ECE faculty and PEIK researchers, Dan M. Ionel, Professor, L. Stanley Pigman Chair in Power and PEIK Director, and Aaron Cramer, associate professor and director of graduate studies for electrical engineering, will serve as PI and Co-PI, respectively, on a recently awarded NSF grant for research on transformational concepts for a new generation of electrical machines and controls. These will be especially developed for ultra-high energy efficiency and for the very recent advancements in wide band gap power electronic devices, such as SiC and GaN, and will include two novel axial flux permanent magnet machine topologies, one coreless and one incorporating a torque magnification effect. The potential impacts are most significant as the electric motors account for more than 60% of the electricity consumed and electric machines and associated power electronic drives represent a multi-billion dollar industry.
The new three-year project benefits of a budget of approximately $375,000. The research builds upon preliminary results and publications including an IEEE ECCE award winning paper with contributions by postdoctoral researcher Vandana Rallabandi and Ph.D. candidate Narges Taran. This grant renews UK’s long tradition of NSF projects on advanced research on electric machines and controls initiated almost half a century ago by professors Nasar and Boldea. In recent years, Ionel’s and Cramer’s research on related topics at UK has been funded by NASA, ONR, and directly by leading industrial companies.