Two electrical and computer engineers at North Carolina State University have been awarded power engineering professorships created by ABB’s recent gift to the university. NC State has also begun awarding ABB scholarships created by the gift.
An event celebrating the awards will take place on NC State’s campus Thursday and will recognize Dr. Iqbal Husain, the ABB Distinguished Professor, and Dr. Subhashish Bhattacharya, the ABB Term Associate Professor, as well as five students who make up the 2012-13 class of ABB SmartGrid Scholars.
The professorships and scholarships were made possible by ABB’s 2011 gift to NC State’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering that aimed to strengthen the organizations’ cooperative research in electric power technologies and aid the company’s recruiting of top engineering professionals. ABB — a global power and automation technology group and one of the world’s largest power grid suppliers — has its North American headquarters in Cary, NC.
“We are delighted to recognize the outstanding faculty and students who have benefited from this generous gift from ABB,” said Dr. Louis A. Martin-Vega, dean of the College of Engineering at NC State. “These talented engineers will be key players in a rapidly growing industry that is creating a smarter and greener electric power grid. We also appreciate ABB’s significant commitment to the education of the next generation of power engineers and its support of this program.”
Husain joined NC State in 2011 after serving as a faculty member at the University of Akron for 17 years. He has extensive experience creating and improving advanced motor drives for automotive and industrial applications, including electric and hybrid vehicles, and has also developed sensorless control methods for switched reluctance and permanent magnet machine drives. At NC State, he is co-director of the Advanced Transportation Energy Center (ATEC), a hybrid and electric vehicle research initiative. ATEC is located within the headquarters of the FREEDM Systems Center, a National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center that is developing smart grid technologies.
Bhattacharya, who joined NC State in 2005, works in the areas of power electronics systems, solid-state transformers, utility applications for power electronics such as flexible alternating current transmission systems, high-frequency magnetics, and application of new power semiconductor devices, such as those made with silicon carbide, for power converters. At the FREEDM Systems Center, his leadership of the solid-state transformer sub-thrust helped earned that work recognition by MIT Technology Review as one of the world’s 10 most important emerging technologies. He previously worked in power electronics at Siemens and Westinghouse research and development centers.
The gift from ABB also created the ABB SmartGrid Scholars Program, which offers five awards annually to NC State students taking classes in power engineering. The field deals with the generation, transmission and distribution of electric power, as well as the electrical devices connected to those systems.
“One of our biggest continuing challenges is finding and hiring skilled engineers,” said Enrique Santacana, president and CEO of ABB, Inc. “Our close relationship with North Carolina State helps us establish a pipeline of talented people for ABB and builds North Carolina’s reputation as an important player in energy and smart grid technologies.”
ABB and NC State have a long-established relationship. In 1991, ABB became the first corporate tenant on NC State’s Centennial Campus, where the company currently manages two of its five North American regional divisions. Centennial Campus is also home to ABB’s recently opened Smart Grid Center of Excellence, which includes a testing and development laboratory and demonstration center. ABB is also an industry partner of the FREEDM Systems Center.
Nate DeGraff, NC State Engineering Communications, 919.515.3848
Melissa London, ABB Media Relations, 919.829.4431