WEMPEC Newsletter December 2022

WEMPEC Faculty Affiliates Spotlight

WEMPEC Faculty members have had collaborative research relationships with numerous University of Wisconsin faculty members throughout our 41-year history.  Over the past year, we have formalized this collaborative practice with the WEMPEC Faculty Affiliates program that reflects the opportunities coming from new faculty members joining our campus.  We believe this program will enhance our collective innovation potential by bringing expertise from faculty working in adjacent technical areas.  We feel that our students will benefit from the opportunity to engage with the other faculty members and their research teams, and we know that our industry members will benefit from the added breadth in our technology domain.

We invite you to read the following brief bios of our Faculty Affiliates.  These professors are some of the best and brightest folks within the UW College of Engineering and we are looking forward to pursuing our collaborative interests with them.

Semiconductor Materials and Devices

Prof. Chirag Gupta, ECE
Chirag is broadly interested in wide-band-gap (GaN, SiC) and ultra-wide-band-gap (GaOx, C) semiconductor materials and devices, specifically how these materials can be utilized to develop next-generation electronics (transistors, diodes, etc.) and optoelectronics (LEDs, Lasers, etc.) devices. He recently started a collaboration with Prof. Dan Ludois and fellow ECE professor Shubra Pasayat on a streamlined transistor design and will be running a double pulse tester in the WEMPEC labs.

Wisconsin Power Systems – WISPO

Prof. Dominic Gross, ECE
Dominic’s area of interest is dynamics and control of power systems dominated by power electronics, focusing on grid-forming control of power converter-interfaced renewable generation and energy storage. He combines his control theory background with in-depth knowledge of control of power electronics and machines. As part of this work, he and WEMPEC pool capabilities in developing control algorithms and setting up converter hardware for experimental validation.
Prof. Bernie Lesieutre, ECE
Bernie’s research interests include the modeling, monitoring, and analysis of electric power systems and electric energy markets. As a longstanding ECE faculty member in power systems, he has collaborated with WEMPEC faculty on many topics – most recently on research into solar forecast uncertainty pricing and optimal scheduling together with Prof. Giri.
Prof. Line Roald, ECE
Line’s research interests focus on modeling and optimization of energy systems, with a particular focus on managing uncertainty and risk from renewable energy variability and component failures utilizing stochastic optimization. A recent shared research interest between her and Prof. Giri is low-frequency AC transmission, where they combine their specific skillsets to look at both power system-level benefits and power converter design.

Mechanical Engineering

Prof. Mark Anderson, ME
Mark’s research covers a wide breadth of fundamental physics and applications all relating to advanced energy utilization, energy extraction and energy production with the main focus on experimental thermal hydraulics for advanced nuclear, solar and waste heat recovery energy sources. He is currently collaborating with Prof. Severson on designing a highly efficient supercritical carbon dioxide (CO2) heat to power system.
Prof. Gregory Nellis, ME
Greg conducts research in cryogenics, refrigeration, heat transfer, thermodynamics, and energy systems. He is the author of several textbooks in this area and a frequent resource to WEMPEC in questions related to thermal processes and cooling. In recent years he has collaborated widely with Prof. Bulent on thermal management of various electric machine projects and is also part of the supercritical carbon dioxide (CO2) heat to power project with Prof. Anderson and Severson. Greg is the director of the Solar Energy Lab.
Prof. Mike Wagner, ME
Mike’s research includes thermal systems modeling, system design and operations optimization, and predictive performance analysis of energy generation and storage technologies. As part of this, he continues to operate and enhance parts of the microgrid infrastructure in WEI, e.g. leveraging the solar PV installation in building a PHIL real-time simulation testbed for the optimization of hybrid CSP-PV power plants.