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Cracking Pre-Conceptions in Power Electronics


Location: CPE 2.210
Al-Thaddeus Avestruz
University of Michigan at Ann Arbor

Sometimes progress ends before it even begins…When our point of departure begins within a pre-existing framework and we forget that it is only a model with many assumptions on what is possible. And perhaps history has distorted some of these and we think they are facts. In this seminar, I will introduce some unconventional schemas for overcoming pervasive limitations in (a) partial power processing in energy storage systems, (b) digital control of variable frequency power converters, (c) high-frequency current sensor feedback, and (d) multiple access wireless power transfer. I will discuss the hardware and models, the foundations of the theory, and share results from hardware and simulations.

Speaker: Al-Thaddeus Avestruz is an Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, MI, USA. He received the SB degree in physics with electrical engineering, the SM and EE degrees, and the PhD degree in electrical engineering and computer science from MIT. His research interests include the design, modeling, and control of high-performance power electronics in energy systems, and wireless power transfer for energy, mobility, medicine, and the Internet of Things. He has complementary interests in circuits and systems for sensing, electromagnetic systems, feedback and controls, energy systems, grid, renewable energy, automotive, biomedical, and consumer applications.

He was the general chair of the 2023 IEEE 24th Workshop on Control and Modeling for Power Electronics in Ann Arbor and immediate past chair of TC1: Control and Modeling of Power Electronics for the IEEE Power Electronics Society. He was also the Technical Program Co-Chair of the 2021 IEEE Wireless Power Week (WoW).  He was a recipient of the IEEE PELS Best ECCE Paper on Emerging Technology Award Oral Presentation in 2019, a finalist of NASA iTechEnergy in 2018, and a Michigan Transportation Research and Commercialization Award (MTRAC) in 2021.  He is also an Associate Editor of the IEEE Open Journal of Power Electronics and a Guest Associate Editor of the IEEE Journal of Emerging and Selected Topics in Power Electronics. He was awarded the NSF CAREER in 2021 for Optimizing Power Processing for Heterogeneous Energy Storage Systems. He has over a decade of industry and entrepreneurial experience, and holds 12 issued U.S. patents.