Sandhya Chandran, a PhD student at USask College of Engineering. (Photo: Submitted)
Sandhya Chandran, a PhD student at USask College of Engineering. (Photo: Submitted)

USask engineering PhD student awarded 2022 QE II scholarship

Sandhya Chandran, a PhD student at the University of Saskatchewan’s (USask) College of Engineering, has been awarded this year’s $20,000 Queen Elizabeth II Scholarship by the Government of Saskatchewan.

The scholarship is awarded annually, based on academic excellence, to one student or split between deserving candidates who are pursuing graduate or postgraduate studies related to Saskatchewan government and politics, or Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) at a university in the province. 

As well, a $20,000 Queen Elizabeth II Centennial Aboriginal Scholarship is awarded annually to a First Nations/Métis student pursuing graduate or postgraduate studies in any field at a Saskatchewan university to help them achieve their academic goals. The recipient this year is Jessica Kristen Madiratta, a PhD student in education at the University of Regina. 

“Congratulations to the well-deserving recipients of the Queen Elizabeth II Scholarships,” said Advanced Education Minister Gene Makowsky. “These scholarships provide financial support to students, while the research they produce has a positive impact on our province, particularly in the areas of STEM which supports Saskatchewan’s Growth Plan goals.” 

Chandran, whose PhD research in electrical engineering involves addressing challenges with protecting decentralized power distribution systems, said she was surprised and delighted to receive an email bearing good news while she was at the Calgary Airport en route to a vacation in India. 

“I take pride in accepting this award as a woman in STEM,” Chandran said. “This scholarship reflects the government’s commitment of promoting higher education research, and I believe my research will contribute to the existing, and new policies, targeting the adoption of greener energy in Saskatchewan.” 

As someone who recently became a permanent resident and was hard-pressed to make ends meet as a student, the scholarship enables her to concentrate fully on completing her PhD without much worry, Chandran said.  

Madiratta, recipient of the other Queen Elizabeth II Scholarship, is doing first-of-its-kind research in Saskatchewan. She’s exploring how building a community of educators over multiple culturally responsive professional development sessions can impact instruction in the classroom and benefit the academic achievement of Indigenous students.  

The application deadline for next year’s scholarships is February 28, 2023. To learn more about these scholarships, visit 


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