One hundred sixty-six attendees, hailing from 52 universities with 13 from industry, came from the Midwest, across the US, and as far away as Canada, Finland, France, India, Japan, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia to attend the tenth annual IEEE Power and Energy Conference at Illinois (PECI) (February 28–March 1). This student-focused, student-led and organized conference featured 33 conference paper presentations, an undergraduate poster session, four keynote speakers, two in-depth technical tutorials, an alumni panel discussion, industrial presentations by power utilities and technology companies, a young professional event, and tours of Abbott power plant and local research facilities.
PECI 2019 centered on the theme, “Securing a Reliable, Low-Carbon Energy Future.” The four keynote speakers spoke on: career as a system operator (Dr. Robin Podmore, IncSys), synthetic electric grids (Prof. Tom Overbye, Texas A&M University), grid modernization and innovation (Dr. Aleksi Paaso, ComEd), and electrostatic machine design (Prof. Dan Ludois, The University of Wisconsin-Madison).
ComEd, Ameren, IAS (IEEE Industry Application Society), PowerWorld, IEEE PELS (Power Electronics Society) Young Professionals, and IEEE Central Illinois Section contributed financial support; Plexim provided gifts in kind: licenses; the ECE Power Affiliates Program and Grainger CEME were research supporters; and NSF funded student travel based on the following criteria: Women, minorities, and undergraduates from schools not offering a PhD.
The NSF funding goal is to encourage undergraduates and early career graduate students to attend, network, find mentors, and get feedback on their research progress. Eighty-four percent were women or minorities, including 44 non-authors from 27 different universities and three students from the Navajo Technical University. Feedback from awardees indicated that many were planning to submit papers or posters for PECI 2020.
PECI 2019 Highlights