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The Hydropower Foundation proudly supports undergraduate and graduate students with  scholarship opportunities
and encourages students to peruse for additional scholarship opportunities listed here.

Mike Sale Memorial Scholarship

The Mike Sale Memorial Scholarship will promote graduate-level research in specific areas associated with and to benefit the waterpower industry and its environmental management practices.

This new scholarship is being established and currently accepting donations, with hopes to begin awarding scholarships in the near future. However, no applications are currently being accepted.


Mike Sale was a huge presence in the hydropower community. He served over 25 years as a distinguished research staff member and manager at Oak Ridge National Laboratory before retiring in 2008. Not one to rest, Mike became an independent consultant and invaluable member of numerous technical teams offering support on energy, water and environmental issues, including for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Wind and Water Power Technologies Program. ​

Mike was a charter member of the Low Impact Hydropower Institute’s governing board and served as Executive Director from 2013 to 2016 during a critical period of the organization’s development. Mike led efforts to undertake the first major revision to LIHI’s certification criteria and handbook since its founding in 2000. Mike’s leadership strengthened LIHI’s ability to offer market-based opportunities for hydropower operators to lower their environmental, recreational and cultural impacts. The revisions he oversaw expanded ways for key criteria to be satisfied, placed new emphasis on the scientific basis for agency recommendations and mitigation measures and opened new opportunities for longer term certificates.

Mike also served as a member of the Hydropower Foundation and its predecessor, the Hydro Research Foundation, since its inception in 1994. He was an invaluable member of the Foundation’s Board of Directors serving until his passing. He had a deep love for hydropower and its value to the electric system, and continually emphasized the importance of improving the resource through science based investigation and problem solving.

Julie A. Keil
Women in Hydro Scholarship

The Julie A. Keil Women in Hydro Scholarship Fund provides:

  • An education scholarship program for women enrolled in an accredited college or university and majoring in a discipline relevant to entering the hydropower industry. The scholarship will be based on merit and financial need.
  • Grants to women who plan to enter the hydropower industry to assist in expenses to attend industry events.

Julie Keil promoted hydropower as renewable energy technology and a responsible steward of the nation’s water resources. She helped bring disparate and often dissenting individuals together to work towards common goals through her leadership, courage, and strength. Her keen negotiating skills helped create outcomes that reflected fair dealing and the intricate relationship among engineering, the environment, and economics. In addition, she brought uncommon energy, persistence, and enthusiasm to all her efforts on behalf of the hydropower

  • To read more about Julie, her life, and many accomplishments, click here.

Past Chairs’ Legacy Scholarship

NHA created the Past Chairs’ Legacy Scholarship in 2008 to encourage students to consider becoming part of the U.S. hydropower industry. Our growing industry has professionals in many different fields, including engineering, IT, biology, environmental sciences, forestry, hydrology, animal sciences, management, financial services, communications, and other areas. Many companies also offer high-paying skilled labor and technical positions.
Beginning January 2, 2024, the National Hydropower Association will be accepting applications for the 2024 NHA Past Chairs’ Legacy Scholarship. The $2,500 scholarship goes to a promising young person who demonstrates the academic skills and commitment to help create the next generation of leaders in the hydropower industry.

Who: (1) current college sophomores or juniors who will be college juniors or seniors beginning fall 2023, or graduate students with a minimum cumulative 3.0 grade point average on a 4.0 scale (or equivalent) who are enrolled in a full-time undergraduate or graduate course of study at an accredited four-year college or university; or (2) Applicants must be students with an equivalent GPA at an accredited vocational technical school or program. All applicants must be U.S. Citizens or legal residents.
Applicant must be pursuing a program of study that is related to the hydropower industry: Engineering, sciences (biology, fisheries, and hydrology), communications, or environmental studies.

Download a PDF

Application: Click here to access scholarship site.

Applications will be accepted January 2, 2024 to February 15, 2024.

Send applications to:
The National Hydropower Association
Scholarship Management Services
Saint Peter, MN 5608

Midwest Hydro Users Group Scholarship

The Midwest Hydro Users Group (MHUG) scholarship was created to encourage high school and early college students towards educational programs that support the hydropower industry.

This scholarship is open to students who are:

  • High school seniors or students entering their first or second year of a 2-year or 4-year school,
  • Accepted to or enrolled in Midwestern universities, colleges, and technical schools (a list of eligible states for schooling is provided in the application), and
  • Interested in a career supporting the hydropower industry (an example list of target programs is provided in the application).
MHUG’s mission is to promote safe, reliable, economical, and environmentally responsible hydropower in the Midwest by providing members with opportunities to learn, share information, and network with others in the industry.
We’re looking to help develop the next generation of talent to keep our Midwestern hydroelectric projects producing safe and reliable power.
For more information, including ways to get involved, please visit our MHUG website:

Power up & Join the Waterpower Club!

We are the Waterpower Club - Waterpower Community Partnership (WC2), founded to help students connect to opportunities in the waterpower sector.