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Power, Energy and Electromagnetics

The power and energy area in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering broadly covers energy conversion into electricity, efficient power transmission, and various high power applications for increasing productivity and human comfort.

From its humble origins circa 1882, the electric power industry has since undergone a dramatic transformation. Modern government and consumer industry policy is showing renewed focus on exploring new advancements that favor increased energy efficiency and lower emissions. This brings new opportunities for graduates specializing in this scientific realm.

Major subfields in this curriculum area include power systems, power electronics and electrical machines. Typical work involves analytical studies, computer modeling, laboratory experiments, or combinations of each. Specific activities at both component and system levels include design, control, operation, planning, and energy management.

Various career opportunities are available upon graduation, chiefly in the transportation and grid sectors. Typical employers include electric vehicle and appliance manufacturers, engineering consultancy firms, and electric utilities.

In this curriculum area, students learn the fundamental concepts and applications of electromagnetics fields and their use in device, communications, and sensing applications.

Electromagnetics is the fundamental physics of electrical engineering, and describes how electric charges and currents create electric and magnetic fields. These fields give rise to the concepts of resistance, inductance, and capacitance that are fundamental to circuit theory.

Further, electromagnetic fields create the propagating waves enabling broadcast, cellular, and satellite communications in the radiowave, microwave, and millimeter wave portions of the electromagnetic spectrum. These waves are used for sensing the world around us by creating radar and microwave radiometer systems. Such sensors have the ability to penetrate clouds and rain, and are not dependent on solar illumination, so that they are widely used for long range measurements of the surrounding environment.

Ohio State is a leader nationwide in the development of new electromagnetic, remote sensing, and microwave technologies. The ElectroScience Laboratory on West Campus is a unique department asset providing outstanding research facilities for this area.

Research projects in the laboratory include the design of new antennas and sensors, the development of electromagnetic computer simulation and modeling tools, the creation of new radar and navigation technologies, the analysis of datasets from Earth observing satellites, and a host of other areas.

Career opportunities for experts in this area are outstanding, as graduates are in high demand among a limited number of industry nationwide. The growing importance of enhanced microwave technologies for data networks has motivated new positions in the communications industry, including companies such as Intel, Qualcomm, Apple, and others. Expertise in this area is also in high demand for defense applications.