Karen S. Pedersen

Karen S. Pedersen
Karen S. Pedersen
Associated organizations
Iowa Power and Light Company, MidAmerican Energy Company
Fields of study


Karen was born and raised in Iowa. She attended Indianola High School in Indianola, Iowa graduating in 1960. She went to work at Columbus Life Assurance Company as an actuarial clerk in Des Moines Iowa. She married Wendell Pedersen in 1961. They have two children and four grandchildren.

Karen entered Grand View College at the age of 30 years old in 1972 to receive an Associate degree in Mathematics from Grand View College in May 1975. She received a BSEE in electronics and computers, Iowa State University in November 1977. She received an MBA with a concentration in economics from Bentley College, Massachusetts in 1989.

Karen joined IEEE as a student at Iowa State University in 1975. She and a friend attended their first Central Iowa section meeting in Ames, Iowa during her senior year. She was honored as an Eta Kappa Nu member of the Iowa State NU chapter in 1975.

Karen went to work at Iowa Power and Light Company in Des Moines, Iowa after graduation as a Planning Engineer in the Engineering Department. Since her education was in electronics and computers and the job at Iowa Power was in the power industry, she was sent to Texas A and M for their two week power course. She then took a Power System Analysis course remotely from Iowa State University.

Karen became involved as a volunteer in the Central Iowa Section serving as Treasurer, Vice Chair and finally Section Chair in July of 1983.

She and her husband moved to Boston, Massachusetts in 1984. She took a position as a Load Research Engineer for Boston Edison. She served as a Planning Engineer and a Principal Research Engineer while at Boston Edison.

She was discouraged from becoming an IEEE volunteer by supervisors at Boston Edison. As a result, she volunteered in the National Society of Professional Engineers. She served as the Boston Metro Chapter President, Massachusetts State President, PEI (Professional Engineers in Industry), Vice President, and North Central Vice President during her time in Boston, Massachusetts.

She returned to the Quad Cities in Iowa in 1998 to work for MidAmerican Energy Company. She was employed in the Electric System Planning Department until retiring in 2006.

She volunteered in the following IEEE positions since graduation from Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa in 1977.

Central Iowa Section Member 7/1/75-12/31/84
Central Iowa Section, Secretary/Treasurer 7/1/81-6/30/81
Central Iowa Section, Vice Chair 7/1/82-6/30/83
Central Iowa Section, Chair 7/1/83-6/30/84
IEEE Computer Society, Member 1/1/84-12/31/95
Boston Section Member 1/1/85-3/1/98
Power and Energy Society, Member 1/1/86-12/31/10
Iowa-Illinois Section, Member 3/1/98-04/1/09
Iowa-Illinois Section, Secretary 1/1/00-12/31/00
Iowa-Illinois Section, Treasurer 1/1/01-12/31/01
Women in Engineering, Member 1/1/01-12/31/07
Iowa-Illinois Section, Vice Chair 1/1/02-12/31/02
Iowa-Illinois Section, Chair 1/1/03-12/31/03
Communications Society, Membe 1/1/05-12/31/06
USA Awards Committee member 1/1/07–12/31/10
MGA Awards and Recognition Committee corresponding member 1/1/07-12/31/08
Region 4 Awards and Recognition Committee Chair 1/1/07-12/31/10
Power and Energy Chapter Chair 1/27/07-12/31/09
Iowa-Illinois Section Chapter, PE31, Chapter Chair 1/27/07-12/31/09
MGA Awards and Recognition Committee member 1/1/09 –12/31/10
Cedar Rapids Section 4/1/09-S.L.Member
MGA Strategic Direction and Environmental Assessment Committee 1/1/10–12/31/10
IEEE-USA ad-hoc External Award Chair 1/1/11-12/31/11
MGA Member Engagement and Life Cycle Committee, Member 1/1/11-12/31/12
MGA Awards Policy and Planning Committee, Member 1/1/11-12/31/12
MGA Awards Board, MGA Chair 1/1/11-12/31/12
Director-Elect Region 4 1/1/11-12/31/12
MGA Awards Board, Board of Director Liaison 1/1/13-12/31/13
MGA Metro Area Workshop (MAW) Project Lead 1/1/13-12/31/13
MGA Ad Hoc: Smart Tech Workshop in an Box, Member 1/1/13-12/31/13
Director Region 4 1/1/13-12/31/14

Licensed Professional Engineer in the following States:

  • Registered Professional Engineer, State of Massachusetts 1985 to present
  • Registered Professional Engineer in the Branch of Electrical Engineering, State of Iowa, 1981-1985, 1998-present
  • Licensed Professional Engineer, State of Illinois, 1998- present