ECE Research Areas > Energy Science and Engineering
Energy Science and Engineering
Electrical energy devices and systems have played a fundamental role in the development of modern society. In fact, the National Academy of Engineering named electrification as the greatest engineering achievement of the 20th Century. New opportunities are arising, however, with advances in materials, communications, computation and control. Materials with electrical energy conversion properties are creating new ways to generate electricity from renewable energy sources. Coupling electric machines with power electronic circuits opens a wide variety of novel applications, from automotive propulsion systems to wind generators. On higher voltage transmission systems, power electronic devices provide enhanced controllability of power flows. Power systems can be driven closer to their limits, while maintaining appropriate stability and reliability margins, leading to more effective utilization of the grid infrastructure. Energy distribution is being transformed by communication-enabled metering that offers the possibility for loads, such as plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, to respond to pricing signals, and to provide assistance during large grid disturbances. Faculty in the Energy and Power Systems Area of the EECS Department at the University of Michigan are actively involved in all these developments. Our research advances the state of the art and the classes we teach make these new concepts accessible to students. A sampling of our research areas is displayed on this webpage.

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