December 15, 2023
Power and Energy Institute of Kentucky (PEIK) and SPARK Lab researchers received from the IEEE Industry Applications Society Electric Machines Committee (EMC) the Energy Conversion Congress and Exposition (ECCE) Second Prize Paper Award for the article: “Winding Losses in Coreless Axial Flux PM Machines with Wave and Spiral PCB Stator Topologies”, which was presented and published at the 2022 ECCE edition. The main author, Yaser Chulaee, PhD student, is shown on the left in the photo taken after the awards ceremony during this year‘s ECCE edition, together with co-authors Donovin D. Lewis, PhD student, and Dr. Dan M., Ionel, PhD advisor, ECE Professor, L Stanley Pigman Chair in Power, SPARK and PEIK Director.
The award-winning paper is based on research on innovative electric machines sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) over a 5-year project that has been recently completed. Co-authors of the conference proceedings article include industry collaborators: Drs. Greg Heins and Dean Patterson, who are with the Regal Rexnord Company that contributed to prototyping and testing. An extended journal version of the paper was published earlier this year in IEEE Transactions on Industry Applications as: "Circulating and Eddy Current Losses in Coreless Axial Flux PM Machine Stators with PCB Windings", and includes as additional co-author Ali Mohammadi, also a PhD student in the SPARK Lab.
Since September of last year, researchers from the SPARK Lab within PEIK and the ECE Department in the UK Stanley and Karen Pigman of Engineering have received paper awards at all four major IEEE conferences to which they participated and that included electric machines topics: two consecutive editions of ICRERA, ITEC and ECCE. An exception is represented by IEMDC for which Dr. Ionel served as the Chair of the Conference Steering Committee. The success is reflective of the strong research at UK, which is sponsored by NSF, NASA, DOE and directly by industry.
This outstanding success follows the long-standing tradition of research on electric machines and power electronic drives at UK, going back more than half a century ago to the world’s first electronically controlled switched reluctance motor proposed by former UK professor, the late Dr. Syed Nasar. Over many decades, other outstanding contributions by faculty and students included, for example, those jointly made with UK’s frequently visiting professor Dr. Ion Boldea on linear electric machines, vector drive control, and synchronous reluctance motors, among many other topics.
IEEE is the world’s largest technical professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for the benefit of humanity. The Industry Applications Society is one of IEEE’s largest organizations with a dedicated focus and a department on industrial power conversion systems, within which the Electric Machines Committee is one of the oldest. With a typical attendance of approximately 2,000 people, ECCE is the largest annual joint technical event of the IEEE Industry Applications and Power Electronics Societies.
December 11, 2023
TVA Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Dr. Aaron Cramer has been named the next chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Kentucky Stanley and Karen Pigman College of Engineering. Dr. Cramer will assume this role effective Jan. 1, 2024, and looks forward to working directly with the faculty, staff and students in his home department.
Dr. Cramer is a member of the Power and Energy Institute of Kentucky (PEIK) and an active researcher, most recently receiving a $398,746 award from the Office of Naval Research. His research interests are in the area of power and energy, specifically on the simulation, control, and optimization of power and energy systems, including electric machinery, power electronics, and power systems.
Dr. Cramer joined UK as faculty in 2010 and served his department as director of graduate studies from 2018-2020. Since joining the University, he has received several teaching awards, including the College of Engineering Dean’s Award for Excellence in Service and Outstanding Electrical and Computer Engineering Teacher Award. He served as a member of the UK Board of Trustees since 2022, and will be leaving his role of trustee effective Dec. 31 in order to serve the department. The role of department chair is an administrative appointment such roles are unable to hold trustee positions at the same time. Dr. Cramer also serves on the University Senate Council, where he held the title of chair from 2020 to 2022.
November 30, 2023
Faculty affiliated with the Power and Energy Institute of Kentucky (PEIK) at University of Kentucky (UK): Dr. Dan M. Ionel, PEIK Director, and L. Stanley Pigman Chair in Power; Dr. Jiangbiao He, ECE Associate Professor, and Endowed L. Stanley Pigman Faculty Fellow; and Dr. Aaron Cramer, TVA Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Lewis Honors Faculty, together with many PhD students contributed a record number of sixteen papers to this year’s edition of the IEEE ECCE Congress. The large PEIK group featured in the photo also had an exhibition booth, and participated in paper presentations, and discussions. During the conference, three members of the PEIK group received a paper award from the IEEE IAS Electric Machines Committee, a recognition that will be reported separately.
The IEEE Energy Conversion Congress and Exposition (ECCE) is a premier conference for the exchange of cutting-edge research and developments in the field of energy conversion and power electronics. The annual event brings researchers, engineers, scientists, and industry professionals together in the US from around the world to share their latest work in areas such as power electronic systems and devices, motor drives, electric machines, electrification, transportation, renewable energy systems, energy storage systems, microgrids, and power quality. With a typical attendance of approximately 2,000 people, ECCE is the largest annual joint technical event of the IEEE Industry Applications and Power Electronics Societies.
The papers presented by the PEIK group are based on projects sponsored by NSF, NASA, DOE, and directly by industry and utilities. The large PEIK group participation is reflective of the growth and strength of the graduate program with research on advanced electric power components and systems topics within the UK Stanley and Karen Pigman College of Engineering. Papers with PEIK authors and co-authors presented at ECCE 2023:
- Alden, R., Lewis, D., and Ionel, D. M., "Overview of HIL Co-simulation for Very Large Distribution Systems and Power Electronic Converters with a DC Fast Charging EV Benchmark Study on an IEEE Test Feeder" pdf
- Badewa, O. A., Mohammadi, A., Ionel, D. M., Essakiappan, S., and Manjrekar, M., "Electric Vehicle Traction Motor with a Reluctance Outer Rotor and a Modular Stator with AC Concentrated Toroidal Windings and PM or DC Wave Winding Excitation" pdf
- Chulaee, Y., Mohammadi, A., Cramer, A. M., and Ionel, D. M., "Flexible Control for Wide Speed Range Operation of High Polarity Stator Coreless AFPM Machines with WBG Semiconductor Devices" pdf
- Chulaee, Y., Heins, G., Robinson, B., Thiele, M., Patterson, D., and Ionel, D. M., "Design Optimization Considering a Detailed PCB Stator Layout for Coreless AFPM Machines with Minimal Eddy and Circulating Current Losses" pdf
- Fard, M. T., and He, J., “Digital Twin Health Monitoring of Five-Level ANPC Power Converter based on Estimation of Semiconductor On-State Resistance”
- Goli, C. S., Essakiappan, S., Manjrekar, M., Ionel, D. M., and Gafford, J., “Analysis of a Mechanically Doubly Salient Electric Machine using FE and Lumped Parameter Magnetic Circuit Models”
- Ilka, R., Wang, Y., He, J., Ali, R., Swartz, A., Chen, D., Ren, N., Zhang, Z. G., Wu, G., and England, R., “Multi-Physics Modeling of Power Electronic Converters with Liquid Immersion Cooling”
- Ilka, R., Wang, Y., He, J., Ren, N., Zhang, G., Wu, G., and England, R., “Impact of Immersion Cooling on Balancing Semiconductor Thermal Distribution in NPC Multilevel Converters for Transportation Propulsion”
- Lewis, D., Badewa, O. A., Onar, O., Mohammad, M., Eastham, J. F., and Ionel, D. M., "Overview of Electrically Conductive and Active Shielding for Wireless Power Transfer with a Polyphase Wireless Electric Vehicle Charging Study" pdf
- Luckett, B., and He, J., “Genetic Algorithm Enabled Multi-Objective Design Optimization of Power Converters for Electric Aircraft Propulsion”
- Metwly, M. Y., Clark, L., Xie, B., and He, J., “Performance Analysis of Optimally Designed BLDC Motor Equipped with Different Winding Layouts for Robotic Arms”
- Metwly, M. Y., and He, J., “Novel Integrated On-Board Battery Charger for All-Electric Aircraft Based on Multiphase SPM Synchronous Machine”
- Mohammadi, A., Chulaee, Y., Cramer, A. M., Boldea, I., and Ionel, D. M., "Parameter Identification, Non-linearity, and Harmonic Effects in a Vernier Machine of the MAGNUS Type" pdf
- Notash, F. Y., Luckett, B., and He, J., “Simplified Fixed Switching Frequency Model Predictive Control for AFPM Motor Drives in Distributed Electric Aircraft Propulsion System”
- Poore, S., Alden, R., Jones, E., and Ionel, D. M., "Distribution System Optimal Operation of Smart Homes with Battery and Equivalent HVAC Energy Storage for Virtual Power Plant Controls" pdf
- Sadoughi, M., Sadasivan, A., Howard, A., Fateh, F., He, J., and Mirafzal, B., “Mitigating High-Frequency Overvoltage on Motor Windings: An Adaptive Approach”
are available as author’s manuscript versions directly from the above links and will also be available from research lab websites at UK, and the UKnowledge online database.
PEIK and SPARK Researchers Receive Best Paper Award at the 2023 ICRERA International Conference on Renewable Energy Applications
October 31, 2023
Power and Energy Institute of Kentucky (PEIK) and SPARK Lab researchers received a best paper award for the article: “Coreless Axial Flux Halbach Array Permanent Magnet Generator Concept for Direct-Drive Wind Turbine” at this year’s edition of the International Conference on Renewable Energy Applications (ICRERA). The UK faculty and student participation at this major IEEE co-sponsored event held in Canada, which included a keynote and research paper presentations has been previously covered in the PEIK news.
The award-winning paper describes an innovative axial flux electric machine concept using two special permanent magnet rotors and a single stator employing advanced winding technology. The advantages in terms of very high efficiency and torque density are illustrated on an example design for a multi-MW low-speed wind turbine generator, which is presented together with a reduced scale laboratory prototype. The paper exemplifies the continued research interest of the SPARK Lab on renewable energy and wind turbine technologies, tracking back for more than a decade, when Professor Dan M. Ionel, IEEE Fellow, currently SPARK and PEIK Director, and L. Stanley Pigman Chair in Power, was the Chief Scientist for Vestas, the world’s’ largest wind turbine manufacturer. The research described in the ICRERA 2023 has been sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) through a five-year project that has been recently successfully completed. The PDF of the author’s version of the paper is available from the SPARK Lab website at University of Kentucky (UK).
The main author, PhD student, Matin Vatani, is shown in the photo taken on the UK campus in front of the Stanley and Karen Pigman College of Engineering building holding the award certificate. Also in the front row of the SPARK Lab group photo are co-authors PhD students Ali Mohammadi (first from the left) and Donovin Lewis (last on the right). The students are advised by Professor Dan M. Ionel (center front row). Another senior co-author, not included in the photo, is Professor John F. Eastham, Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in Great Britain, who was Professor Ionel’s advisor in the 1990’s while he was a doctoral student Leverhulme Visiting Fellow at University of Bath in England, was a mentor over the years, and more recently an international remote collaborator of the SPARK Lab at UK.
September 23, 2023
University of Kentucky (UK) awarded in the academic year of 2022/2023 a record number of 60 undergraduate certificates in power and energy. This is the largest number of annual awards in the history of the program, which was initiated in 2010 with funding from the Department of Energy (DOE) and continues its growing activity with direct support from UK, industry, utilities, and private donors. The program leading to the certificate consists of a series of foundational courses supplemented by a broad array of elective courses related to power and energy, which are developed and taught by the Power and Energy Institute of Kentucky (PEIK) faculty. The power and energy undergraduate certificate program is the largest within the Stanley and Karen Pigman College of Engineering and one of the largest at UK.
The college also awarded in the last academic year 16 E.ON scholarships for PEIK to eligible students who demonstrated strong interest in power and energy studies. These annual scholarships continue to be supported by the endowment established years ago at UK by E.ON, on behalf of Kentucky Utilities Company (KU), now together with Louisville Gas and Electric (LG&E), part of the PPL Corporation (NYSE: PPL) family of companies. The scholarships provide recipients more than $3,000 annually and also grant an additional minimum of $2,000 for use on a power and energy-related study abroad trip during the school year or the following summer.
The awarded students are majoring in electrical and computer, chemical, mechanical, and biosystems and agricultural engineering. The graduate certificate in power energy supports the MS and PhD students’ interest in the subject matter, as well as the growing interest in the UK University Scholar Program (USP), which enables students to integrate their undergraduate and graduate studies, awarded 7 certificates during the last academic year. The certificates prepare the students for a successful career in industry and the electric utilities. Professors Joseph Sottile and Yuan Liao, PEIK faculty, serve as the Directors of the undergraduate and graduate certificates in power and energy, respectively. More information on the certificates is available from the PEIK website.
September 14, 2023
Stanley and Karen Pigman have been providing opportunities and opening doors for engineering students at the University of Kentucky for more than two decades. On September 8th, a dedication ceremony was held to celebrate the renaming of the College of Engineering in their honor and to recognize their indelible impact. The ceremony included speeches by Rudy Buchheit, Rebecca Burchett Liebert Dean of UK Engineering; and Eli Capilouto, UK President; followed by Pigman Scholars and Stanley Pigman. At the conclusion of the event, Mayor Linda Gorton’s office presented a proclamation declaring Sept. 8, 2023, as “Stanley and Karen Pigman Day” in Lexington.
Born and raised in Eastern Kentucky, Stanley is also passionate about engineering being an accessible career path for students from the region. At 17, he received a scholarship to study mining engineering at UK. Upon graduating with a bachelor’s degree in 1981, Stanley made a commitment to transform the lives of students for generations by improving Kentucky industries and the lives of the citizens they serve. Today, he, and his wife Karen, continue to live up to that mission.
For more than 20 years, the Pigmans have financially supported and mentored more than 200 engineering and computer science students through the L. Stanley Pigman Scholarship Program. Today, more than 120 undergraduate engineering students are supported through Pigman scholarships. The Pigman's gifts are crucial to ensuring engineering students acquire the skills and traits needed to solve unique challenges and ultimately improve the lives of those in the Commonwealth and beyond. The Pigman's generosity continues to strengthen the academic excellence of UK Engineering by supporting renovation, expansion, and need-based scholarships.
In addition to their scholarship funds, the Pigmans established two endowed faculty positions in power engineering — the L. Stanley Pigman Chair in Power and the L. Stanley Pigman Faculty Fellowship in Power. They have also been strong supporters of the UK Solar Car and Formula One teams, SPARK electrical engineering laboratory and PEIK (Power and Energy Institute of Kentucky), among other numerous activities and projects within the college. More details are available from the UKnow website.
PEIK and SPARK Keynote and Paper Presentations on NASA and NSF Sponsored Research at the 2023 ICRERA International Conference
September 6, 2023
Power and Energy Institute of Kentucky (PEIK) and SPARK Laboratory faculty and students participated in the 2023 International Conference on Renewable Energy Research and Applications (ICRERA). This year’s edition of ICRERA, which is co-sponsored by the IEEE was the 13th in the annual series and was held at the Ontario Institute of Technology in Oshawa in the greater Toronto area in Canada. Recent ICRERA annual editions were held in Istanbul, Turkey; Glasgow, Scotland; Brasov, Romania; Paris, France; San Diego, California; and Birmingham, England.
Professor Dan M. Ionel, PEIK and SPARK Director and L. Stanley Pigman Chair in Power, delivered a keynote speech titled: “Electric Aircraft – Recent Technology Developments in the US” pdf. This covered Department of Energy (DOE) ARPA-E sponsored research and elements of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) University Leadership Initiative (ULI) ongoing project IZEA, to which the UK team is a major collaboration partner. Students from the SPARK Lab also participated and presented the following collaborative research:
- Vatani, M., Mohammadi, A., Lewis, D., Eastham, J. F., and Ionel, D. M., "Coreless Axial Flux Halbach Array Permanent Magnet Generator Concept for Direct-Drive Wind Turbine", Proceedings, IEEE ICRERA, Oshawa, Ontario, CA (Aug 2023) pdf
- Lewis, D. D., Badewa, O. A., Mohammadi, A., Vatani, M., and Ionel, D. M., "Fault Tolerant Electric Machine Concept for Aircraft Propulsion with PM Rotor and DC Current Stator Dual-Stage Excitation", Proceedings, IEEE ICRERA, Oshawa, Ontario, CA (Aug 2023) pdf
- Alden, R. E., Halloran, C., Lewis, D. D., Ionel, D. M., and McCulloch, M., "Assessment of Land and Renewable Energy Resource Potential for Regional Power System Integration with ML Spatio-temporal Clustering", Proceedings, IEEE ICRERA, Oshawa, Ontario, CA (Aug 2023) pdf
The papers presented are based on research sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF), NASA, and ANSYS, Inc. in collaboration with the University of Bath and University of Oxford in England.
The AMPERE Lab within PEIK Awarded a New Project with the NSF on Digital Twin Reliability Modeling of Solid-State Transformers
August 1, 2023
The AMPERE Laboratory, affiliated with the Power and Energy Institute of Kentucky (PEIK) and operating within the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department of the Stanley and Karen Pigman College of Engineering, has been awarded with project funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF). Dr. Jiangbiao He, ECE Associate Professor and L. Stanley Pigman Faculty Fellow, serves as a Co-Pi with the University of Kentucky as the lead organization.
Solid-state transformers have the potential to dramatically improve the power density and efficiency of power transformers while providing the capability for flexible power flow control and power quality regulation. The project focuses on developing a portfolio of digital twin predictive models for solid-state transformers which are expected to significantly improve overall reliability, removing barriers for further development and commercialization.
The shown figure is a diagram describing the intended interaction of the digital twins for the power electronics and magnetic transformers with the physical solid-state transformer. More information about ongoing research and those involved in research developments are available from the AMPERE Lab website.
PEIK Researchers Exhibit and Report at the 2023 IEEE ITEC Conference in Detroit, MI on Research Sponsored by NSF, DOE, and Industry
July 24, 2023
Power and Energy Institute of Kentucky (PEIK) faculty: Dan M. Ionel, Simone Silvestri, Jiangbiao He, and Aaron Cramer, together with PhD research students: Ashutosh Timilsina, Ali Mohammadi, Donovin Lewis, Reza Ilka, Yaser Chulaee, Oluwaseun Badewa, and Rosemary Alden contributed the following papers at the 2023 edition of the International Conference on the Electrification of Transportation:
- Mohammadi, A., Chulaee, Y., Cramer, A. M., Boldea, I., and Ionel, D. M., "Axial Flux Permanent Magnet Vernier Machine with Single-wound Dual-stator and Spoke Permanent Magnet Rotor for Electric Vehicle In-wheel Traction", Proceedings, IEEE Transportation Electrification Conference & Expo (ITEC), Detroit, MI, 5p
- Lewis, D. D., Onar, O., Galigekere, V. P., Mohammad, M., and Ionel, D. M., "Optimal Power Sharing Speed Compensation in On-road Wireless EV Charging Systems," Proceedings, IEEE Transportation Electrification Conference & Expo (ITEC), Detroit, MI, 5p
- Ilka, R., and He, J., "Modeling of High-Frequency Electromagnetic Transformers in Solid-State Transformer Systems," Proceedings, IEEE Transportation Electrification Conference & Expo (ITEC), Detroit, MI, 6p
- Goli, C. S., Essakiappan, S., Ionel, D. M., Gafford, J., and Manjrekar, M., "Complex Vector Current Regulation Strategy for a High-Speed Doubly Salient Machine with Stator PMs," Proceedings, IEEE Transportation Electrification Conference & Expo (ITEC), Detroit, MI, 7p
- Badewa, O. A., Mohammadi, A., Lewis, D., Ionel, D. M., Essakiappan, and S., Manjrekar, M., " Optimization of an Electric Vehicle Traction Motor with a PM Flux Intensifying Stator and a Reluctance Outer Rotor", Proceedings, IEEE Transportation Electrification Conference & Expo (ITEC), Detroit, MI, 6p
- Alden, R. E., Timilsina, A., Silvestri, S., and Ionel, D. M., “V2G Optimization for Dispatchable Residential Load Operation and Minimal Utility Cost”, IEEE Transportation Electrification Conference & Expo (ITEC), Detroit, MI, 4p
The papers are based on research sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Department of Energy (DOE), and by industrial sponsors and collaborators QM Power, Inc., and ANSYS, Inc. Authors’ versions of the papers are available online as PDFs from the websites of the participating PEIK at UK research labs and the UKnowledge repository. More information about ongoing research is available from the SPARK Lab and AMPERE Lab websites.
The group has also exhibited innovative electric motor and power electronic prototypes and simulation software demonstrations. Shown in the photo, alongside the UK group, are also colleagues and alumni: Vandana Rallabandi, now Staff Member at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), and Pranoy Roy, now Lead Engineer at Eaton Research Labs. The expo booth and the paper presentations attracted much interest and technical discussions. One of the SPARK Lab group papers received a best student paper award, as separately reported.
July 24, 2023
Power and Energy Institute of Kentucky (PEIK) and SPARK Lab researchers received a best student paper award for the article: “Axial Flux Permanent Magnet Vernier Machine with Single-wound Dual-stator and Spoke Permanent Magnet Rotor for Electric Vehicle In-wheel Traction” at the 10th edition of the IEEE Transportation Electrification Conference & Expo (ITEC), the premier conference on transportation electrification.
The award-winning paper describes a dual-stator axial flux permanent magnet machine with a spoke-type rotor integrated into an electric vehicle wheel for direct drive applications. This design, proposed previously by the SPARK Lab, benefits from the potential for advanced cooling systems within the stator to reduce thermal losses while directly integrating the rotor into the vehicle's wheels. The innovative concept is based on advanced research sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) through a project that will be formally completed later this year. The PDF of the author’s version of the paper is available from the SPARK Lab website at University of Kentucky (UK).
The main author, PhD student, Ali Mohammadi, is shown in the photo receiving the award from the ITEC Awards Chair and next to PhD student Matin Vatani, who represented co-author and student colleague, Yaser Chulaee, at the time an intern in industry with the high-performance electric vehicle manufacturer Lucid in California. Senior co-authors to the paper are Professor Aaron Cramer of UK, and Professor Ion G. Boldea of the Technical University of Timisoara in Romania, who has been a collaborator, mentor, and periodic visitor to UK since the 1970’s. Also shown in the photo to the right is co-author and main advisor to the PhD students, Professor Dan M. Ionel, SPARK and PEIK Director, and L. Stanley Pigman Chair in Power.
June 16, 2023
Woodland Glen III, the residence hall for students in the University of Kentucky's College of Engineering's Living Learning Program, has been renamed to Stanley and Karen Pigman Hall.
A dedication ceremony was held on June 13th to celebrate the naming and recognize Stanley and Karen Pigman's impact on the college. The UK President spoke at the ceremony alongside Dean Rudy Bucheit with the following: “Our university is better because of Stan and Karen. Their devotion to our students inspires me and ensures our College of Engineering will remain a place of academic rigor and meaningful community for years to come,” he said. “Stanley and Karen Pigman Hall is a physical space, but the relationships formed, and experiences lived here will last a lifetime. Because of the Pigman’s generosity, hundreds — and eventually thousands — of engineers will help advance our Commonwealth, country and world.”
PEIK has also benefitted greatly and is thankful for the generosity of Stanley and Karen Pigman, their continued support, and the establishment of the L. Stanley Pigman Chair in Power and L. Stanley Pigman Faculty Fellowship in Power.
May 22, 2023
SPARK Lab researchers presented in the 2023 edition of the International Electric Machines and Drives Conference, IEMDC 2023 -the largest IEEE event of the kind devoted solely to electric machines and power electronic drives- with the following papers:
- Chulaee, Y., Lewis, D., Vatani, M., Eastham, J.F., and Ionel, D.M., "Torque and Power Capabilities of Coreless Axial Flux Machines with Surface PMs and Halbach Array Rotors", Proceedings, IEEE IEMDC, San Francisco, CA, 6p (May 2023)
- Goli, C.S., Salehi, M., Essakiappan, S., Manjrekar, M., Ionel, D.M., and Gafford, J., "Comparative Analysis of Doubly Salient Special Machine and Flux Switching Machine with PMs in Stator", Proceedings, IEEE IEMDC, San Francisco, CA (May 2023)
- Mohammadi, A., Badewa, O. A., Chulaee, Y., Ionel, D. M., Essakiappan, S., and Manjrekar, M., "Design Optimization of a Direct-drive Wind Generator with Non-rare-earth PM Flux Intensifying Stator and Reluctance Rotor", Proceedings, IEEE IEMDC, San Francisco, CA, 6p (May 2023)
- Rallabandi, V., Badewa, O. A., Ozpineci, B., and Ionel, D. M., "A Comparison of Outer Rotor Radial and Axial Flux Machines for Application in Electric Vehicles", Proceedings, IEEE IEMDC, San Francisco, CA, 5p (May 2023)
The Steering Committee of the IEEE IEMDC series of conference meet during the event. Dr. Dan M. Ionel, IEEE Fellow, ECE Professor and L. Stanley Pigman Chair in Power, has successfully completed his second and final appointment as Chair of the IEMDC Steering Committee, and will continue to serve the organization as a Member and Past Chair.
SPARK Lab within PEIK Celebrates Evan Jones, Ph.D. Graduate DoEd GAANN Fellow, and Steven Poore, Incoming Ph.D. NSF GR Fellow
May 12, 2023
This May is an emotional time of generational student transition for the SPARK Lab. The research group is affiliated with the Power and Energy Institute of Kentucky (PEIK) and operates within the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department at the University of Kentucky (UK) Stanley and Karen Pigman College of Engineering.
Evan S. Jones, who just graduated with a Ph. D., is the last of the SPARK students to have been at UK in the fall of 2015, when the group was established. At the time, Evan was just an undergraduate freshman and since then he graduated in 2019 with two BS degrees in Electrical and in Computer Engineering, respectively, and continued directly for Ph. D. through the University Scholars Program (USP) that integrates undergraduate and graduate studies. Evan is joining a new division of the well-established EPE advanced engineering and consulting national firm specializing in electric power systems. He is looking forward to applying his expertise on smart buildings and grids and electric power distributions systems, developed as part of the UK Ph. D. program. As an undergrad, Evan was an engineering intern with East Kentucky Power Cooperative (EKPC). As a Ph. D. student, Evan was the recipient of a Department of Education GAANN fellowship. In the photo, Evan, who is the third from the left, wears the Ph. D. graduation regalia.
Steven Poore, who has just graduated with a BS in Electrical Engineering, is dressed in the specific ceremonial gown and cap to the left of Evan. As an undergrad student, Steven was a co-op with Louisville Gas and Electric and Kentucky Utilities (LG&E and KU), part of the PPL companies, and also completed an NSF REU at Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI. Earlier this spring, Steven received an NSF GR Fellowship, and as an USP student, will continue directly for Ph. D. studies at UK in the SPARK Lab.
Also featured in the photo, to left and right side, are SPARK Lab student colleagues Donovin D. Lewis and Rosemary E. Alden. They are also NSF GR Fellows and have now completed their second year of the Ph. D. program. All four students grew up in Kentucky, were enrolled as USP at UK, worked as undergrad RAs in the SPARK Lab and have been continuously advised by Dr. Dan M. Ionel. As undergrads, all were recipients of the national IEEE PES Scholarship Plus, three were L. Stanley Pigman scholars, and Donovin was the recipient of the William C. Parker scholarship.
The students collaborated and contributed to advanced research projects sponsored by DOE, NSF, NASA, and EPRI and directly by industry and major utilities: TVA, LG&E and KU, and PPL. Within the SPARK Lab, they work as part of a group of about ten national and international researchers, mostly Ph.D. students. A wider SPARK group photo was included earlier in the year in the PEIK news covering the ICRERA international conference paper awards. Short bios of the students are available from the SPARK website. All students aspire to become technical experts in electric power components and systems. Their efforts and progress are well on track, as demonstrated by the many achievements, the most important of which have been featured in the PEIK website news and documented in the many publications posted on the SPARK website.
Fifteen postdocs, Ph. D., and MS students have already completed and graduated from the SPARK Lab, which became an academic family with members or active close collaborators from the US and internationally from all continents, except Antarctica. The SPARK Lab was established at UK by Dr. Dan M. Ionel, upon his appointment in 2015 as ECE Professor and inaugural L. Stanley Pigman Chair in Power.
May 3, 2023
Now approved by the UK Board of Trustees, Stanley and Karen Pigman have pledged more than $34.5 million to UK Engineering - the single largest gift in the 158-year history of the university. For their longstanding support, UK President Eli Capilouto recommended the college be named the Stanley and Karen Pigman College of Engineering.
The donation, which is the largest single gift ever made to the university, extends the Pigmans’ philanthropic vision for generations to come. With this gift, Stan and Karen's philanthropic impact to UK totals more than $55 million.
“It is our dream to be a part of growing the program to produce more engineers and computer scientists, which will benefit the University of Kentucky and the Commonwealth of Kentucky,” Stan Pigman said. “Karen and I know that producing more engineers and computer scientists will change not just this generation but generations of many families to come, and we are specifically invested in helping students with unmet need, first-generation students and students from Appalachia become engineers and computer scientists.”
“The impact of Stan and Karen Pigman’s generosity on this college and university has been extraordinary. Through the scholarships, facilities and programming supported by gifts from the Pigmans, we have been able to open more doors for students who want to study engineering and provide them with more tools for success,” Rudy Buchheit, the Rebecca Burchett Liebert Dean of UK Engineering, said. “The Pigmans have a deep understanding of society’s growing demand for engineering talent, and they are helping us to build the future engineers who will move us forward.”
For more than 20 years, the Pigmans have financially supported and mentored 200+ engineering and computer science students through the L. Stanley Pigman Scholarship Program. Today, more than 120 undergraduate engineering students are supported on Pigman scholarships. Last year, the Pigmans also created a scholarship program in the Office for Student Success that expands their reach to first-generation students pursuing degrees outside of engineering. The L. Stanley Pigman First-Generation Scholarship provides scholarships to selected first-generation students graduating from high schools in 32 eastern Kentucky counties.
In addition to their scholarship funds, the Stanley and Karen Pigman established two endowed faculty positions in power engineering — the L. Stanley Pigman Chair in Power and the L. Stanley Pigman Faculty Fellowship in Power. The PEIK (Power and Energy Institute of Kentucky) has benefitted from strong support over the years with the current PEIK Director, Professor Dan M. Ionel, serving as the L. Stanley Pigman Chair in Power and PEIK faculty Dr. Jiangbiao He as a L. Stanley Pigman Faculty Fellow.
PEIK Faculty and L. Stanley Pigman Faculty Fellow Jiangbiao He Awarded for Excellence in Research by the UK College of Engineering
April 28, 2023
The annual College of Engineering Faculty Awards ceremony was held on April 27th with awards given in recognition of research and graduate study excellence. Pictured here from is PEIK faculty, L. Stanley Pigman Faculty Fellow, and Assistant Professor Dr. Jiangbiao He who received the College of Engineering Excellence in Research Award.
Dr. JiangBiao He has made remarkable research contributions since joining the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in 2019. His research focuses on power systems, with a specific emphasis on electric aircraft, ships, and vehicles. He has also contributed to monitoring of electrical systems and renewable energy systems. Dr. He has made significant contributions to these fields in a short amount of time, securing $3.15M directly and $14.45M in total through 17 grant awards as PI or co-PI. He has published 46 journal articles, 38 conference papers and issued six patents. Dr. He has been recognized by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics (IEEE) with one award and two grants. His work has been cited approximately 1,730 times. He has also collaborated with multiple universities, national laboratories, and industry partners and has an active research group, which includes visiting scholars and both undergraduate and graduate students. Dr. He has balanced funding from industry and multiple federal agencies (NSF, DOD, DOE and NASA), and has developed a best-in-class electric propulsion drive for a NASA hybrid-electric aircraft. He has also served as an associate editor for four IEEE Transaction journals and is on the organizing committees of four different IEEE conferences.
PEIK Researcher and NSF Graduate Research Fellow Rosemary Alden Awarded the College of Engineering Outstanding Ph.D. Student Award
April 28, 2023
The annual College of Engineering Faculty Awards ceremony was held on April 27th with awards given in recognition of research and graduate study excellence. Pictured here is PEIK graduate researcher, NSF Graduate Research Fellow and Ph.D. Student Rosemary Alden who received the College of Engineering Outstanding Ph.D. Student Award.
Rosemary Alden has established a truly outstanding publication record with 16 peer-reviewed publications, including six journal articles and several major international conference papers. She is building a strong citation record with 89 current citations of her work. Her research focuses on applying machine learning to smart grid technology and use optimization. Alden has received a substantial number of awards. She is an NSF Graduate Fellow and has won research awards over multiple years from the national IEEE Power and Energy Society. Alden is involved with a number of industry, state and national collaborators and works in Dan Ionel’s SPARK Lab. Additionally, she is involved in a number of STEM outreach activities on campus, including mentoring students in the University Scholars program.
April 7, 2023
The Power and Energy Institute of Kentucky (PEIK) at University of Kentucky (UK) continues collaboration on topics of electric power systems with researchers from the PPL Corporation’s family of companies, including the regional Louisville Gas and Electric and Kentucky Utilities (LG&E and KU). New concepts, methods, and results have been communicated at technical conferences and published in journals. Example papers available as open access from the publishers, as well as from the PEIK and SPARK websites at UK, include:
- Gong, H., Alden, R. E., Patrick, A., and Ionel, D. M., “Forecast of Community Total Electric Load and HVAC Component Disaggregation through a New LSTM-Based Method,” Energies, Vol. 15, No. 9, 2974, doi: 10.3390/en15092974, 17p (2022) pdf
- Jones, E. S., Jewell, N., Liao, Y., and Ionel, D. M., "Optimal Capacitor Placement and Rating for Large-Scale Utility Power Distribution Systems Employing Load-Tap-Changing Transformer Control," IEEE Access, Vol.11, doi: 10.1109/ACCESS.2023.3244572, pp. 19324-19338 (2023) pdf
- Lewis, D. D., Patrick, A., Jones, E. S., Alden, R. E., Hadi, A., McCulloch, M. D., and Ionel, D. M., "Decarbonization Analysis for Thermal Generation and Regionally Integrated Large-Scale Renewables Based on Minutely Optimal Dispatch with a Kentucky Case Study," Energies, Vol. 16, No. 4, 1999, doi:10.3390/en16041999, 23p (2023) pdf
The photo was taken during a break at the last edition of the IEEE Power and Energy Society General Meeting and features some of the researchers and paper authors. From left to right: Evan S. Jones, PhD student and GAANN DoEd Fellow; Dan M. Ionel, ECE Professor, L. Stanley Pigman Chair in Power and PEIK Director; Donovin Lewis and Rosemary Alden, PhD students and NSF GR Fellows; Claire Halloran, DPhil student and Rhodes Scholar at University of Oxford and visitor to University of Kentucky; Steven Poore, USP and NSF REU student; Aron Patrick, Director of Research and Development at PPL Corporation, and Oluwaseun Akeyo, former PhD student with PEIK at UK and now a Senior Engineer with Sargent & Lundy.
April 3, 2023
During the academic spring break, the University of Kentucky (UK) students enrolled in the Efficient and Renewable Power Systems Operations class have completed the daily field tours of electric power utility sites. At the E. W. Brown solar PV farm and energy storage experimental facility, the UK group was hosted by researchers from the PPL Corporation with Aron Patrick, Director of Research and Development, featured on the far right of the photo. Also included are part of the group of UK students and, to the far left, the course instructor Dan M. Ionel, ECE Professor and L. Stanley Pigman Chair in Power and PEIK Director.
The UK group visited the state-of-the-art transmission and controls centers in Simpsonville, KY and regional transmission and distribution substations of the Louisville Gas and Electric and Kentucky Utilities (LG&E and KU), part of the PPL Corporation family of companies. At the LG&E and KU E. W. Brown station the natural gas, hydro, and coal power plants, together with the carbon capturing experimental facility were toured. The class greatly benefited from explanations and discussions directly in the field with subject matter experts.
The practical aspects complemented very well the theoretical class lectures held on campus during the first part of the semester. The continued successful collaboration between utilities and PEIK provides students with an opportunity to strongly link academic teachings with industrial practice and furthers the development of the next generation of power systems engineers.
PEIK Faculty and Students Exhibit and Discuss on DOE Sponsored Projects at the 2023 ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit in Washington, DC
March 31, 2023
Power and Energy Institute of Kentucky (PEIK) faculty and students from the College of Engineering at the University of Kentucky (UK), attended in-person at this year’s ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit in Washington, DC. The US Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) program focuses on investing in high-potential, high-impact energy technologies in key areas to develop the commercial potential of innovative energy solutions. The ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit is an annual conference and technology showcase featuring some of the technological advancements resulting from sponsored projects and seminars/keynotes on cutting-edge developments with mixed government and industrial perspectives.
Dr. Jiangbiao He, ECE Assistant Professor and L. Stanley Pigman Fellowship faculty, exhibited together with General Electric (GE) Vernova, GE’s energy division, on their current ARPA-E collaborative project “Ultra-high-Performance nano-Liquid Insulation for upgrading Large Power Transformers (UPLIFT)”. The research seeks to substantially the service lifetime of large power transformers (LPT) based on a new innovative long-term stable nanofluid dielectric. Dr. He together with his PhD students focus their research project contributions on the lifetime prediction and multi-physics modeling of LPTs.
Dr. Dan Ionel, ECE Professor and L. Stanley Pigman Chair in Power, PEIK Director also participated in the conference and exhibition, discussing ongoing Department of Energy (DOE) sponsored projects at UK on smart buildings and grids, and electric vehicles. Two of his Ph.D. students, National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellows, Rosemary Alden and Donovin Lewis, who attended the summit as part of the ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit special student program are featured in the photo to the leftmost edge, bottom and top respectively.
March 22, 2023
AMPERE Lab research students participated in this year's edition of the Applied Power Electronics Conference & Exposition (APEC), the flagship conference in power electronics, with a paper presentation and demonstration of ongoing research.
A fault-tolerant high-efficiency T-Type multilevel SiC propulsion inverter prototype designed by USP student Jonathan Taylor was demonstrated in SanRex's booth following multi-year developments to patent and publish on the technology by his research advisor and supervisor, Dr. Jiangbiao He. The picture shown is the associated poster and inverter prototype. More information can be found in the AMPERE Lab webpage.
The following paper was also presented based on NSF sponsored research on smart coils for AC motors in collaboration with Kansas State University: Fard, M., He, J., Sadoughi, M., Mirafzal, B., and Fateh, F., "Smart Coils for Mitigation of Motor Reflected Overvoltage Fed by SiC Drives," Proceedings, IEEE APEC, Orlando, FL, (March 2023). The project's objective is to develop an ultra-compact and high-efficiency mitigation solution for reflected surge overvoltages in long-cable-fed SiC motor-drive systems.
The SPARK Lab within PEIK Expands the Research with the QM Power Company on Innovative Electric Machines
February 15, 2023
The SPARK Laboratory, which is affiliated with the Power and Energy Institute of Kentucky (PEIK) and operates within the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department at the University of Kentucky (UK) College of Engineering, has renewed and expanded its collaboration with the QM Power, Inc, a start-up company. The directly sponsored project at UK studies new concepts based on the company proprietary technology, as exemplified in the figure, and develops specific advanced analysis and large-scale computationally intelligent optimization methods. At UK, Dr. Dan M. Ionel, ECE Professor and L. Stanley Pigman Chair in Power, Director of the SPARK Lab and of the PEIK Institute, serves as the PI.
SPARK and QM Power have also collaborated on another multi-year research project supported by the Department of Energy (DOE) for the development of a machine for electric vehicles with a record-high specific power of 50kW per liter. Successful progress has been already reported at the IEEE Energy Conversion Congress and Exhibition, which is the largest joint technical event of the IEEE Power Electronics and Industry Applications Societies. More results, including motor and drive prototype laboratory tests, will be available later this year.
Last fall, a joint team of researchers has presented and published at the ICRERA International Conference on Renewable Energy Research and Applications a paper on a new concept for a multi-MW direct drive wind generator. The paper entitled "Design Optimization of a Direct-drive Wind Generator with Non-rare-earth PM Flux Intensifying Stator and Reluctance Rotor" received an IEEE best paper award and the authors' manuscript version is available from the SPARK Lab website. The group of authors included from SPARK at UK, Ph.D. students: Ali Mohammadi, Oluwaseun Badewa, and Yaser Chulaee, all advised by Dr. Ionel, and from QM Power, Drs. Somasundaram Essakiappan and Madhav Manjrekar.
SPARK and PEIK Researchers Receive Paper Awards at the ICRERA International Conference on Renewable Energy Research and Applications
January 9, 2023
Two papers authored by SPARK Lab and Power and Energy Institute of Kentucky (PEIK) researchers from University of Kentucky (UK) were awarded at the last annual edition of the International Conference on Renewable Energy Research and Applications (ICRERA). The event was held in a hybrid format, in-person in Istanbul, Turkey and online via web conference. Recent editions of the conference took place in Glasgow, Scotland; Brasov, Romania; San Diego, California; and Birmingham, England.
A paper on innovative concepts for direct-drive wind turbine generators, which is the result of a collaboration sponsored directly by the QM Power, Inc. company, received a best paper award. Another paper on digital twins for residential loads, based on research sponsored through a project grant and student fellowships by the National Science Foundation (NSF), was recognized as an outstanding young researcher work through an encouragement award. The authors’ versions of the two paper manuscripts are available from the SPARK Lab website:
- Mohammadi, A., Badewa, O. A., Chulaee, Y., Ionel, D. M., Essakiappan, S., and Manjrekar, M., "Direct-Drive Wind Generator Concept with Non-Rare-Earth PM Flux Intensifying Stator and Reluctance Outer Rotor", Proceedings, IEEE ICRERA, Istanbul, TR, doi: 10.1109/ICRERA55966.2022.9922808, pp. 582-587 (Sep 2022) pdf
- Poore, S. B., Alden, R. E., Gong, H., and Ionel, D. M., “Multi-Physics and Artificial Intelligence Models for Digital Twin Implementations of Residential Electric Loads”, Proceedings, IEEE ICRERA, Istanbul, TR, doi: 10.1109/ICRERA55966.2022.9922831, pp. 576-581 (Sep 2022) pdf
Authors of the papers are featured in the photo, taken in the new facilities of the Grehan Building at UK, together with colleagues from the SPARK Lab. From left to right: Charles Skean, Yaser Chulaee, Donovin Lewis, Oluwaseun Badewa, Dan M. Ionel, Rosemary E. Alden, Ali Mohammadi, Steven Poore, Matin Vatani, and Evan S. Jones. Short bios are available from the website of the SPARK Lab, which is directed by Professor Dan M. Ionel, PEIK Director and L. Stanley Pigman Chair in Power.
PEIK UK Researchers Report Successful Progress at the First Review Meeting of the NASA ULI Project IZEA
January 6, 2023
The research of the NASA University Leadership Initiative (ULI) project IZEA is focused on hybrid hydrogen-electric power airplanes that combine fuel cell technology to lower emissions. The project started in 2022, after a very competitive national selection competition, and includes, alongside the University of Kentucky (UK) research team, other multi-disciplinary engineering groups from Florida State University, which serves as the lead organization, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, University of New York at Buffalo, and Georgia Tech. The industrial partners include Raytheon, Boeing, Advanced Magnet Lab, and QM Power companies.
In December, the large collaborative team held a first major review meeting, which has been attended by NASA technical experts and managers, and by national and international scientific reviewers. The meeting was held in hybrid format, in person on the Florida State University campus in Tallahassee, FL and online. Technical presentations were followed by discussions, concluding on the very successful research progress.
The faculty-led team at UK includes Ph.D. students researching innovative concepts of electrical machines with ultra-high specific power in axial and radial topologies, stator dual-excited motors with reluctance rotors, special permanent magnet rotors and composite stator designs. The team also studies the integration of power electronic drives, means of significantly improving fault tolerance and reliability and new digital twins for condition monitoring. Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) and PEIK faculty, Dr. Jiangbiao He, Assistant Professor and L. Stanley Pigman Power Fellowship, and Dr. Dan M. Ionel, PEIK Director, Professor and L. Stanley Pigman Chair in Power, serve as PI and Co-PI, respectively.