New DOE Sponsored Project for SPARK and PEIK at UK to Research a New Generation of Motors and Drives for Electric and Hybrid Vehicles
December 9, 2019
The new project, which has been competitively awarded under the US Department of Energy, Advanced Vehicle Technologies Research Program DE-0002014, seeks to develop revolutionary concepts that will significantly increase the power density and decrease the cost of motors and drives for high efficiency electric and hybrid vehicles. The research will consider novel magnetic flux doubling machine configurations with permanent magnets in the stator and special reluctance rotors and multi-phase power electronics converters with Silicon Carbide (SiC) Wide Band Gap (WBG) devices.
The multi-year project benefits of a $750,000 budget with cost share and additional support to be provided by partner industrial company, QM Power, Inc. Academic collaborators will include colleagues from the EPIC Center at University of North Carolina at Charlotte. At UK, Dr. Dan M. Ionel, SPARK and PEIK Director, ECE Professor and L. Stanley Pigman Chair in Power, will serve as the principal investigator (PI) and lead a team including postdoctoral scholar Dr. Peng Han and research assistant students.
December 9, 2019
Dr. Dan M. Ionel, SPARK and PEIK Director, ECE Professor and L. Stanley Pigman Chair in Power, has been elected as the Steering Committee Chair for the IEEE International Conference on Electric Machines and Drives (IEMDC) series. The most recent edition of IEMDC has been held this year in San Diego, CA, and the next event is scheduled for Hartford, CT. Established in 1997 in Milwaukee, WI, as a bi-annual series, IEMDC is IEEE’s oldest and largest conference devoted entirely to electric machines and power electronic drives.
An IEEE Fellow, senior Past Chair of the IEEE PES Electric Motor Subcommittee, and inaugural Chair of the IEEE IAS Renewable Energy Systems Conversion Committee, Dr. Ionel, also served as the General Chair for the IEEE IEMDC 2017 Anniversary edition held in Miami, FL. Dr. Ionel joined UK, the ECE Department and the PEIK Institute, in the fall of 2015, after more than 25 years in industry. At UK, the electric machines and power electronic drives research of his SPARK group is sponsored by NSF, DOE, NASA, and directly by industry.
December 3, 2019
Dr. Dusan Sekulic, Secat J. G. Morris Aluminum Professor of Mechanical Engineering and PEIK faculty, was recently inducted into the 2019 Class of Fellows of the American Welding Society. His election as an AWS Fellow came in recognition for a career of significant achievements in the technical and research arenas that has enhanced the image and impact of the welding industry.
Earlier this year, Dr. Sekulic’s paper "Microstructure refining of a Mo-Ni Brazing Filler by Nanoparticle Doping” received the "Robert L. Peaslee Award" by the AWS, which recognizes the manuscript considered the best contribution to the science or technology of brazing published in the AWS Welding Journal during previous calendar year. Co-authors of the paper include H. Fu, D. Busbaher, A. Rabinkin, E. Leone, and T. Preuss.
The America Welding Society is a nonprofit organization with a global mission to advance the science, technology and application of welding and allied joining and cutting processes, including brazing, soldering and thermal spraying. AWS strives to move the industry forward in both thought and action, as well as inspire new generations to see the exciting career opportunities available today.
SPARK and PEIK Keynote and Best Paper Award at the International Conference on Renewable Energy Research and Applications, ICRERA 2019
December 2, 2019
A keynote for the ICRERA 2019 Conference, which was held on Nov 3-6 in Brasov, RO, was delivered by Dr. Dan M. Ionel, SPARK and PEIK Director, ECE Professor and L. Stanley Pigman Chair in Power. Recent editions of ICRERA were held in Birmingham, UK, in 2016, were Dr. Ionel also served as a keynote speaker, in San Diego, CA, in 2017, and in Paris, FR, last year. Next year’s ICRERA will be held in Glasgow, UK https://www.icrera.org/. Dr. Ionel’s keynote for this edition was entitled “Recent Technology Developments for Utility-Scale and Distributed Battery Energy Storage Systems”.
One of SPARK group’s papers from UK and PEIK: “Overview of Flywheel Systems for Renewable Energy Storage with a Design Study for High-speed Axial-flux Permanent-magnet Machines" with contributions by EE PhD students Murat Kesgin and Narges Taran and postdoctoral scholar Dr. Peng Han, won a best paper/poster award. Two other SPARK papers with contributions by EE PhD students Evan Jones and Huangjie Gong and EE USP PhD student Rosemary Alden, covered topics of net zero energy microgrids and communities, and smart plugs and circuit breakers for buildings, respectively. The PDFs for the keynote and for the papers are available on the SPARK website http://sparklab.engr.uky.edu/.
November 25, 2019
On Monday, November 25th, Commissioner Talina Mathews of the Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) gave a presentation as part of the PEIK Distinguished Speaker seminar series. Commissioner Mathews firstly discussed the background and history of the PSC. She also described the process of utility rate making and outlined PSC updates taking effect from the 2019 legislative session. The presentation concluded with an overview of electricity generation and pricing trends for Kentucky and more broadly, the U.S.
Commissioner Mathews was appointed to the Kentucky PSC in 2017. In addition to nearly two decades of government service, she has worked in the private sector with an engineering consulting firm and served as the director of member services and advocacy at the Organization of MISO States and has held several adjunct teaching positions in economics and public policy. Commissioner Mathews earned a Doctor of Philosophy and a Master of Arts in economics from the University of Kentucky. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in economics and mathematics from Berea College.
November 4, 2019
Tennessee Valley Authority, TVA, has awarded a new research project to UK PEIK Institute and SPARK Laboratory researchers to study over the next year virtual power plants for the distributed energy resources aggregation and demand response optimal controls. The project will evaluate the potential beneficial impact of coordinated operation of appliances, including HVAC systems and water heaters, solar PV, battery systems, and electric vehicles on the future electric power distribution systems for communities. Drew Frye, Program Manager of Grid Edge & EV Strategy, Enterprise Research & Technology Innovation, serves as the TVA project lead and Dan M. Ionel, ECE Professor and L. Stanley Pigman Chair in Power and PEIK Director as the principal investigator (PI) at UK. The project team at UK includes Huangjie Gong and Evan Jones, PhD students, and Rosemary Alden, USP PhD student. The research will utilize the capabilities developed at UK for the large-scale co-simulation of buildings and electric power distribution systems, which have been described in recent papers presented at large conferences such as IEEE ECCE, PES GM and ICRERA.
November 4, 2019
Rosemary Alden and Donovin Lewis, UK electrical engineering and PEIK undergraduate students, were recently awarded the IEEE Power and Energy Society (PES) Plus national scholarship. The Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) is headquartered in New York City and is the world's largest association of technical professionals with more than 400,000 members. This year, only 135 students nationwide and 21 from the entire Southeastern IEEE Region were selected to receive such an award.
Rosemary and Donovin are enrolled in the University Scholars for Ph.D. program at UK and conduct research in the SPARK Lab, which is directed by Dr. Dan M. Ionel, IEEE Fellow, ECE Professor, L. Stanley Pigman in Power and PEIK Director. Rosemary currently leads the initiative to establish a new IEEE Power and Energy Society Chapter at UK. Donovin serves as an electrical engineering team lead for the UK Solar Car, which currently holds the speed record for solar electric vehicles at the Circuit of the Americas racetrack in Austin, Texas. Included in the photo, on the right side, is Stewart Evan Jones, who received in 2017/2018 and 2018/2019 the IEEE PES national scholarship as an undergraduate student. Evan, who was a University Scholar at UK, graduated with two BS degrees in Electrical and in Computer Engineering, respectively, and with the PEIK certificate in the summer of 2019, and now continues at UK with Ph.D. studies and research in electric power engineering in the SPARK Lab.
PEIK and ECE Faculty, Dr. JiangBiao He, Received the 2019 IEEE IAS Andrew W. Smith Outstanding Young Member Achievement Award
October 14, 2019
Dr. JiangBiao He, PEIK faculty member and ECE Department Assistant Professor at University of Kentucky, received the prestigious 2019 IEEE Industry Application Society (IAS) Andrew W. Smith Outstanding Young Member Achievement Award at the IAS Annual Meeting, which was recently held and co-located with this year edition of the IEEE Energy Conversion Congress and Expo (ECCE), in Baltimore, MD. This award recognizes outstanding contributions to the profession through involvement in IEEE IAS activities by a society member who is less than 35 years of age. Only one awardee is selected every year from the very large international IEEE IAS community that has approximately 14,000 members.
Dr. He’s research, teaching and professional outreach covers topics of power electronics, electric motor drives, renewable energy and electrification of transportation. He joined University of Kentucky in January 2019 after working in industry for Eaton Corporate Research & Technology and for Rockwell Automation in Milwaukee, WI and most recently for GE Global Research in Niskayuna, NY.
October 4, 2019
PEIK researchers and ECE faculty, Dr. Dan M. Ionel, PEIK Director and L. Stanley Pigman Chair in Power, and Dr. Aaron Cramer, Kentucky Utilities Associate Professor, will serve as Program Co-Director and Director of Studies, respectively, on a new Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN) grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Education to the ECE Department at University of Kentucky. Dr. Mike Johnson, Professor and ECE Department Chair, will lead as the Program Director and Dr. Janett Lump, ECE Professor, will coordinate the teaching experience for the new GAAN Program.
The three-year $600,000 GAANN grant will provide funds to support graduate students pursuing doctoral degrees in research areas related to electrical and computer engineering at UK. The general aims of this GAANN fellowship program are to educate and train doctoral students in electrical and computer engineering, with a focus on increasing the number of traditionally underrepresented students, including women and first-generation students, seeking impactful careers in research and teaching. A minimum of one GAANN Ph.D. fellowship will be allocated to electric power and will benefit of direct support from the SPARK Program, TVA Professorship, and PEIK.
September 22, 2019
On September 20, 2019 the Power and Energy Institute of Kentucky (PEIK) was represented at the Kentucky Governor’s Conference on Energy and the Environment at the Lexington Convention Center by Dr. Dan Ionel , and Jason Souders, PEIK/KIAC/FEEDER Coordinator. PEIK had an exhibition booth providing information on the program’s education, outreach and research activities and facilitating engaging discussions with attendees, current and prospective supporters. The materials on display reported on last year's main achievements, including: new faculty, graduate students, and awards, record number of PEIK undergraduate certificates, latest research projects sponsored by DOE and NSF and directly by industry and utilities.
As per the event organizers, the Governor's Conference brings together some of the nation's and state's top minds in the energy and environment arenas. The conference sessions reflect current issues affecting energy development and environmental stewardship in Kentucky.
September 19, 2019
PEIK researchers, Dr. Simone Silvestri, CS Assistant Professor, and Dr. Dan M. Ionel, ECE Professor, L. Stanley Pigman Chair in Power and PEIK Director, will serve as PI and co-PI, respectively, on a new collaborative NSF grant: “Crosslayer Optimization of Energy and Cost through Unified Modeling of User Behavior and Storage in Multiple Buildings”. The project will study newly proposed transformative concepts of "human-in-the-loop", social-behavioral models, machine learning, and large-scale modeling of buildings and electric power distribution systems, leading to the development of highly efficient and reliable smart homes and grids.
The new three-year project has a budget of approximately $500,000, includes collaboration with colleagues from Marquette University, and is also aimed at strengthening PEIK's partnership with regional utilities. The research builds upon preliminary results from Dr. Silvestri's research team, and specifically by postdoc researcher Dr. Atieh Khamesi, by undergraduate student Eura Shin, who recently received the 2019 prestigious 2019 Goldwater scholarship, and by high school student Seun Adekunle. The research will employ and further develop the simulation capabilities established in Dr. Ionel's SPARK group, which include contributions by Dr. Vandana Rallabandi, former postdoc researcher at UK and now Lead Research Engineer with General Electric R&D, and Huangjie Gong, electrical engineering Ph.D. student at UK.
July 17, 2019
For the 2018-2019 academic year, PEIK issued an all-time record of 57 certificates in power and energy. The PEIK certificates, which are built upon a series of foundational courses supplemented by a broad array of more advanced elective courses related to power and energy, prepare the students for a successful career in industry and the power utilities. The list of majors for the students who were issued PEIK certificates this year includes: Chemical and Materials Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical and Mining Engineering.
Recently, the UK College of Engineering has awarded 16 E.On Scholarships for PEIK to eligible students who demonstrated strong interest in power and energy studies. These annual scholarships, which continue to be supported by the endowment established years ago at UK by E. On / Kentucky Utilities, provide recipients with $2,500 annually and may also grant an additional $2,000 for use on a power and energy related study abroad trip during the school year or the following summer.
For more information about scholarship eligibility visit PEIK scholarship webpage or contact Ms. Mary-Michael Deskins, College of Engineering Scholarship Director (email@example.com). For more information about PEIK certification visit the PEIK Undergraduate Certificate webpage, the PEIK Graduate Certificate webpage, or contact Dr. Joseph Sottile (firstname.lastname@example.org), PEIK Director of Undergraduate Studies , or Dr. Yuan Liao (email@example.com), Director of the Graduate Certificate. For more information on PEIK and on how to get involved, contact Dr. Dan M. Ionel, PEIK Director (firstname.lastname@example.org).
July 9, 2019
On July 4-6, 2019, the UK Solar Car Team competed in the Formula Solar Grand Prix, taking 3rd place. UK’s latest car, Gato Del Sol VI, also completed the fastest lap, beating the all-time track speed record by 42 seconds. The Formula Sun Grand Prix (FSGP) is an annual track competition that is held on grand prix or road style closed courses. This year’s race took place on the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, TX. The competition is open to teams from around the world and truly tests the limits of the vehicles in handling curves, braking, and acceleration. The winner of FSGP is determined by the total number of laps completed over the three days of racing. At this edition, UK’s car completed 153 track laps with a total of 524 miles. The PEIK supported UK Solar Car Team recently celebrated its 20th anniversary continuing its longstanding tradition of providing hands-on opportunities for engineering and allowing students to develop and demonstrate their creativity and technical skills.
June 17, 2019
The University of Kentucky College of Engineering is now offering a graduate certificate in power systems that will be available entirely online and is designed to provide students with the core knowledge and latest advancements in analysis, modeling, operation, control, optimization and integration of renewable energies. In addition to being exposed to the various theories, students will master the tools and techniques for planning, problem solving and operating power systems. The new program is directed by Dr. Yuan Liao, Electrical & Computer Engineering Professor and PEIK’s Graduate Studies Director. For more information visit on how to apply visit the PEIK website.
June 10, 2019
This year’s edition of the DOE FEEDER Summer Institute took place at University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, AR, and the program theme was Power Electronics. The five-day event provided students from seven FEEDER participating universities, including UK, the opportunity to learn about approaches to mitigate the effects of electromagnetic interference in inverters for DER applications, including solar PV and electric vehicles. Also covered were new technologies for load management, power factor control, voltage variation reduction, and fault detection for the electric power grid. The summer program was led on campus by Dr. Roy McCann, Professor of Electrical Engineering at University of Arkansas. Drs. Larry Holloway and Yuan Liao lead the FEEDER program at UK.
Tours of the research facilities in Fayetteville, AR, included an NSF supported medium and high voltage testing facility for Grid-connected Advanced Power Electronics Systems (GRAPES). The testing of a PV inverter demonstration was followed by a presentation from the local power utility, Ozark, and a visit of their solar farm. The student program concluded with a soldering project to build a phone charger powered by a battery that is recharged by a small solar panel.
PEIK participation included Rosemary Alden, University Scholars undergraduate student (in the photo, the first on the left in the front row), Jesus Montero, a recent BS graduate and PEIK Certificate awardee (front row center), and Huangjie Gong, Ph.D. student (last on the right). The Foundations for Engineering Education for Distributed Energy Resources (FEEDER) summer program was funded by the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, US Department of Energy, under the Grid Engineering for Accelerated Renewable Energy Deployment program (GEARED) and also supported by PEIK.
June 7, 2019
The 2019 edition of the PEIK Power and Energy Experiences course for UK students was organized with the generous support of partner power utility, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). The class took place in the first part of the summer term and included a one week field trip, which provided the students with an immersive experience through daily visits of regional facilities for generating, transmitting, distributing and managing electricity. Tours included a coal fired power plant, hydroelectric generation, natural gas power generation, solar, a biogas gas generation facility, natural gas combined cycle generating facilities, and an electric distribution substation. Tour attractions this year featured various TVA power generation facilities including Paradise Combined Cycle Plant, Shawnee Fossil Plant, and the Kentucky Dam.
The course, which is an elective for the PEIK undergraduate certificate and a requirement for the PEIK graduate certificate, also included an online module covering the theoretical background. Course instructor, Dr. Jeff Seay of the Chemical Engineering Department, led a large class of undergraduate and graduate students from diverse engineering disciplines. Earlier this year, PEIK completed with record student attendance and with the generous support of partner power utility LG&E-KU the Efficient and Renewable Electric Power Systems Operations course, which included campus and on site lectures, and field visits to production and research facilities.
May 9, 2019
The Power and Energy Institute of Kentucky is very happy to announce that A. O. Smith Corporation has joined the group of PEIK partners at the platinum level. The two organizations look forward to collaboration, especially on topics of advanced energy and power systems, smart grid and building technologies. Dr. Robert Heideman, A.O. Smith Senior Vice President - Chief Technology Officer, will formally serve on the PEIK Industrial Advisory Board and Mr. Ronald Bartos and Dr. Stephen Memory, A. O. Smith Directors of Research, will closely collaborate with PEIK faculty and researchers. A. O. Smith Corporation is a global leader applying innovative technologies and energy efficient solutions to products manufactured and marketed worldwide. The company is one of the world's leading manufacturers of residential and commercial water heating equipment and boilers, as well as a manufacturer of treatment products for residential and light commercial applications. The Power and Energy Institute (PEIK) was created in 2010 with initial support from the Department of Energy (DOE) and continues its mission of teaching, research and outreach at University of Kentucky in direct partnership with industry and utilities.
PEIK Researchers Collaborate on DOE-1740 Project on Advanced Power Electronics Designs for Solar Applications
April 29, 2019
The new research project with collaboration from the Power and Energy Institute of Kentucky (PEIK) researchers is part of the US Department of Energy DOE-1740 program that will help the industry develop new technology to improve the devices that serve as the critical link between solar photovoltaic (PV) arrays and the electric grid. The project entitled "Solar Power Electronics Modular Integrated Node Platform" is led by Flex Power Control, a California based company, and also includes collaboration with Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s (ORNL). DOE will provide funding to design, develop, fabricate and test a novel power electronics platform capable of integration and synchronization with associated technologies, including stationary energy storage, electric vehicle (EV) charging, and site load management. Advanced power electronics and cloud-based analytics would be incorporated into the platform in order to optimize operations and extend the operating life of the system.
At UK, Dr. Dan M. Ionel, ECE Professor and L. Stanley Pigman Chair in Power and PEIK Director, and Dr. Yuan Liao, ECE Professor and PEIK Director of PEIK Graduate Certificate, serve project PI and co-PI, respectively. The UK research will build upon PEIK recent developments covered in publications such as, "Net Zero Energy Houses with Dispatchable Solar PV Power Supported by Electric Water Heater and Battery Energy Storage", Proceedings, IEEE ECCE 2018, Portland, OR, (Sep 2018), which include contributions by Dr. Don Colliver, BAE Professor at UK and KIAC Director, Dr. Vandana Rallabandi, former postdoc researcher at UK and now Lead Research Engineer with General Electric R&D, and Huangjie Gong, electrical engineering Ph.D. student at UK.
April 25, 2019
On April 24, 2019 Amy Henry discussed the current draft of the Tennessee Valley Authority's Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), which has been released for public review. TVA is currently developing its 2019 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) through a process that involves wide participation and engagement inclusive of stakeholders, experts, and the public. The IRP provides long-term direction on how TVA can best meet future demand for electric power and shapes how TVA provides low-cost, reliable electricity; supports environmental stewardship; and fosters economic development in the Tennessee Valley for the next 20 years. TVA is updating its 2015 IRP due to continuing changes in the utility industry. Such changes include abundant, lower-cost natural gas, decreased cost of renewable generation, and increased focus on energy conservation efforts. Amy Henrgy manages TVA’s Enterprise Relations & Strategic Partnerships team, which is responsible for strategic engagement of stakeholders around various issues including TVA’s energy resources, energy efficiency, distributed generation, natural resource stewardship, and other key issues.
April 17, 2019
Ms. Narges Taran, shown in the photo together with Dean Rudy Buchheit, received the 2019 UK College of Engineering Outstanding Doctoral Student Award. Narges is a PhD candidate in Electrical Engineering, who started her studies at UK in January 2016 as the first PhD student in the newly established SPARK Lab led by Dr. Dan Ionel ECE Professor and L. Stanley Pigman Chair in Power.
Narges’ research in electric power engineering focuses on electric machines and power electronic drives and includes contributions to special motor topologies, such as axial flux coreless and torque magnifying, the use of new carbon nanotube conductors and wide band gap devices, electromagnetic field finite-element analysis and large-scale optimization methods. She has already established an outstanding publication record with more than 25-peer reviewed publications, including 6 journal articles and many major international conference proceedings papers, including one that received a Best Paper Award at IEEE ECCE 2016, the largest joint technical conference of the Power Electronics and Industry Applications Societies. Narges has also co-authored two chapters of the latest edition of the well-known Standard Handbook for Electrical Engineers published by McGraw Hill, and has served as a reviewer for more than half a dozen well known journals and conferences. At last year’s inaugural UK ECE Graduate Research Symposium, Narges received the award for Outstanding Graduate Poster. Her research work has been sponsored by both NSF and by global leading industrial companies, including Regal Beloit Corp. and ANSYS, Inc.
April 10, 2019
LG&E-KU has recently awarded a project to UK PEIK Institute and SPARK Laboratory researchers to study the integration of variable renewable resources into the legacy electric power system with emphasis on large solar photovoltaics (PV) farms and applicability to Kentucky specifics. Mr. Aron Patrick, Manager of Technology Research and Analytics for LG&E-KU, serves as the industrial project lead, and Dr. Dan M. Ionel, ECE Professor and L. Stanley Pigman Chair in Power and PEIK Director is the project PI at UK. The research builds upon recent academic collaborative work, which is featured in publications, such as "Incorporating Battery Energy Storage Systems Into Multi-MW Grid Connected PV Systems," IEEE Transactions on Industry Applications, vol. 55, no. 1, pp. 638-647, Jan.-Feb. 2019, and includes contributions by Dr. Nick Jewell, Senior Research Engineer with LG&E-KU and Adjunct Professor at UK, Dr. Vandana Rallabandi, former postdoc researcher at UK and now Lead Research Engineer with General Electric R&D, and Oluwaseun Akeyo, electrical engineering Ph.D. student at UK.
April 2, 2019
On March 29, student members of the University of Kentucky Energy Club toured the LG&E-KU E.W. Brown Power Plant. Situated on the banks of Lake Herrington, near Harrodsburg, KY, this site showcases four technologies for electricity generation — a hydroelectric plant, an operational coal-fired unit, seven combustion turbines, and a universal solar facility. Mr. Aron Patrick, LG&E-KU Manager for Research and Analytics served as the main host and organizer. Guided by subject matter engineering experts, the UK Energy Club group toured the various energy production facilities, including the state’s largest solar PV array and battery storage system. The trip was sponsored by LG&E-KU and PEIK.
European Expert, Dr. Ion G. Boldea, Delivers PEIK Distinguished Speaker Seminar on Renewable Energy Systems
March 28, 2019
On March 27th, Dr. Ion Boldea presented on Renewable Energy Large Variable Speed Generators – European Trends. The seminar provided a panoramic view of various electric machine and power electronic designs and their controls in hydro and wind energy conversion applications. Recent systems that reached industrial stage and new developments were discussed in terms of their topologies, relative merits and demerits. Dr. Boldea is Professor of Electrical Engineering at University Politehnica of Timisoara, Romania, a member of the Romanian Academy, a Life Fellow of IEEE and the 2015 IEEE Nikola Tesla awardee. Over the years, he has visited UK on a frequent basis since the 1970’s when he first came to Lexington, KY as an IEEE Fulbright Fellow. More than one hundred students and members of the professional community have attended the event.
March 25, 2019
Over the academic spring break, the UK students enrolled in the Efficient and Renewable Power Systems Operations class have completed the daily field tours of LG&E-KU’s sites and facilities. This second edition of the course attracted record undergraduate and graduate student enrolment and was instructed by Dr. Dan M. Ionel, ECE Professor and L. Stanley Pigman Chair in Power, and Dr. Nick Jewell, Senior Research Engineer with LG&E-KU and Adjunct Professor with the ECE Department at UK.
The visits included the LG&E-KU E. W. Brown facilities for coal, natural gas, and hydro power plants, the largest solar PV power plant in Kentucky together with the multi-MW electric battery research demonstrator, a high voltage transmission substation in Middletown, KY and the state-of-the-art transmission control center in Simpsonville, KY. The class benefited of the on-site lectures as well as of the detailed tour explanations and discussions directly with subject matter engineering 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 LG&E-KU and PEIK provides students with an opportunity to strongly link the academic teachings with the industrial practice and furthers the development of the next generation of power systems engineers.
March 22, 2019
Three electric power engineering students: Rosemary Alden, Evan Jones, and Luke Wormald are working on exciting projects as part of a new Undergraduate Research Fellowship program initiated last fall by the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE). Rosemary's project, “Smart Plug and Smart Home Energy Management System”, is sponsored by the ECE Department, the TVA professorship endowment, and the SPARK program. Evan's project, “Renewable Energy-Based Microgrid in Rural Eastern Kentucky”, is sponsored by the Schneider Electric Company through a donation for the ECE Department. Luke’s project “Studying Low-Cost Battery Management Systems” is sponsored by the ECE Department and the L. Stanley Pigman Chair in Power endowment. The students are mentored by Dr. Dan M. Ionel, ECE Professor and Director of the Power and Energy Institute of Kentucky (PEIK).
Each fellowship, which granted $5,000 per student, was awarded following a proposal and selection process. The three undergraduate students currently perform their research on electric power topics in the SPARK Lab and enjoy being part of a larger group that includes Ph.D. students and post-doctoral researchers. Preliminary results will be presented in late April at the UK Showcase of Undergraduate Scholars and the ECE Research Symposium, while research will continue into the summer.
February 25, 2019
On Saturday February 23rd, PEIK and LG&E and KU jointly exhibited at the Engineering Day on UK’s campus. The initiative was reflective of the growing close collaboration between the two organizations on teaching, research, and outreach to the professional and STEM students communities, and of the UK CoE support for multidisciplinary engineering. Altogether, the entire E-Day event, hosted nearly 3,000 visitors.
PEIK students demonstrated their “world’s largest wind turbine”, a LEGO replica of the world’s most powerful wind turbine, Vestas V-164, which was “engineered” with an enlarged tower model to a record total height of 5.5ft. Other displays included a full-size electric bike for stationary demonstrations, and miniatures for electric cars and solar PV systems. Video displays featured real-life utility-size power systems and renewable energy installations, including Kentucky’s largest 10MW PV power plant and 1MW/2MW battery from LG&E and KU’s E.W. Brown site. The PEIK and LG&E-KU E-Day displays were located in the atrium of the RGAN building next to the UK’s Solar Car exhibits and attracted record attendance.
January 23, 2019
As an active IEEE Senior Member, Dr. He has been appointed as Editor or Associate Editor for several prestigious journals in electric power area. He also has served as the Secretary of the Standards Sub-committee for IEEE Industrial Drives group and organizing committee member on large international conferences, including ECCE-2018, IEMDC-2019 and ITEC-2019.
PEIK Adjunct Faculty Dr. Nicholas Jewell of LG&E and KU Named 2018's Top Innovator by Public Utilities Fortnightly
January 17, 2019
Dr. Nick Jewell, LG&E and KU Senior Research Engineer and UK ECE Adjunct Professor, was selected to receive this national distinguished recognition for his innovative work on LG&E and KU's E.W. Brown Energy Storage Research and Demonstration site, which incorporates a utility-scale 1MW/2MWh battery system, advanced MW-level power electronics converters, controllable test load, and advanced data measurement and SCADA systems. The experimental work at the site looks to develop solutions for both technological issues with the developing technology, as well as interconnection and integration difficulties that utilities may face with distributed energy resources. The work also contributed directly to the new Energy Storage Integration Council (ESIC) Energy Storage Test Manual, coordinated by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). The energy storage facilities are located next to Kentucky's largest PV power plant, 10 MW, as well as traditional coal, gas, and hydro generation operated by LG&E and KU.
Public Utilities Fortnightly’s selection of 2018's Top Innovators was based on more than 160 nominations representing 37 companies. Ultimately, only a dozen individuals or teams were selected for this prestigious professional recognition.
At UK and PEIK, Dr. Jewell collaborates closely with faculty on teaching, including on-campus lectures and expert guided field tours at operational power systems facilities, and on advising graduate student research, especially on topics of energy storage and renewable energy integration. Last year, Dr. Jewell published four technical papers together with UK faculty and students that are reflective of the growing collaboration between PEIK and LG&E and KU on research topics, in addition to teaching and outreach activities.
Electrical Engineering and PEIK Student, Stewart Evan Jones, Receives IEEE National Scholarship
November 27, 2018
Stewart Evan Jones, a UK engineering student was recently awarded the renewal of his annual IEEE scholarship from the Power & Energy Society Plus Initiative, a signature program of the IEEE Foundation. Evan’s IEEE scholarship was initially granted in 2017. This year, he is one of only 30 students in the entire Southeastern IEEE Region selected to receive such an award. The Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) is headquartered in New York City and is the world’s largest association of technical professionals with more than 400,000 members.
Evan who is a native of McCreary County, started his studies at UK on a Kentucky Governor's Presidential Scholarship in 2015, he is now also a Pigman scholar, and will be graduating in May 2019 with a dual BS degree in electrical engineering and in computer engineering, a minor in mathematics and with the PEIK certificate in power and energy. He has a passion for electric power engineering, worked as an intern with East Kentucky Power Cooperatives (EKPC) for the last couple of years, and is now also conducting undergraduate student research in the SPARK Laboratory with Dr. Dan M. Ionel, ECE Professor, L. Staley Pigman in Power and an IEEE Fellow. Evan, who is already registered in the University Scholar Program, plans to continue with PhD studies in electrical engineering at UK starting in the fall of 2019.
NSF Research Grant for a New Generation of High-efficiency Electric Machines for Wide Band Gap Power Electronic Drives
November 12, 2018
ECE faculty and PEIK researchers, Dr. Dan M. Ionel, Professor, L. Stanley Pigman Chair in Power and PEIK Director, and Dr. Aaron Cramer, Associate Professor and EE Director of Graduate Studies, 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 Dr. 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, Dr. Ionel’s and Dr. Cramer’s research on related topics at UK has been funded by NASA, ONR, and directly by leading industrial companies.
LG&E and KU's Bellar presents PEIK Distinguished Speaker Seminar at UK
November 6, 2018
On November 5th, 2018 Lonnie Bellar, Chief Operating Officer at LG&E and KU presented a seminar at the University of Kentucky titled “Engineering Innovation and Recent Developments at LG&E and KU”. The seminar included an overview of the resources, history, and activities of LG&E and KU, which provides service to 1.3 million customers in Kentucky and Virginia. The presentation covered the company’s well-established facilities as well as recent advancements in the automation of electric power distribution. One section discussed the benefits of solar power and introduced the main technical specifications of Kentucky’s largest solar PV facility recently developed by LG&E/KU on its E. W. Brown site. The final part of the presentation outlined opportunities for students to become involved in the LG&E/KU engineering co-op program and potential engineering career paths.
PEIK represents at KY Governor's Conference on Energy and the Environment
October 15, 2018
On October 11 and 12, 2018 the Power and Energy Institute of Kentucky (PEIK) participated as exhibitors at the Kentucky Governor’s Conference on Energy and the Environment at the Lexington Convention Center by Dr. Donald Colliver, Professor of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering, and Director of KIAC, and Jason Souders, PEIK/KIAC/FEEDER Coordinator. PEIK had an exhibition booth providing information on the program’s education, outreach and research activities and facilitating engaging discussions with attendees, current and prospective supporters.
As per the event organizers, the Kentucky Governor’s Conference is bringing together some of the state’s top minds in the energy and environment arenas. Some will be speakers and presenters, other will be there to participate and network. Sessions will look at how we can make wise choices about the energy we use on a daily basis, how we safeguard the environment now and for future generations while enabling growth, and how an aging water infrastructure and legacy of waste dumps throughout the Commonwealth are presenting funding challenges.
PEIK presents NEC and NFPA 79 Workshop
October 5, 2018
A workshop on the National Electric Code and NFPA 79 was presented on October 2nd by Mr. Keith Waters, Industry Standards Manager at Schneider Electric. Organized by PEIK, Schneider Electric, and IEEE, the dual workshop outlined updates to the national electric code. The recent update process included 4002 public inputs, 1513 public comments, 5 new articles, 19 code making panels. The workshop reviewed the changes and allowed for discussion on current activities involving the 2020 NEC. The workshop was well attended with more than 30 specialists from various industrial and engineering professions. The instructor, Mr. Keith Waters, holds a BSEE degree from the University of Kentucky and is a licensed Professional Engineer and a Certified Energy Manager. He has been with Schneider Electric for 32 years in roles of increasing responsibilities. Keith is currently a NEMA representative to NEC Code Making Panel 11 and also serves on PEIK's Industry Advisory Council.
New E. On Scholarships for PEIK Success
September 14, 2018
The UK College of Engineering and the Power and Energy Institute of Kentucky (PEIK) have recently awarded more than twenty new E. On scholarships, which are reflective of our commitment for providing opportunities and support for junior and senior engineering majors. The students who were selected to receive this merit-based scholarship demonstrated strong interest in power and energy and already completed at least three courses towards the multi-disciplinary engineering PEIK certificate.
These annual scholarships continue to be supported by the endowment established years ago at UK by E. On / Kentucky Utilities. More information is available on PEIK website:https://www.engr.uky.edu/power/education/scholarship-opportunities
PEIK educates the next generation of power and energy engineers at UK and offers both Undergraduate Certificates and Graduate Certificates. In addition to fundamental multi-disciplinary courses on Power Generation, Power Systems, and Power Policy and Economics, PEIK faculty at UK also offers more specialized courses on Smart Grid, Power Protection, Electric Distribution, Sustainable and Renewable Energy, and many others with a total of more than a thousand annual enrolments.
UK Power and Energy Researchers Earn Best Paper Award
August 13, 2018
At the IEEE Power and Energy Society General Meeting in Portland, OR this summer, Dr. Aaron Cramer received a Best Paper award on behalf of his former graduate student Dr. YuQi Zhang and himself. They earned the award for a paper titled “Unified model formulations for synchronous machine model with saturation and arbitrary rotor network representation,” which appeared in IEEE Transactions on Energy Conversion.
The editorial board of the journal selected this paper from among papers published in 2016–2017. The paper presents methods to improve the understanding of the behavior of electric generators in advanced power systems. The award was presented to Dr. Cramer during the meeting of the Electric Machinery Committee (EMC) by Nil Nilsson, the EMC Awards and Recognition Chair, and by Kay Chen, the EMC Chair. Dr. Zhang successfully completed at UK her Ph.D. in electrical engineering earlier in the summer.
Annual PEIK Power and Energy Experiences Class and Field Trips in Collaboration with TVA and EKPC
July 26, 2018
The annual edition of the Power and Energy Experiences course, which is offered by UK as part of the PEIK program, was organized with the generous support of the partner power utilities Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and East Kentucky Power Cooperative (EKPC). The class took place in the first part of the summer term and included a one week field trip, which provided the students with an immersive experience through daily visits of regional facilities for generating, transmitting, distributing and managing electricity.
Tours included a coal fired power plant, hydro generating and pumped storage installations, a land fill gas generation facility, a non-operational nuclear power plant, coal fired, hydroelectric and natural gas combined cycle generating facilities, and an electric distribution substation. New tour attractions included this year TVA's large operations center in Chattanooga, and EKPC's multi-MW solar PV farm, one of the largest in Kentucky, near Winchester, and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
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 the theoretical background. Course instructor, Dr. Jeff Seay of the Chemical Engineering Department, led a large class of undergraduate and graduate students from diverse engineering disciplines. Earlier this year, PEIK completed with the generous support of partner power utilitiy LG&E-KU the first edition of the Electric Power Systems Operations course, which included campus and on-site lectures, and field visits to production and research facilities.
DOE FEEDER 2018 Summer Program — Awards for PEIK Students
June 20, 2018
Hosted at the University of South Carolina, the Foundations for Engineering Education for Distributed Energy Resources (FEEDER) summer program theme for 2018 was “transactive power flows”. Held June 11-15, 2018, the program gave students an opportunity to develop algorithms for scheduling and trading power, with the aim of gaining familiarity with the concept of microgrids, local power trading, power use scheduling, energy storage and real time computing.
Our own PEIK students, Oluwaseun Akeyo, currently Ph.D. student and M.S. '17, and Mahsen Al-Ani, M.S.'18, were part of the team that received the “Best Presentation” award for their “Hot House Team in Transactive Power Flow” project. Their modeling and simulations studies resulted in a control system for a smart house with solar PV and batteries that maximize the financial advantages of distributed generation and energy storage. Additionally, Ahmad Ghaweta, PEIK Ph.D. student, was part of a team that earned a best performance algorithm award.
The FEEDER summer program is funded by the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, US Department of Energy, under the Grid Engineering for Accelerated Renewable Energy Deployment program (GEARED). Electrical and computer engineering professors Larry Holloway and Yuan Liao lead the FEEDER program at UK as part of a national Consortium, which includes twelve Universities.
PEIK Professor Jeffrey Seay Wins 2018 Lutes Award
April 20, 2018
At the annual Tau Beta Pi Award Banquet held April 17, Jeffrey Seay was named the 2018 winner of the Henry Mason Lutes for Excellence in Engineering Education Award. Seay is the PJC Board of Trustees Engineering Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Kentucky College of Engineering Extended Campus in Paducah.
Since leaving industry to pursue an academic career in 2008, Seay has sought to achieve excellence in all aspects of teaching. His efforts have been recognized with the 2013, 2017 and 2018 Outstanding Teaching Awards in Chemical Engineering at the Paducah campus, as well as the 2017 Provost Outstanding Teaching Award. In 2013, Seay was recognized at the national level as the inaugural recipient of the AIChE Sustainable Engineering Education Award.
In Paducah, Seay has taught an exceptionally broad range of core courses in chemical engineering including senior capstone design. In addition, he has developed an elective in the area of sustainable power and energy that has been delivered in both traditional and online formats, serving large numbers of students in Lexington and Paducah.
Beyond the classroom, Seay is a strong proponent of engineering education through undergraduate research, experiential learning and international opportunities. Recently, Seay was named a Fulbright Specialist and granted an appointment as Visiting Associate Professor at Makerere University in Uganda, where he has taught his sustainability elective and participates in the co-advising of graduate students.
PEIK and LG&E/KU Closer Collaboration to Include Teaching
April 2, 2018
The Power and Energy Institute of Kentucky (PEIK) at UK and Louisville Gas and Electric -- Kentucky Utilities (LG&E-KU) have further expanded their collaboration, this time on teaching activities, by offering a new course on Electric Power Systems Operations, Dr. Dan M. Ionel, ECE Professor and L. Stanley Pigman Chair in Power, and Dr. Nick Jewell, Senior Research Engineer with LG&E-KU and Adjunct Professor with the ECE Department at UK, served as instructors for a class of more than twenty undergraduate and graduate students.
The first part of the spring semester was devoted to in-class lectures to ensure the theoretical background for the daily field trips, which took place during the midterm week of academic break. The visits included LG&E-KU EW Brown facilities for coal and natural gas power plants, the high voltage transmission substations, the largest solar PV power plant in Kentucky, and the large electric battery research demonstrator. The weekly tour concluded in Simpsonville, KY, with a visit of LG&E-KU's state-of-the-art control center. The class benefited of the on-site lectures as well as detailed tour explanations and discussions directly with subject matter engineering experts.
The students very much enjoyed the opportunity to link the academic teachings with the industrial practice. This successful initiative builds upon the on-going collaboration between UK and LG&E-KU for the co-op and internship programs and for joint research on advanced topics of electric power systems.
New Book from Wiley and IEEE Press
March 1, 2018
Drs. Dan M. Ionel and Vandana Rallabandi, with ANSYS authors and collaborators, are co-authors of a recently published textbook Multiphysics Simulation by Design for Electrical Machines, Power Electronics, and Drives, published by IEEE Press. The text provides and extensive overview of electric machine design optimization and its integration with power electronics and drives. Combining the knowledge of experts from academia and the software industry, this text delivers the multi-physics know-how based on practical electric machine design methodologies. Case studies are included from industrial practice and research and development projects.
The text is available now in traditional and eBook format.
Cheng Named a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors
January 22, 2018
University of Kentucky Frank J. Derbyshire Professor of Materials Science Y.T. Cheng has been named a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI), the organization announced Tuesday.
Election to NAI Fellow status is the highest professional accolade bestowed solely to academic inventors who have demonstrated a prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development and welfare of society.
With the election of the 2017 class there are now 912 NAI Fellows, representing over 250 research universities and governmental and nonprofit research institutes. The 2017 fellows are named inventors on nearly 6,000 issued U.S. patents, bringing the collective patents held by all NAI Fellows to more than 32,000 issued U.S. patents.
Yang-Tse Cheng is the Frank J. Derbyshire Professor of Materials Science and professor of physics and astronomy (joint appointment) at the University of Kentucky. Prior to joining UK in the fall of 2008, he was a technical fellow and laboratory group manager for engineered surfaces and functional materials at the General Motors R&D Center.
Alumnus Stan Pigman Receives Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters
January 3, 2018
Mr. L. Stanley Pigman, UK alumnus and long-time supporter of PEIK, received the honorary doctoral degree at the Commencement Ceremony on Friday, December 15. An engineer and entrepreneur, Mr. Pigman graduated from UK as a first-generation college student in 1981 with a degree in mining engineering. After working with Sierra Coal, a subsidiary of General Electric, he joined with two colleagues to form Sugar Camp Coal, and eventually his own company, Pigman Coal Sales. He built several more businesses that own and lease coal properties.
In 1999, Mr. Pigman established a scholarship program at UK for undergraduate engineering students from Kentucky with financial need. Since then, he has expanded the program and is very involved with the recipients. Overall, more than 80 Pigman Scholars have benefited from the generosity of Mr. Pigman and his wife, Karen.
In addition to the scholarship program, the Pigmans also sponsor a leadership development institute for UK students, support student technical activities, including the UK solar car team, and graduate student research on power and energy topics. Mr. Pigman’s generous donations made possible the establishment of the endowments for the L. Stanley Pigman Chair in Power and for L. Stanley Pigman Faculty Fellowship.