WEMPEC Newsletter January 2023

Master of Science in Electrical & Computer Engineering: Professional Program

This program, which we tend to refer to as the MS-Professional, or MS-P, is a UW coursework-only curriculum with a 12-16 month completion timeline. It is designed to deepen students’ technical knowledge and sharpen their professional skills for industry. Students who choose the Electric Machines and Drives or Power Electronics program tracks not only enroll in courses offered by WEMPEC faculty, but they also have the opportunity to opt-in to become part of the WEMPEC community.

The Fall 2021 semester saw the implementation of the WEMPEC opt-in component, and since that time 24 MS-P students have become part of WEMPEC. Their participation includes attendance at the Friday Seminars, Annual Review and Corporate Member Lunch & Learns as well as the weekly caffeination station and social events.

As a complement to the MS coursework focus, the program offers students the opportunity to do a summer internship or professional development course to round out their classroom experience. According to Steve Fredette, their MS-P advisor and a WEMPEC Teaching Affiliate, roughly half of the eligible students have done internships. Some of these internships have even expanded into semester-long co-ops, allowing for students to work on longer term projects within a company.

WEMPEC faculty and staff expect the MS-P program to continue to grow to meet the ongoing demands in the field of electric power conversion. Feedback from all sectors is positive and helps to shape the WEMPEC opt-in component for these students.

Meet a few of the MS-P students…

Mike Vander Heiden, Graduate December 2022
The MS-Professional program seemed like the right fit for me because of the ability to dedicate more of my time to classes and graduate in only 3 semesters with taking high-level courses specializing in Electric Motors and Power Electronics. Through developing a relationship with a valued WEMPEC member, LiveWire, I was able to gain significant internship experience during the summer of 2022 and become part of their team as a full time Engineer after graduation. The MS-Professional program is very beneficial in this way because it allowed me to work and gain industry experience between semesters. Throughout my time at this company, I was able to utilize the skills I learned at UW-Madison and apply them through meaningful, real-world applications.
Aravind Manoj Nair, current student
I started my career as an Electromagnetic Design Engineer, designing and developing high efficiency PM machines for air compressors. The drive modelling and controls involved intrigued and motivated me to pursue a Master’s degree in Electrical Machines and Drives, especially Motor Controls. From there it was a short step to applying to UW-Madison, one of the few universities that offers an MS degree program with this specific major and home of WEMPEC. In Summer and Fall 2022, after my first two semesters, I got an internship opportunity with WEMPEC member Trane Technologies as a Power Electronics Modeling and Simulation Engineer. I worked on developing an encoderless vector control algorithm for PM machines and implementing it on a real-time testing platform. I am now back on campus to complete my degree and looking forward to taking my new skills into industry afterwards.
“WEMPEC has earned a strong reputation in the Machines and Drives community, thus allowing me to build my profile and gain connections within industry and academia.”

– Aravind Manoj Nair

“Mike quickly became a key member of our team during his internship. We’re lucky to have him back so soon thanks to the accelerated MS-Professional program. This is a great way to fast-track top WEMPEC talent!”

– Lucas Fabian, LiveWire
Michael’s internship advisor

““One of the most beneficial aspects of being a part of the MS-Professional program is the ability to become a member of WEMPEC and get introduced to companies directly involved in Electric Machine design and Power Electronics.”

– Mike Vander Heiden

All of the MS-P students who become part of WEMPEC are listed on the student section of the WEMPEC website which is available to our corporate members. If you have not yet requested access to this and the other protected parts of the WEMPEC website, you may use the following link to register: https://apps.wempec.wisc.edu/register