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Group news

8 September 2017  
The 2017 IEEE UKRI Annual General Meeting was held at Aston University. The meeting was attended by the Chairs of the Chapters, Affinity Groups and Support Groups, as well as other supporters. The meeting reviewed the IEEE activities and events for the last year, and discussed the strategies and future plans for 2017/18. It was noted that during the last 12 months, IEEE membership for the region had exceeded 11,000 for the first time. Professor Wen Cao, who was the host and Chair for IEEE Industrial Electronics Chapter, delivered a welcome address. Professor Ian Nabney, 50th  Anniversary Professor of Systems Analytics, delivered a keynote speech on Aston’s research, education and industrial collaboration. The delegates enjoyed a tour of EBRI and Aston campus. More information can be found here.

7 April 2017 
Dr Zhengyu Lin has been awarded a Royal Society International Exchange Grant with Professor Alian Chen, from Shandong University, China. This two-year project "Research on Microgrid Optimised and Reliable Operation" will address common challenges for both DC microgrids and AC/DC hybrid microgrids, such as modelling, optimised operation and protection schemes. 

24 March 2017 
Dr Jin Yang has been awarded a grant from the EPSRC worth £201,260 under a highly competitive Energy Feasibility 2017 call. The two-year project titled “Electricity Satnav – Electricity Smart Availability Topology of Network for Abundant electric Vehicles”, is led by Aston with University of Leeds and University of Southampton. It will investigate the feasibility of a platform to foster the development of a peer-to-peer decentralised electricity market between micro/small-scale distributed generators and EV owners.

21 February 2017
Dr Lassi Aarniovuori from Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT), Finland, has won a Marie Skłodowska Curie Fellowship from Horizon 2020 to work on “Smart Modulation Methods for Energy Efficient Operation and Health monitoring of Future Motor Drives" at Aston University. The two-year project will start in August 2017, supervised by Professor Wen-Ping Cao.

2 December 2016

Professor Wen-Ping Cao was invited to give a technical speech, alongside an industry speaker, at a breakfast meeting in the House of Commons on 24 November. The talk was entitled “Opportunities and Challenges for Electric Vehicle Manufacturers” and chaired by the Rt Hon the Baroness Neville Jones DCMG. There were 15 attendees including senior politicians from transport and science affairs, and industrialists from the logistics and automotive sectors. The organiser, Industry and Parliament Trust (IPT), is aimed at bringing MPs and Industry professionals together, and relies on partnerships with a small number of universities to inject valuable content into proceedings. It’s very beneficial for Aston, as it raises the profile of our key research areas (such as power electronics and motor drives), and enables us to establish relationships with policy-makers and industrial stakeholders.

4 October 2016

Prof. Wen-Ping Cao was invited to give a keynote speech at the IEEE Day 2016 on “Technical and career development opportunities with the IEEE”. This was an annual gathering to celebrate IEEE’s success and to collaborate on ideas that leverage technology for a better future. The event consists of a keynote speech, inaugural lectures, panel discussions and musical entertainment. For more information, please go to http://www.ieee-ukandireland.org/ 

12 September 2016

Dr Zhengyu Lin has been successful in Horizon 2020 RISE 2016 application as the coordinator. The 4-year project is entitled “Research Demonstration and Commercialization of DC Microgrid Technologies” (RDC2MT) with a total budget of 436,500 Euros. The RDC2MT consortium consists of 5 EU partners, 3 Chinese partners and 1 Canadian partner. RDC2MT will provide strong research links between project partners, and aims to address new challenges of DC microgrids and to disseminate successful demonstrations of DC powered houses and DC distribution networks.

22 August 2016
Professor Wen-Ping Cao has won a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award. He plans to bring together Aston's strengths in condition monitoring research involving power electronics, motor drives, computing and big data, internet of things, sensors and communications, over the next five years.

03 June 2016
A collaborative project worth £144,000 has been awarded to the University. The project is entitled "Adaptive Control of Permanent Magnet Wind Power Generators with Loss Minimisation" and is led by Professor Wen-Ping Cao. The project is supported by GoldWind, which is a leading international wind turbine manufacturer based in China. The project is aimed at reducing power losses in wind power generators and developing new parameter identification technologies. This is Aston’s first industrial funding from China.     

16 May 2016
Professor Wen-Ping Cao was elected as the Chairman of the IEEE Industrial Electronics Society, IEEE UK and Ireland Section. IEEE is the world's largest technical professional organization dedicated to advancing technology.

11 March 2016
Aston University hosted a meeting of the Current Zero Club – Vacuum Circle, which was chaired by Prof. Leslie Falkingham, a visiting professor of the PEMPS group. The two-day meeting attracted a dozen experts from seven countries and discussed issues concerning existing technology, trends in the technology, and future network requirements were discussed.
The Current Zero Club is a group consisting of the world’s top experts in switching electrical power. The club was created in 1961 to bring together experts from Industry and Academia to hold informal meetings intended to discuss and solve the basic problems in switching ever increasing voltages and currents in electrical power systems. The Club meets usually once a year and has two “circles”. The “Vacuum Circle” deals with vacuum devices to switch power and the “Gas Circle” uses gas based devices using gasses (such as SF6) to switch power. For more details please visit the Club Website. 

17 February 2016
The research group name has been changed to "Power Electronics, Machines and Power System" for the extended expertise from the new Chair professor W. P. Cao. 

11 September 2015
An Innovate UK project led by Aston’s Dr Andrew Cross and Dr Dani Strickland has been awarded. The project, worth almost £300,000, will see Aston working with Sharp Laboratories Europe, Navarino Electric Systems Ltd, and Western Power Distribution. Aston’s power systems expertise will be used to develop a new Gallium Nitride (GaN) power module, which will initially be developed for use in a hybrid PV-battery unit for residential applications, but will have much broader applications e.g. electric vehicle charging & micro-CHP.

9 March 2015
Dr Zhengyu Lin has been awarded a research grant of £13979.20 by the Royal Society. The project "Novel power/communication converters network for DC micro-grid" will investigate the possibility of using DC bus as the communication link for low cost intelligent DC micro-grids. The project parter includes Dr Jianhua He from the Communication group.

9 September 2014
The Power Electronics and Power Systems research group at Aston hosted the 2014 CIGRE B4 Liaison Committee meeting. Founded in 1921, CIGRE, the Council on Large Electric Systems, is an international non-profit Association for promoting collaboration with experts from all around the world by sharing knowledge and joining forces to improve electric power systems. There were approximately 35 participants representing industry and academia such as National Grid, Siemens, Alstom, Areva, Imperial College, Manchester and Cardiff Universities.

4 July 2014

Dr Andrew Cross has been awarded a research grant from the Technology Strategy Board worth £800,000, with £300,000 coming to Aston. The Power Engineering & Power Electronics Group will work with five leading industrial partners, Exception EMS, Anvil Semiconductors, Western Power Distribution, Schneider Electric and Turbo Power Systems, to address the increasing demand for power being placed on residential networks. This project follows on from a TSB Feasibility Study which showed that a cost effective solution to these problems can be achieved on the existing infrastructure by increasing the local network phase voltage to 400 V (existing cable is rated at 600V).

23 June 2014
Nilanjan Mukherjee successfully defended his doctoral thesis entitled "A multi-modular second life hybrid battery energy storage system for utility grid applications”. The research has been performed under supervision of Dr Danielle Strickland.

22 May 2014
Dr Danielle Strickland has been appointed associate editor of the IET Journal of Power Electronics. This appointment will help raise awareness of the School’s work and present more editorial opportunities for research and opinion pieces to be included.