Credentials: PhD 2021
B.S., Electrical Engineering and Systems Science and Engineering, Washington University
M.S., Electrical Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison
David Sehloff is an idealist when it comes to engineering; in middle school and high school, he says “excellent teachers guided him to think about ways to apply his interest in math and science to make practical changes that would improve the world.” Even in grad school, he says he’s still attracted by the idea that engineers can use technology to bring about positive changes for society.
In particular, he’s interested in power engineering because of the potential impact that modernizing energy transport and use could have on conserving environmental resources. The Appleton, Wisconsin native is currently researching ways to allow existing power transmission infrastructure to accommodate more power by lowering electrical frequencies below 60Hz. That would reduce the need for building new lines. Sehloff is developing analytical tools using mathematical optimization to quantify the effects of such a switch on the power system as a whole.
Sehloff, who earned a bachelor’s in electrical engineering and in systems science and engineering from Washington University in St. Louis, says he was attracted to UW-Madison because of its history with microgrids, distributed energy resources and mathematical optimization.
As an undergrad, he was an electrical engineer intern at Oshkosh Corporation. In 2019, Sehloff spent much of the year as visiting PhD student researcher at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, where he investigated stochastic methods and optimization techniques in power systems related to integrating renewable resources into the power grid.
After his anticipated graduation in August 2021, Sehloff hopes to continue his research at a national lab or university.