John Gray Scholarship

Empowering the Next Generation: The John Gray Scholarships

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 available annually to students looking to further their knowledge of the industry through educational programs at four-year universities, two-year community colleges that offer an Associate’s Degree in power engineering, accredited technical training institutes, or certification programs with accredited institutions.

Children of IDEA member employees, or student candidates recommended by an IDEA member in good standing are eligible. Please contact Jason Beal for questions about eligibility.

Award Eligibility

John Gray Scholarship eligibility includes the following four candidate categories:

First-time IDEA meeting attendance for employees of member organizations or as designated by the Member to attend a conference.

Continuing education financial assistance for Members' children.

Education financial assistance for employees of member organizations who are seeking to upgrade their professional expertise and qualifications, including Bachelor or Associate Degree programs with accredited institutions.

Education financial assistance as a means of attracting people to potential careers in the district energy industry.

The committee kindly asks that employers or sponsors limit up to two (2) sponsored applicant submittals per year.  Award winners from prior years are kindly suggested to refrain from re-submitting in order to accommodate the largest number and most diverse applicant pool.

About John Gray


John Gray was a world-class scientist and engineer with a distinguished career as a chemist. His career began in January 1949 when he joined Dearborn Chemical as a laboratory technician. He retired as senior vice-president in 1994. John was selected in 2003 by the Chemical Institute of Canada (CIC) as an accomplished, 50-year contributor to the chemical profession. In 1994, he formed a corrosion consulting firm, John Gray & Associates, and served as senior water conditioning consultant for GE Betz in Trevose, PA.

John served as President of IDEA in 1991 and also served as a member of its Board of Directors. He was a beloved and regular attendee of IDEA conferences since 1967.

John presented many technical papers on industrial water conditioning in Canada, the U.S., Great Britain, and Australia. He was a member of the National Association of Corrosion Engineers and holds patents on his boiler sludge conditioner, a closed water corrosion inhibitor and a neutral pH, non-corrosive rust remover. He was awarded the prestigious Norman R. Taylor award by IDEA in 1994 for his distinguished achievements in district energy.

If you attend an IDEA conference, you might see (and might be given) a badge with the image of an apple on it. This is another amazing contribution from John, given to first-time attendees of any IDEA conference to let you know that, 'you are the apple of our eye' and as you can see from the photo to the left with his trusty, old-school apple peeler, John truly meant it.

John Gray- A life of learning and laughter

For nearly 50 years, John attended the IDEA Annual Conference and greatly enjoyed taking the podium to offer the invocation, regaling all with his trademark wit and humility. You can watch the highlights of these amazing moments by clicking the YouTube link to the left.
John believed passionately in the importance of the IDEA community and was committed to lifelong learning.  His legacy both personally and professionally is profound. While he is still missed by his immediate family and IDEA family, including the many hundreds of people he touched over the years with his deep technical expertise, genuine kindness and abundant good humor, the John Gray Scholarships ensure his mission and his message continues. 
Our friend and colleague John Gray passed away on November 10, 2015.

Recent Winners