Philip T. Krein

Research Professor Philip T Krein has been named a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI). This year’s class includes 155 renowned academic inventors, bringing the total number of NAI Fellows to 912.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. Professor  Krein is the only elected fellow from the University of Illinois this year.

He is also Grainger Endowed Chair Emeritus in Electric Machinery and Electromechanics in Electrical and Computer Engineering and an alumnus of the department, having earned his master’s degree and PhD in electrical engineering at Illinois in 1980 and 1982, respectively. Professor Krein joined the ECE ILLINOIS faculty in 1982, departed to work three years in industry, and re-joined in 1987. He has helped establish the department as a leader in power electronics, a field that involves the study of semiconductors and electronic circuits for the conversion and control of energy. This energy processing is critical in the development of personal computers, industrial automation, high-performance communication networks, home appliances, alternative energy systems, and most energy-intensive applications. He retired in 2015 and is still working at ECE ILLINOIS as a research professor, involved in the NSF-funded Center for Power Optimization of Electro-Thermal Systems (POETS).

Professor Krein made significant strides in developing alternative energy sources, particularly the optimizing the use of solar power as a feasible energy resource. In addition to his research, he is the author of Elements of Power Electronics, the first undergraduate text to provide an engineering science framework for power electronics. He has been honored with a Fulbright Senior Scholarship, named an IEEE Fellow, and was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Engineering. He has been awarded thirty-nine U.S. and four European patents.

 “These accomplished individuals represent the pinnacle of achievement at the intersection of academia and invention—their discoveries have changed the way we view the world,” said NAI President Paul Sanberg in a news release. “They epitomize the triumph of a university culture that celebrates patents, licensing, and commercialization.”

 By Julia Sullivan, ECE ILLINOIS