Session: High Efficiency Power Electronics

High Efficiency Power Electronics

What does the future look like for more efficient power electronics. How can we enable and integrate new technologies into existing systems faster?

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Lisa Margonelli, New America Foundation

Rajeev Ram, MIT
Hari Harikumar, Ingersoll Rand
JB Straubel, Tesla
Umesh Mishra, Transphorm

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Lisa Margonelli
Author and Journalist
New America Foundation 

Pacific Standard contributing editor Lisa Margonelli has written about energy, the environment, science, and policy for the Atlantic, the New York Times, The Nation, Slate, and many other publications. She is a research fellow at the New America Foundation and directed the foundation's Energy Policy Initiative from 2009-2012. Her book Oil On the Brain: Petroleum's Long, Strange Trip to Your Tank won the Northern California Book Award for Non-Fiction and was named one of the 25 notable books of the year by the American Library Association in 2007. She has received two excellence in journalism awards from the Society of Northern California Journalists.


Rajeev Ram
Professor, Electrical Engineering
Massachusetts Institute Of Technology

Presentation: "Power Electronics - An intelligent Energy Infrastructure"

Rajeev J. Ram has worked in the areas of physical optics and electronics for much of his career. In the early 1990’s while a graduate student at UCSB, he developed the III-V wafer bonding technology that led to record brightness light emitting devices at Hewlett-Packard Laboratory in Palo Alto.  While at HP Labs, he worked on the first commercial deployment of surface emitting lasers.  In the early 1990′s, he developed the first semiconductor laser without population inversion, semiconductor lasers that employ condensation of massive particles, and threshold-less lasers. Since 1997, Ram has been on the Electrical Engineering faculty at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and a member of the Research Laboratory of Electronics. He has served on the Defense Sciences Research Council advising DARPA on new areas for investment and served as a Program Director at the newly founded  Advanced Research Project Agency-Energy. At ARPA-e, he managed a research portfolio exceeding $100M and consulted with the Office of Science and Technology Policy and the White House. His group at MIT has developed record energy-efficient photonics for microprocessor systems, microfluidic systems for the control of cellular metabolism, and the first light-source with greater than 100% electrical-to-optical conversion efficiency.  His group’s work on small-scale solar thermoelectric generation is being deployed for rural electrification in the developing world as SolSource and was recognized with the St Andrews Prize for Energy and the Environment. 

Hari Harikumar
Vice President, Advanced Technology
Ingersoll Rand

Presentation: "Power Electronics in Air Conditioning & Refrigeration - Needs & Challenges"

In this corporate role based near Charlotte, North Carolina, Hari Harikumar leads strategic technology management for current and emerging technology needs for Ingersoll Rand (USD 14 Billion) and its Business units globally. Ingersoll Rand is a $14 Billion Diversified Company with products and services through multiple sectors and leading brands  namely, Industrial Technologies (Ingersoll Rand Air compressors & tools), Climate Solutions (TRANE Building Heating, Ventilation, Air conditioning & Thermo King transport Refrigeration), Residential Solutions (TRANE Home comfort & security)  and Security technologies (Schlage access systems). One of the key objectives of Hari has been to spearhead the development of  “Networks of Excellence” in those areas that have widespread business impact, by nurturing internal technology expertise and establishing external technology partners.  Hari has been with Ingersoll Rand since 2006 in various Engineering & Technology Vice President roles globally. He also led the Ingersoll Rand corporate wide initiative on operationalizing the Center for Energy Efficiency and Sustainability. Prior to joining Ingersoll Rand, he led research & development teams in  GE at the John F Welch Technology center in India. Hari completed his MS & PhD in Aerospace Engineering in 1992 from the Indian Institute of Science.


JB Straubel
Co-Founder and Chief Technical Officer
Tesla Motors, Inc.  

Presentation: "Power Electronics for Sustainable Transportation"

As one of the Co-Founders and the Chief Technical Officer of Tesla Motors (TSLA), JB is today responsible for all software, electronics and propulsion across Tesla’s portfolio with direct operational responsibility for roughly ¼ of the company.  This includes all aspects of powertrain R&D, engineering and production.  The propulsion performance of Tesla’s Model S has been the determining factor in winning many awards including the prestigious 2012 MotorTrend car of the year by unanimous vote.  JB is also the point executive driving OEM partner relationships at Tesla with Toyota, Daimler, Panasonic and others.  From these partnerships have come vehicles such as the new electric Toyota Rav4, the Smart EV from Daimler and the A-class EV from Mercedes.  In addition JB is managing the creation and construction of the Tesla Supercharge network of fast, free DC chargers making EV travel from coast to coast possible with no loss of convenience.  Tesla has grown to become the leading electric vehicle company in the world and remains committed to making long-range, fun electric cars increasingly affordable to accelerate the world’s transition away from oil. JB’s passion for electric vehicles began at a young age starting with rebuilding electric golf carts at the age of 14, converting a Porsche 944 which held a world electric vehicle racing record.   He continues to push the boundaries for electric vehicle advancements and enjoys exploring new innovations for renewable energy systems and energy storage solutions. 
Prior to Tesla, JB was the Chief Technical Officer and Co-Founder of the aerospace firm, Volacom, which designed a specialized high-altitude electric aircraft platform. At Volacom, he invented and patented a new long-endurance electric propulsion concept that was later licensed to Boeing.  Before Volacom, JB worked at Rosen Motors and Pentadyne as a propulsion engineer developing electric vehicle drivetrains based on a Capstone micro turbine and a high-speed composite flywheel battery. He is the holder of 10 U.S. patents and is on 19 pending patent applications for motors, batteries and powertrain components.  In addition to his current work at Tesla Motors, JB serves on the Board of Directors of SolarCity (SCTY) and is an accomplished private pilot with multi-engine, instrument and glider ratings.


Umesh Mishra
Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering, UC Santa Barbara

Presentation: "Redefining Energy Efficiency

Umesh Mishra received a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Cornell University, as well as an M.S. degree from Lehigh University and a B.Tech. degree from the Indian Institute of Technology. He joined the ECE Department at UC Santa Barbara in 1990 from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at North Carolina State University. A recognized leader in the area of high-speed field effect transistors, Mishra has made major contributions at every laboratory and academic institution for which he has worked, including Hughes Research Laboratories in Malibu, California; the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor; and General Electric, Syracuse, New York. He has led the development of GaN-based electronics at UCSB in part through the generous support of several MURI centers of which he has been the Director. 
Umesh Mishra’s research interests include high-speed transistors, optoelectronics, semiconductor device physics and advanced processing and integration techniques. A recognized leader in the area of high-speed field effect transistors, Mishra’s current research attempts to develop an understanding of novel materials and extend them into applications such as group three nitride (III-N) based high-efficiency solar cells and high-efficiency gallium nitride (GaN) LEDs.






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