ECE Awarded $2.5 Million to Reinvigorate Power Engineering Education

The Ohio State Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering was awarded $2.5 million in Recovery Act Funds from the U.S. Department of Energy to reinvigorate electrical power engineering education. Jin Wang, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, will lead the project at Ohio State.

The award will be used to develop an interdisciplinary curriculum, called I-SMART: Integrated Curriculum for Smart Power Engineering, to train the next generation of power engineers on smart grid technologies. The curriculum will include a hardware-in-the-loop based Virtual Smart Grid Test Platform, which will simulate the functions of a real smart grid in an integrative environment. This one-of-its-kind research and teaching platform will be an expansion of Professor Wang’s existing real time simulation systems in Caldwell Laboratory.

In addition to the I-Smart Curriculum, a comprehensive distance learning system will be implemented, allowing both new engineers and current technicians to learn about smart grid technologies. The project will also include a hands-on summer workshop for high school teachers and provide classroom materials.

“The drive to implement smart grid technologies and overlay the existing electrical grid with an information and monitoring system presents a great challenge and opportunity for power engineers.” Professor Wang said. “This grant supports our efforts to provide students with the latest skills and training necessary to be at the forefront of those efforts.”

Professor Jin Wang supervises Ohio State’s High Voltage and Power Electronics Laboratory, one of only a handful of high voltage laboratories operated by a university. He conducts research in the areas of power electronics circuits and control, high voltage engineering, integration of renewable energy sources, flexible ac transmission, and all types of power electronics applications in hybrid electric vehicles.

The funds are part of the nearly $100 million in Recovery Act Funds awarded nationwide to help prepare the next generation of workers in the utility and electrical manufacturing industries. Ohio State was one of only two Ohio institutions awarded funds for this effort and one of 11 programs of Strategic Training and Education in Power Systems (STEPs) selected nationwide.

Recruiting Engineers Day 2013

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