Power Electronics

IEEE Recognizes Contributions to Power Electronics Field

Two awards presented recently by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) recognize contributions to the field of power electronics. The IEEE has named Hirofumi Akagi as the recipient of the 2008 IEEE Richard Harold Kaufmann Award for his contributions to the technological advancement of power conversion systems. Meanwhile, T. J. E. Miller has been selected as the recipient of the 2008 Nikola Tesla Award for the development of advanced electrical engineering design techniques that have helped improve and bring to market thousands of consumer and industrial products.

Benefiting Utilities and Transportation

Akagi’s theories have had a profound impact on power electronics, which have been implemented into practical uses in the utility and transportation industries. The IEEE Richard Harold Kaufmann Award, sponsored by the IEEE Industry Applications Society, recognizes Akagi “for pioneering contributions to the theory of instantaneous reactive power in three-phase circuits, and its applications to power conditioning.” The award will be presented on 8 October 2008 at the IEEE Industry Applications Society Annual Meeting, Alberta, Canada.

Akagi has devoted his career to research and education in industrial systems engineering, with a focus on the research of power conversion systems. His most noted contribution is the development of the “p-q theory,” – the theory of instantaneous reactive power in three-phase circuits, which demonstrated that a static power converter can produce reactive power without using any energy storage devices. Akagi applied this theory to active filters for power conditioning, and has also invented a practical hybrid active-passive filter, which has been installed in the Yamanishi test line for super high-speed, magnetically levitated trains in Japan.

An IEEE Fellow, Akagi is a professor and vice dean of the school of engineering at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, where has been on the faculty since 2000, and was formerly the chair of the department of electrical and electronic engineering. Akagi holds nine patents with an additional five patents pending, and has authored or co-authored more than 70 IEEE Transactions/Journal Papers. Akagi previously received the William E. Newell Award from IEEE Power Electronics Society and the Outstanding Achievement Award from the IEEE Industry Applications Society.

Computer-Based Design for Electric Machines

The Nikola Tesla Award award, sponsored by the Grainger Foundation and the IEEE Power Engineering Society, recognizes Miller’s outstanding contributions to the advancement of computer-based design and analysis of electric machines and their industrial dissemination. The award will be presented to Miller at the 2008 IEEE Industry Applications Society Annual Meeting on 8 October 2008 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Miller is founder and director of the Scottish Power Electronics and Electric Drives Consortium (SPEED), which is part of the department of electronics and electrical engineering at the University of Glasgow, Scotland. SPEED reflects an engineering collaboration between the academic and industrial worlds, whose resources are used daily by more than 100 companies and 1,500 engineers in Europe, the United States, Japan, South America and the Far East.

Miller has spearheaded the development of theoretical methods, design techniques and software used to manufacture everyday machinery, including washing machines, refrigerators, power tools and a wide range of industrial, automotive and aerospace products. The SPEED Laboratory also has become active in industrial applications that provide feasible solutions in the area of climate change and energy efficiency.

The SPEED software developed under Miller’s direction combines many of the advanced analytical techniques based on his published research in electrical engineering. Consortium members have access to software tools developed by SPEED and are supported by special control hardware and test equipment. In addition, members have access to a team of experts in electric motor design, electromagnetic analysis and motor control.

An IEEE Fellow, Miller is the author of more than 200 publications in the fields of motors, drives, power systems and power electronics, including eight books. From 1979 to 1986, he was an electrical engineer and program manager at GE Research and Development in Schenectady, N.Y., and his industrial experience includes periods with GEC (UK), British Gas, International Research and Development, and a student-apprenticeship with Tube Investments Ltd.

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