In the four decades since its founding, WEMPEC has become a global hub for excellence that continues to make pioneering contributions to research, education, and professional service in the field of electric machines, power electronics, and drives. Without a doubt, this excellence is the product of the large network of graduate student alumni who have received their masters and doctoral degrees from the program, taught and advised by a group of dedicated faculty members committed to excellence in scholarship and teaching. The landmark of the graduate program is the keen and intentional focus on university-industry interaction that is reflected by the number of sponsors that sustain the vibrancy and growth of the program.
WEMPEC graduates enjoy strong employment prospects that are rapidly enlarging due to the broad electrification trends in the transportation industry and the growth of renewable energy systems that address the challenges of climate change. Our classical education model based on research-oriented MS and PhD programs is not able to meet the demands of the marketplace due to limited bandwidth of faculty time. Typical graduation periods have ranged from 2-3 years for the MS program and 6-7 years for the PhD program. Today, WEMPEC faculty and staff are pleased to have the opportunity to provide our education and training opportunities to a broader number of students through UW-Madison ECE department’s MS program with the Professional option.
The two Energy and Power Systems tracks, namely Electric Drives and Power Electronics are designed to provide the skills and training necessary for graduate students to contribute to the electric power conversion industry on Day One in their jobs. The program is designed to be completed in three semesters of on-campus residence and a summer internship or 16 calendar months.
During the current year 23 MS-P students have signed up for one of these tracks. WEMPEC faculty expect a number of opportunities available for the students through industrial internship and campus capstone projects supported by sponsoring companies to round out the classroom and laboratory experiences. During this short 3-month period since the beginning of the Fall 2021 term, 18 students from this program have enrolled in courses offered by WEMPEC faculty. Some of these students have already interviewed and accepted internship opportunities with WEMPEC sponsors.
We expect this program to grow in the coming years to meet the continuing demands of the tight employment marketplace in the field of electric power conversion. Soon, Sponsors will be able to find information about students enrolled in this program through the WEMPEC website.