PECI 2023 Keynote Presenter:

Dr. Thomas Jahns

Grainger Emeritus Professor of Power Electronics and Electrical Machines WEMPEC, University of Wisconsin Madison

Thomas M. Jahns received his PhD and combined MS/BS degrees in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1978 and 1974, respectively. In 1998, Dr. Jahns joined the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison as a Grainger Professor of Power Electronics and Electric Machines, where he served as Co-Director/Director of the Wisconsin Electric Machines and Power Electronics Consortium (WEMPEC) for 14 years from 2007 to 2021. Prior to joining UW, he worked at GE Corporate Research and Development (now GE Global Research Center), in Niskayuna, NY, for 15 years. Since his retirement from the active faculty in 2021, Dr. Jahns is continuing to pursue research as a Grainger Emeritus Professor in the areas of high-performance permanent magnet machines, and integrated motor drives using wide-bandgap switches.
Dr. Jahns received the 2005 IEEE Nikola Tesla Technical Field Award and the IAS Outstanding Achievement Award in 2011. He has served both the IEEE Industry Applications Society and Power Electronics Society (PELS) as a Distinguished Lecturer. Dr. Jahns is a Past President of PELS and served two years as Division II Director on the IEEE Board of Directors (2001-2002). He was elected as a member of the US National Academy of Engineering in 2015 and received the IEEE Medal in Power Engineering in 2022.

Pushing the Limits of Integrated Motor Drives from Kilowatts to Megawatts

Power electronics is an appealing target for physical integration with electric machines, motivated by the desire to achieve significant mass, volume, and cost reductions via elimination of special enclosures and connecting cables. Major advances in wide-bandgap (WBG) power semiconductor technology (SiC and GaN) offer exciting opportunities for shrinking the size of power converters by significantly raising their operating frequencies. This presentation explores the future of integrated motor drives (IMDs) by first highlighting key applications and motivating factors that are spurring new research in this field over a wide range of power levels. Three recent projects will be discussed addressing high-performance IMD applications covering a wide range of power levels. The first project addresses development of a 3 kW IMD for industrial and HVAC applications, demonstrating the progress that has been made to combine WBG and current-source inverter (CSI) technology to simultaneously address EMI, temperature, voltage overshoot, and fault-mode limitations of today's dominant voltage-source inverter (VSI) machine drives. The second project extends the WBG-based CSI-IMD technology to 100 kW peak for an electric vehicle traction drive application. In the last section of the presentation, attention will focus on development of a 1 MW integrated modular motor drive for electrified aircraft propulsion applications using WBG switches in a modular VSI topology. The presentation will conclude with a review of both the opportunities and challenges presented by WBG switches for realizing the full potential of the integrated motor drive vision during coming years.