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306 N. Wright Street
Urbana, IL 61801
Ph: (217) 333-2300
Fax: (217) 244-7075

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Undergraduate Scholarships and Awards

Burton J. Wilson Scholarship

Established 2002

Burton J. Wilson received both his bachelor’s and master’s degree at University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Always the student which makes a good teacher, he did further studies in the PhD program at Illinois and in Electrical and Mechanical Engineering and Computer Science at Harvard University and the University of Maryland.

Mr. Wilson, who has published and presented on a wide variety of topics related to electrical power systems, started his career at Illinois as a lecturer in both the graduate and undergraduate programs in the Department of Electrical Engineering.

After his time with Illinois, he spent the next thirty years as a research electrical engineer and branch head and consultant with the Naval Research Laboratory. During his tenure there, he was a key developer of today’s electrical power technology on military and commercial aircraft. He was also the co-founder of the International Conference on Energy Conversion.

After his time at the Naval Research Laboratory, he joined the university of Maryland as lecturer for nine years in the electrical engineering department, teaching in the area of power machinery, power electronics and electromagnetics.

Mrs. Wilson made this gift in her husband’s honor as his contribution to cutting-edge education at his alma mater, which has always held a special place with him.


The Burton J. Wilson Scholarship is given every four years to an entering freshman in the Physics or Electrical and Computer Engineering Department of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The scholarship provides a $5000 stipend. The scholarship is renewable for three years based on satisfactory academic progress and continued involvement in the stipulated research areas.


  1. The recipient must have been admitted as a freshman to the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering or the Department of Physics at UIUC.
  2. The recipient must have demonstrated academic excellence and an interest in the field of electrical energy/power production, conversion, utilization or conservation.
  3. Renewal will be contingent on satisfactory academic progress and continued involvement in the stipulated research areas. Interest will be demonstrated to the respective department by a course distribution in the theory and practice of electromagnetics, electromechanical machines, electrochemical devices, nuclear power generation, the physics of plasmas, and the like.

Selection Process:

Application information can be obtained from Kara MacGregor after September 6 or picked up in 153 Everitt Lab. Applications are due in the Department office no later than September 30. A committee of representatives from the Electrical and Computer Engineering and Physics Departments will select a recipient in October. Announcement will be made in the end of October.


The award carries a $5000 stipend.

Year Recipients
2013-2014 Not Given
2005-2008 Thomas M. Comberiate
2003-2004 Benjamin Sibley (Physics)