IDEA Awards Energy Industry Scholarship

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Recent New Jersey high school graduate honored at Chicago event

Ryerson Lehman-Borer accepts the 2012 John Gray Scholarship Award from IDEA Scholarship Selection Committee Chair Steve Swinson, President & CEO of Thermal Energy Corporation in Houston, TX

The International District Energy Association (IDEA) recently announced the 2012 John Gray Scholarship Award recipient, Ryerson Lehman-Borer of Pennington, New Jersey. The award was bestowed during IDEA’s 103rd Annual Conference & Trade Show held in late June in Chicago.

The scholarship program’s objective is to recognize interest in the growth and success of district energy and combined heat and power (CHP) technologies and help the industry attract and retain these individuals. As a John Gray Scholar, Lehman-Borer received a monetary award and complimentary registration to the annual conference and trade show.

Ryerson Lehman-Borer graduated in June from Hopewell Valley Central High School in Pennington, N.J. While at Hopewell, he was a four-year varsity cross country runner and captain of the team in his senior year, leader of a student-run a cappella group, and starred in the school musical. He also participated in Peer Leaders and National Honor Society. As a sophomore, Lehman-Borer was part of a team that won the state-level “Conquer the Hill” physics competition. His father, Ted Borer, manages Princeton University's award-winning energy plant and has been actively involved in IDEA for the past 18 years. Lehman-Borer will begin his freshman year at Swarthmore College this September, where he intends to pursue studies in engineering.

Named after Canadian John Gray, IDEA’s scholarship award program was established in 2009. It is aligned with Gray’s commitment to life-long learning and his belief in professional involvement and development.

Gray is a committed and longtime IDEA member, having attended his first IDEA conference in 1967 and serving as its president in 1991. He began his career in chemical engineering in 1949 and was still providing water treatment consulting services to the district energy industry around the globe, when he suffered a debilitating fall in 2008. It was tradition for John Gray to serve as master of ceremonies at the annual chair’s banquet where he regaled audiences with his remarkable wit and warmth.

The International District Energy Association (IDEA) is a nonprofit 501(c)(6) industry trade association founded in 1909 and governed by a 22-member Board of Directors. IDEA represents approximately 1600 members who are district heating and cooling executives, managers, engineers, consultants and equipment suppliers from 26 countries. Association members operate district energy systems owned by utilities, municipalities, hospitals, military bases and airports throughout North America and around the world. The largest district heating system in the United States, owned by Consolidated Edison of New York, is an IDEA member, as is the nation's largest district cooling system, Thermal Chicago. Visit for more information.

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