WEMPEC Celebrates Awards Season

Our campus and faculty have successfully completed a full return to normal teaching and research activities after implementation of a careful set of protocols to manage Covid-19. We are wrapping up the semester with cautious optimism that we will be able to continue our activities and manage the challenges that will come with the emergence of the Omicron variant. As we take a break from our normal academic activities and enjoy this coming holiday season, we are happy to celebrate the various awards that recognize the contributions of our community.

The IEEE selected Emeritus Professor Tom Jahns, who recently retired from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and WEMPEC, for its 2022 IEEE Medal in Power Engineering, one of its prestigious technical field awards. The medal recognizes outstanding contributions to the technology associated with the generation, transmission, distribution, application and utilization of electric power for the betterment of society. The award cites Jahns for contributions to the development of high-efficiency permanent magnet machines and drives.

The National Academy of Inventors has selected Bulent Sarlioglu, the Jean van Bladel associate professor in electrical and computer engineering and Technology and Collaboration Director of WEMPEC, as part of its 2021 class of fellows. Sarlioglu’s research in the field of electrical machines, power circuits and compressors has facilitated transitions from conventional to more electric, high-speed motor drives. It has also led to measurable reductions in fossil fuel consumption in the aerospace industry along with a commensurate decline in greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally, Bulent Sarlioglu has been elevated to the status of IEEE Fellow. Sarlioglu received this honor for his contributions to applications of electrical drives in the aerospace industry.

We are happy to share the 2022 EMTP Research Contribution Prize Award received by Rafael Castillo Sierra, one of Prof. Giri Venkataramanan’s doctoral students.  This award recognizes his contributions to the technology of simulating power system transients. Rafael successfully implemented the model of a low-frequency AC (LFAC) transmissions system including modular multilevel power converters that demonstrate various performance advantages compared to the classical single frequency power transmission system. Rafael hails from Columbia, and his doctoral studies have been supported by WEMPEC, a Fulbright award, and a research grant from the NYSERDA (New York State Energy Research and Development Authority) in collaboration with NYPA (New York Power Authority).

David Sehloff, who has also been working on the LFAC project, coadvised by Prof. Line Roald of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering along with Prof. Giri Venkataramanan completed his doctoral degree this term. David also received the prestigious Graduate Research Fellowship from the National Science Foundation for his studies at WEMPEC.

We are thankful to all of you for your support for the continued success and vibrancy of WEMPEC and we wish you a happy and healthy holiday season.