The University of Illinois Power and Energy group has kept on innovating with PECI 2017 in our eighth  year of this student-organized and-run conference. This year we met for two full days on Thursday and Friday, heard from four keynote speakers, took in two detailed tutorials, and held a poster session with 14 posters (undergrads). Fifty-seven papers were presented in three tracks of 18 technical sessions, and we enjoyed networking and salsa dancing, both demonstrated and taught. Awards were given for Best conference paper, best poster and runners-up. 181 attendees came from 17 countries.

Financial support was provided by the following corporations: ComED, Ameren, PowerWorld, and Huawei, and government research groups: POETS – The Engineering Research Center for Power as well as the IEEE Central Illinois Section. The Power Affiliates Program and Grainger CEME provided research support. See PECI highlights below.

Keynote speaker Dr. Jennifer Della Pollock, Electromagnetic Design Engineer in the San Francisco Bay Area, spoke on “Transforming Design Methods into Tools for Optimizing Magnetic Components.”

Best Poster Runer-Up award to Yoshihiko Yamada and Ryuji Matsuhashi, University of Tokyo, Japan – “Design of a Novel Policy After Feed-in Tariff Using Real Option Analysis.”

Best Paper award to Emma Raszmann, Kyri Baker, Ying Shie, and Dane Christensen, University of Pittsburgh, “Modeling Stationary Lithium-Ion Batteries for Optimization and Predictive Control.” Emma had just graduated and taken a position at NREL, the National Renewable Energy Laboratories.

Tutorial presenter Tim Yardley, Associate Director of Technology and Senior Researcher at the U of I Information Trust Institute, presented ” A Walkthrough of Cyber Security Topics in the Electric Power Grid.”

“Learning Salsa Dancing” was taught by engineers Lana Stekovic and Piyush Singh, both PhD students in Mechanical Science and Engineering.

The 2017 PECI organizing committee: Conference Co-Directors – Enver Candan & Phuc Huynh; Program – Andy Yoon & Ti Xu; Publications – Desiree Phillips, Christopher Barth, Joseph Liu & Olaoluwapo Ajala; Treasurer – Kaiqing Zhang; Corporate Relations – Jason Galtieri & Zichao Ye; Speaker Relations – Thomas Foulkes; Registration – Kathleen Gegner & Mariola Ndrio; Publicity/Student Relations – Cecilia Klauber & Matt Feddersen; Webmasters – Yizhe Zhang & Derek Chou; Event Photographers – Zitao Liao & Kaiqing Zhang; Senior Staff Advisor – Joyce Mast.