarship to James Manning of Carnegie Mellon University.

Established at IDEA's 100th Annual Conference in 2009, the John Gray Scholarship aims to attract and retain individuals wishing to pursue knowledge about energy in general and district energy specifically. The scholarship is offered annually to IDEA member employees and their children, or to individuals pursuing an enhancement of knowledge of district energy either through the educational opportunities at IDEA meetings or through educational programs at four-year universities in management, engineering, finance, or energy, or at two-year community colleges that offer an Associate’s Degree in power engineering.

This year’s scholarship awardee, James Manning, is currently pursuing a PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering at IDEA Member campus, Carnegie Mellon University. James has a 3.9 gpa and is on schedule to graduate in 2022. His research interests are in the utilization and optimization of the relationship between water infrastructure and microgrid power systems for rural and peri-urban communities in the developing world.

James became aware of the John Gray scholarship through Carnegie Mellon University and as part of a student sponsorship from Sustainable Water, which has allowed him to be here today. 

James’ experience as a commissioned officer in the military has fueled his passion about reducing poverty in developing nations through sustainable advancement. He has a diverse familiarity with developing nations such as China, as a student, to emerging countries like Niger, consulting work after graduation, and Iraq, as a military officer. These experiences have fueled James’ research passions in poverty alleviation through ameliorated energy generation and water resource management.

After graduation, James hopes to secure a position in a research institute working to reduce poverty in developing nations through sustainable development.


Click here to view James’ acceptance speech.



The International District Energy Association (IDEA) is a nonprofit trade association founded in 1909 to facilitate the exchange of information among district energy professionals. IDEA is governed by an all-volunteer Board of Directors and works actively to foster the success of members as leaders in providing reliable, economical, efficient and environmentally sound district heating, district cooling and cogeneration (also known as combined heat and power or CHP) services. Today, IDEA has over 2,400 members in over 26 nations. For more information, visit