Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Center News

Program supports students with a CEME Undergraduate Research and Leadership Award of $10,000 per academic year. Awardees work an average of ten hours per week on research projects in CEME laboratories during the academic year, successfully complete CEME-related courses, and actively participate in a leadership role in a range of CEME programs.
Applications here.

Two of the three new ECE profs hired January 2014 are in the Power and Energy Group: Hao Zhu and Kiruba Haran. Hao is interested in applying statistical and modeling inference ideas to power and energy systems. One application would be to help grid operators understand information in real time to improve operational decision making. Kiruba spent 13 years in GE's Global Research Center leading a research group in electric machines. He is interested in applying superconductivity in a commercially viable way to superconducting machines. One example is making off-shore wind turbines cost effective.

Carl Haken, a CEME Undergraduate Research and Leadership Awardee, is one of four ECE students to win an IEEE Power and Energy Society Scholarship. The scholarship recognizes students of academic achievement who intend to pursue careers in power and energy engineering.

Rising Star Katherine Kim, a Ph.D. student of Professor Philip Krein, is among 40 elite graduate and postdoctoral women (four from the U of I) invited to the Rising Stars of EECS workshop at MIT. Attendees were nominated by faculty sponsors based on research excellence and potential to excel in an academic career.
The workshop emphasized the steps into and throughout an academic career, from mission statements to tenure prerequisites.

Power and Energy student Olaoluwa Ajala, Professors Robert Pilawa-Podgurski and Pete Sauer, and Research Engineeer Kevin Colravy assist Society for Women Engineers team in solar system design for East Africa

A new eBay data center in Salt Lake City is the first data center in the world to adopt fuel cells as the primary power souce. ECE professors Alejandro Domíinguez-García, George Gross, and Philip Krein found that the fuel-cell system outperformed existing systems on every metric.

Power and Energy Wiki Site




Research Projects by Area

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Grainger CEME Undergrad research - One of the nation's largest endowed research programs
Twenty-eight undergrads worked in the Grainger labs during the fall 2012 semester. Teaming up with grad students and faculty, they acquired hands-on lab and research experience gaining knowledge, self-confidence, and motivation to spark their own creativity. They were supported through research grants and various programs, including the CEME Undergraduate Research and Leadership Program, PURE – Promoting Undergraduate Research in Engineering, Senior thesis (ECE 496/ECE 499), ISUR – Illinois Scholars Undergraduate Research Program,  independent study, and Engineering Open House.
The CEME has supported undergrads working for individual grad students and as members of large student teams since its founding in 1999. Check out the ongoing history of CEME undergrad research support in Highlights from 2010-2011.

Invitation and Call for Participation:
Power Electronics and Electrical Challenges for Engineering Energy-Efficient Buildings: A Focused Workshop will be held on Saturday, March 15, 2014 at the Omni Hotel, 1300 Houston Street, Fort Worth, Texas, 76102
The IEEE PELS Emerging Technologies Technical Committee and PSMA, with leadership from the PSMA Alternative Energy Committee, will sponsor this special one-day workshop in conjunction with the Applied Power Electronics Conference. The event will address the impact and influence and power electronics,as related to these questions and related issues:
How can power electronics control and reduce building energy consumption?
• What does it take to reduce average building consumption?  Can it be reduced to zero?
• What about emerging dc building systems?
• What about energy storage?

Prof. Philip Krein, CEME Director and Workshop General Chair, stated, “This workshop will address market opportunities for power electronics and electrical systems in energy-efficient buildings. The interactive format will not only provide information from leading players on the emerging technologies but will allow participants to interact and network with leaders in the industry.” Advance registration is required.

PECI logo
PECI 2014 was held on February 28-March 1. Check out the program and watch for the papers to be posted on IEEE Xplore. See PECI 2013 conference papers on IEEE Xplore.

Fig 14. Khristina Weaver


Installing Solar Panels
Professor Krein
installed six solar panels on his garage using photovoltaic panels with attached inverters and self-sealing screws to mount brackets holding panels on the roof. The inverter was invented and manufactured by his company, SolarBridge Technologies. Clockwise from the upper left: inverter, bracket, self-sealing screw, screw/bracket mount, and six mounted panels. Rob Kantor detailed the cost. Installation photos.