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Ten Professors to Know in Power Systems Engineering

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Venkataramana Ajjarapu, PhD - Iowa State University

At the Iowa State University College of Engineering, Dr. Venkataramana Ajjarapu is a distinguished Nicholas professor. His interests lie in power system security, voltage stability, wind and solar energy integration, and real-time control of power and power electronics systems. He has published widely on the topic of power systems and electrical engineering, with hislatest co-authored article, “A Speed-Adaptive Reduced Order Observer for Sensorless Vector Control of Doubly-Fed Induction Generator-based Variable Speed Wind Turbines.” which appeared inInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Transactions on Energy Conversion. Dr. Ajjarapu earned his bachelor's at Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, his master's at Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, and his doctorate at the University of Waterloo, all in electrical engineering.

Raja Ayyanar, PhD - Arizona State University

Dr. Raja Ayyanar is a professor at the School of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering at Arizona State University. His research focuses on power electronics, DC-DC converters, power management, power conversion and control for renewable energy interface, electric vehicles, motor drives, and wide bandgap devices and applications. Dr. Ayyanar has published two U.S. patents and more than 70 journal and conference papers on power electronics and renewable energy integration, many of which are featured in IEEE trade publications. He also received the Young Investigator Award by the Office of Naval Research in 2005. Dr. Ayyanar studied electrical engineering at the undergraduate level at P.S.G. College of Technology; obtained his master's in power electronics from the Indian Institute of Science; and received his doctorate in the same subject from the University of Minnesota.

Diane Cook, PhD - Washington State University

Dr. Diane Cook is a distinguished Huie-Rogers Chair Professor in Washington State University's School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. She previously taught at the University of Texas at Arlington and the University of South Florida. Over the course of her career, Dr. Cook has received more than $12 million in grant funding from the NSF, DARPA, USAF, NRL, NASA, and Texas Instruments, among others. She currently also serves as editor-in-chief of IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, Part B: Cybernetics , and is on the editorial board ofJournal of Artificial Intelligence Research, theJournal of Pervasive and Mobile Computing, and the IEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering. Dr. Cook completed her bachelor's at Wheaton College and her master's and doctorate at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

George Gross, PhD - University of Illinois

Dr. George Gross teaches electrical and computer engineering at the University of Illinois. He is also a professor at school's the Institute of Government and Public Affairs. His research focuses on algorithms and computational complexity, dynamics and stability of power systems, energy system economics and public policy, and the intersection of these areas. Dr. Gross has worked as a consultant for various organizations and entities, including eBay, the Romanian Ministry Of Education, Research, the Research Council for Natural Sciences and Engineering of the Academy of Finland, and the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council. Dr. Gross’ authored and co-authored work has appeared in many publications, including the Journal of Energy Policy,IEEE Transactions on Power Systems, and the International Journal of Electrical Power and Energy Systems. Dr. Gross received his bachelor's in electrical engineering from McGill University, and his master's and doctorate from the University of California.

Martin A. Gundersen, PhD - University of Southern California

Dr. Martin A. Gundersen is the distinguished Lloyd F. Hunt Chair in electrical power engineering and a professor at the University of Southern California Viterbi School of Engineering, where he teaches electrical engineering, electrophysics, chemical engineering, physics, and astronomy. He is a fellow at the IEEE and the Optical Society of America, and the recipient of multiple awards. Dr. Gundersen has published more than 350 scientific papers. His current areas of research include engine combustion efficiency based on transient plasma physics, pulsed power science and technology, medical and agricultural applications of pulsed power. Dr. Gundersen obtained his undergraduate degree in physics at UC Berkeley and his doctoral degree in physics at the University of Southern California.

Thomas M. Jahns, PhD - University of Wisconsin–Madison

Dr. Thomas M. Jahns is a distinguished Grainger professor of power electronics and electric machines. He has taught classes on electrical machines, dynamics and control of AC drives, and electric power processing for alternative energy systems, among others. His areas of research include the technical fields of electrical machines, power electronics, and adjustable-speed drives, and he has a long record of research in permanent magnet synchronous machines for high-performance electric vehicles and low-cost appliance drives. Additionally, Dr. Jahns is involved in the development of renewable energy sources, energy storage, and microgrids for the future electric grid. Dr. Jahns obtained his doctorate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Yousef Mahmoud, PhD - Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Dr. Yousef Mahmoud is an assistant professor at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, where he also serves as the director of the renewable energy lab. His primary areas of focus include improving the efficiency, reliability, operation, and control of renewable energy systems, with additional interests in their applications in smart cities. Dr. Mahmoud is an IEEE senior member, and he has worked extensively on solar PV systems. He has received various awards, including the Outstanding Teacher Award from the University of Waterloo and the Star Reviewer Award from the IEEE Transactions in Energy Conversion. Dr. Mahmoud completed his undergraduate degree in electrical and computer engineering at Albalqa'a Applied University in Jordan; he completed his master's in the same discipline at the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology in the United Arab Emirates and his doctorate at the University of Waterloo.

Hamed Mohsenian-Rad, PhD - University of California, Riverside

Dr. Hamed Mohsenian-Rad is an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, as well as the associate director of the Winston Chung Global Energy Center at UC Riverside. His research interests include modeling, data analytics, control, and optimization of power systems and smart grids. Throughout his career, Dr. Mohsenian-Rad has received multiple awards for his teaching and research excellence, including the National Science Foundation (NSF) Career Award. He has also been the primary investigator (PI) for more than four million dollars of federal research grants on power systems and smart grid. Two of his papers are among the top five most cited articles about the smart grid, each with more than 1,000 citations. Dr. Mohsenian-Rad earned his doctoral degree in electrical and computer engineering at the University of British Columbia.

Bruce A. Mork, PhD - Michigan Technological University

Dr. Bruce A. Mork teaches electrical and computer engineering at Michigan Technological University, where he was named the Dennis Wiitanen Professor of Electric Power Systems. Currently, his areas of interest include smart grids, power system protection, computer simulation, transients in electrical power systems, nonlinear dynamics and chaos theory, magnetic materials and saturation of transformers, power quality, photovoltaics, and renewable energy, including wind energy and solar energy. During his time at Michigan Tech, he has led courses on electric energy systems, power systems analysis, computer modeling of power systems, and distribution systems. Dr. Mork is also a senior member of the IEEE, the National Society of Professional Engineers, and the American Society of Engineering Educators. He obtained his bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees in mechanical and electrical engineering at North Dakota State University.

Thomas Overbye, PhD - Texas A&M University

Dr. Thomas Overbye is a professor at the Texas A&M University Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, where his areas of interest include power system analysis and simulations, the visualization of power system information, big data and cybersecurity applied to power systems, and power system aspects of geomagnetic disturbances and EMP. He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering, an IEEE Fellow, and has won multiple awards. He received the Outstanding Power Engineering Educator Award from IEEE Power and Energy Society and the Distinguished Achievement Award from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is also the recipient of the IEEE Third Millennium Medal. Dr. Overbye has also authored and co-authored some articles appearing in the IEEE Transactions on Power Systems. He completed his bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees in electrical engineering at the University of Wisconsin.


The following criteria were used to select professors for this list:

  • University affiliation: Most importantly, all professors on this list are associated with a power systems engineering program at an accredited university in the United States.
  • Publication: In addition to teaching, the professors on the list have authored or co-authored articles in impactful scholarly journals related to the field of power systems engineering.
  • Institutional and peer recognition: The professors have been recognized for their excellence in the form of awards, grant funding, and other honors.
  • Professional commitment: The professors have additional professional endeavors, such as leadership faculty positions.

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