Empowering Communities

How smarts and heart led to being honored as one of Crain’s 40 Under 40

December 12, 2017

Last summer, Shay Bahramirad joined more than 200 delegates from 33 countries in Accra, Ghana to brainstorm solutions to power Africa. An estimated 625 million people in sub-Saharan Africa don’t have power, making it one of this continent’s most significant human rights challenges.

Shay traveled on behalf of the IEEE/Power and Energy Society (PES) in her role as its vice president of new initiatives and outreach. The three-day conference, called Power Africa 2017, gave her the opportunity to share ideas and solutions with entrepreneurs, policy makers, utilities and educators.

“The IEEE/PES provides its members with a unique opportunity to work with local talent, particularly women entrepreneurs, to build sustainable businesses that can meet the needs of this region and to power Africa,” says Shay, the director of distribution system planning, smart grid and innovation for ComEd.

It’s Shay’s philanthropic spirit that earned her a place on this year’s Crain’s 40 Under 40 list. The list, published by Crain’s Chicago Business, honors Chicago’s most influential people in a variety of industries.

“I am honored and humbled to be featured amongst such accomplished professionals,” she says. “It is wonderful to be recognized for a career that I truly love in the power industry.”

Born in Iran, the 38-year-old credits her move to the United States with giving her the opportunity to pursue her dreams of powering lives.

The Crain’s article states, “… Bahramirad is a vocal proponent for advancing women in tech careers. She travels around the world giving speeches and founded the IEEE PES’ Women in Power arm, to elevate women in the energy industry.”

Shay is a recognized industry leader in smart grid and is spearheading the transformation of the ComEd grid toward a smart, clean, secure energy future.

Shay earned a doctorate in electrical engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology.

“Shay is a brilliant, passionate leader whose experiences in Europe and the Middle East have informed a unique perspective to technology and innovation,” says Joseph Svachula, vice president of Smart Grid & Technology, ComEd.

“Shay combines brains and heart to make a big difference – today, and well into the future – for the smart grid in northern Illinois and in the lives of women in energy.”

Visit the Crain’s website to read the article.