IEEE Paper Awards for the SPARK Research Team 

November 28, 2017

Dr. Dan M. Ionel, Professor and L. Stanley Pigman Chair in Power,  together with members of his former academic research group, recently received the IEEE Industry Application Society, Electric Machines Committee Annual Paper Award, Third Prize, with a paper on the calculation of strand eddy current losses in electric machines. The new computational method has been applied, among other projects, to the optimal design of the first generation motors for Formula E racing cars, as part of an international collaboration with industrial and academic experts from US and the United Kingdom.

Last year, Dr. Ionel and members of his current SPARK research group from University of Kentucky: postdoctoral researcher, Dr. Vandana Rallabandi, and PhD students, Ms. Narges Taran, and Mr. Akeyo Oluwaseun, received a sectional Best Paper Award at the IEEE ECCE Congress in Milwaukee, WI, and the Best Poster Award at the ICRERA Conference in Birmingham, United Kingdom, with work on the feasibility of electric machines employing carbon nano-tube wires and windings and with integrated solar PV and battery storage multi-MW power plants, respectively. These topics are of great interest to the international professional community and well as to the regional collaborations with the Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER) at UK and with LG&E and KU, Kentucky’s largest utility.


UK Students Receive IEEE Power and Energy Society Scholarships and Outstanding Scholar Award 

October 25, 2017

Three University of Kentucky College of Engineering students, Stewart Jones, Robert Richardson and Abigail Shelton, have been awarded 2017-2018 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Power and Energy Society (PES) Scholarship Plus Initiative scholarships. The IEEE PES Scholarship Plus Initiative recognizes highly qualified electrical engineering undergraduate students with multi-year scholarships and assists in connecting them with relevant and meaningful career experiences. This year the IEEE PES awarded scholarships to 210 undergraduate students from 116 universities across the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Since the program launched in 2011, more than $3 million has been awarded in scholarships to 835 students from more than 170 universities, including Ivy League colleges, flagship state universities and prestigious engineering colleges.

Abigail Shelton has also received the John W. Estey Outstanding Scholar Award, which  is distributed annually to the top PES Scholar in each of the six IEEE U.S. regions and Canada. The award includes a cash prize, twelve months of student membership in IEEE and IEEE Power and Energy Society, and a travel honorarium to attend the 2018 IEEE PES General Meeting. Shelton is pursuing a PEIK certificate and is scheduled to graduate in May 2018.


The Kentucky Governor’s 2017 Conference on Energy and the Environment 

October 21, 2017

On October 19th and 20th PEIK exhibited and attended the sessions of the Kentucky Governor’s 2017 Conference on Energy and the Environment in Lexington, KY. The conference featured discussion panels and presentations by regional and national experts about natural resources, energy law, conservation efforts, and a keynote address by the governor. PEIK’s exhibit featured printed materials about our undergraduate and graduate certificates, research collaborations, and outreach efforts. PEIK’s Director, Dr. Dan M. Ionel, Professor and L. Stanley Pigman Chair in Power, and PEIK/KIAC/FEEDER Programs Coordinator, Jason Souders, were present at the PEIK expo booth, met and discussed with long-time collaborators and supporters and established new professional contacts.





















Record Number of E. On PEIK Scholarships 

October 16, 2017

Early in the semester, UK College of Engineering awarded the annual E. On PEIK Scholarships in power and energy to a record number of 33 undergraduate junior and senior students pursuing different engineering majors. These merit scholarships, which are supported by an endowment established years ago by E.On / Kentucky Utilities, benefited of more than 90,000 dollars in awarded and committed funds in the current annual cycle. The students demonstrated strong interest in the multi-disciplinary PEIK program, completed at least three courses in power and energy, with some of the students attending as many as seven such courses. More information about the E. On PEIK Scholarships and student qualifications can be found on the Power and Energy Institute of Kentucky (PEIK) website at


Summer 2017 Power and Energy Experiences Course

June 30, 2017

The annual edition of the Power and Energy Experiences course took place in the first session of the summer term. The course was supported by UK’s Power and Energy Institute, PEIK, and partner utilities: LG&E/KU, TVA, EKPC and Duke, and included a one week field trip, which provided the students with an immersive experience through daily visits of regional facilities for generating, distributing and managing electricity. This year tour included a coal fired power plant, hydro generating and pumped storage facilities, a land fill gas generation facility, a non-operational nuclear power plant, a biogas generating facility, the Ft. Knox power system with integrated PV generation, the operations center of a regional electric transmission system operator, an electric distribution substation, and a smart grid demonstration facility. The course, which is an elective for the PEIK undergraduate certificate, and a requirement for the PEIK graduate certificate, also included an on-line module covering theoretical background. Course instructors, Dr. Jeff Seay of the Chemical Engineering Department and Dr. Dan M. Ionel of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, led a full class of undergraduate and graduate students from diverse engineering disciplines.

PEIK Experiences 2017



New Book on Renewable Energy and Systems

June 16, 2017

CRC-Press-Blaabjerg-Ionel-BookDr. Dan M. Ionel, Professor and L. Stanley Pigman Chair in Power, has co-authored and co-edited the book entitled Renewable Energy Devices and Systems with Simulations in MATLAB® and ANSYS®, published by CRC Press. The book is reflective of UK’s very strong program in power and energy and of the growing international collaborations with premier research groups, including the one from Aalborg University in Denmark, led by Dr. Frede Blaabjerg. The technical content focuses on topics of power electronics and associated controls, as the main enablers for the integration of renewable energy generation in the electric power system, alongside traditional sources such as coal and natural gas. Explanations and computer simulation models are provided for different renewable generation technologies, such as wind turbines and PV systems, in order to better prepare students and readers for real-life practical applications. Multiple chapters are included on the state-of-the-art and possible technology developments within the next fifteen years.

Dr. Ionel, who joined the faculty of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in 2015, currently serves as the Director of PEIK, the Power and Energy Institute of Kentucky, which has teaching, research and outreach activities supported by the US Department of Energy, industrial companies, and regional power utilities, including: LGE/KU, EKPC, TVA, Duke Energy, and AEP – Kentucky Power.