University Researchers Receive $500,000 NSF Award to Continue Work

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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – University of Arkansas researchers have received a five-year, $500,000 award from the National Science Foundation to continue work at the Center for GRid-connected Advanced Power Electronic Systems, a multi-campus partnership between academic and industry partners. 

The partnership, now in its 11th year, is an official project of the NSF’s Industry and University Cooperative Research Centers Program. Engineering faculty from several universities collaborate with industry partners to develop new technologies for advanced power electronic systems, develop new software and tools for controlling embedded- and grid-connected power electronics, and educate engineers who understand the power electronic technologies. 

Alan Mantooth, Distinguished Professor of electrical engineering and the Twenty-First Century Research Leadership Chair in engineering, is the director of the center. “We are excited to continue research at the center,” Mantooth said. “The phase III funding will build on the success of our phase I and II projects over the last ten years, by using previously created technologies on gate drivers, packaging, controls and design tools on future medium-voltage projects,” Mantooth said.

The center consists of engineering faculty from the University of Arkansas, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, RWTH Aachen University, Korea University, and Yonsei University. It currently has 15 industrial and governmental members, ranging from semiconductor manufacturers to the utility companies that generate, transmit and distribute power.

The GRid-connected Advanced Power Electronic Systems celebrated its 10-year anniversary last November with a showcase and dinner that highlighted members that have participated since the program began. It featured an anniversary video and celebrated Mantooth for a decade of leadership.

The center’s leadership includes Executive Director Alan Mantooth, Managing Director Shannon Davis, UA Site Director Juan Balda, UWM Site Director Adel Nasiri, RWTH Aachen Site Director Rik DeDoncker and GRAPES Korea Site Director Yong-June Shin.

For more information, contact Shannon Davis, managing director, at sgdavis@uark.edu or 479-575-4487. For more information about GRAPES’ next meeting, contact Karin Alvarado at karina@uark.edu or 479-575-4958.

About GRAPES: The Center for GRid-connected Advanced Power Electronic Systems facilitates close research interactions between university faculty and students and the industrial members of the center. This relationship gives researchers a direct tie to today's power industry, allowing them to research topics that are closely aligned with industry interests. It also gives the involved companies a clear voice into what the students are learning, and so directly improves the quality of the employees they will hire in the next few years. Nearly 150 undergraduate and graduate students have worked within the center. Many of these students have gone on to work for member companies, while others have continued their educations or gone to work for other companies in the power and power electronics industries.

About the University of Arkansas: The University of Arkansas provides an internationally competitive education for undergraduate and graduate students in more than 200 academic programs. The university contributes new knowledge, economic development, basic and applied research, and creative activity while also providing service to academic and professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the University of Arkansas among fewer than 3 percent of colleges and universities in America that have the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Arkansas among its top American public research universities. Founded in 1871, the University of Arkansas comprises 10 colleges and schools and maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio that promotes personal attention and close mentoring.

Contacts

Karin Alvarado, marketing and communication specialist
Department of Electrical Engineering
479-575-4958, karina@uark.edu

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