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IEEE PELS announces the passing of Dr. Ned Mohan

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Ned Mohan

It is with great sadness that we report the passing of Dr. Ned Mohan on February 11, 2024.

Ned was born in India in 1946 and received his undergraduate education from the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur in 1967. He received his PhD degree from the University of Wisconsin Madison in 1973. After a brief post-doctoral stint, he joined the University of Minnesota at the Twin Cities of Minneapolis-St. Paul in 1976. He spent his entire academic career spanning 48 years here; since 1993 as the Oscar A. Schott Professor of Power Electronics and Systems.

Over the years, Ned’s research interests spanned a broad spectrum in power electronics and power systems. Primarily, he will be best remembered for his contributions to the modeling, analysis, and control of power-electronic interfaces for applications in power systems, renewable energy, drives, and energy storage. His most recent forays into these areas were in modular multi-level and matrix converter topologies. Ned was instrumental in growing and modernizing the University of Minnesota’s power program. He was an integral part of the University of Minnesota Center for Electrical Energy, which has been funded continuously by local utilities since 1981. He was also a member of the Minnesota Power Systems Conference (MIPSYCON) organizing committee for several years; this conference was started by his mentor, Vernon D. Albertson. Ned’s passion for teaching kept our labs and courses buzzing. In all, Ned advised 54 PhD students and 11 post-doctoral scholars.

Ned was elevated to Fellow of the IEEE in 1996, inducted into the U. S. National Academy of Engineering in 2014, and instituted as a Regents Professor at the University of Minnesota in 2019. He received several accolades from the IEEE and pertinent societies, including the IEEE-PES Outstanding Power Engineering Educator Award in 2008, the IEEE Undergraduate Teaching Award in 2010, the inaugural IEEE PES Ramakumar Renewable Energy Excellence Award in 2012, the IEEE PES Nari Hingorani FACTS Award in 2014, the IEEE Industrial Applications Society Educator/Mentor inaugural award in 2019, and the 2022 IEEE James H. Mulligan, Jr. Education Medal.

Ned was an educator at heart. His research accomplishments are matched toe-to-toe by his vast contributions to education and teaching. Ned was singularly passionate about the environment, and he saw the potential of power engineering in contributing to a sustainable energy future for all. Of the several books he authored, he will be best remembered for “Power electronics: converters, applications, and design,” found on bookshelves worldwide. He organized a series of workshops on power engineering education, graciously supported by funding from the National Science Foundation and the Office of Naval Research, with several co-sponsored by the National Academy of Engineering. These workshops were particularly appreciated by younger faculty members just starting their research and teaching careers. The resources he made available in collaboration with leaders from the power electronics and power systems societies to facilitate his mission of expanding power-engineering education are invaluable and will stand the test of time. Along these lines, Ned set up CUSP: Consortium of Universities for Sustainable Power, which curated various educational materials at graduate and undergraduate levels.

In addition to his innumerable service activities for the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, the University of Minnesota, his profession, and technical societies, Ned was an integral part of the Minneapolis-St. Paul community. He was very involved with the Hindu Temple of Minnesota, providing guided tours and seminars.

All who had the opportunity to meet and get to know Ned will recall his sharp wit, disarming humility, and remarkable intellect. Ned will be sorely missed and fondly remembered.

Prof. Mohan is survived by his wife, Mary, son Michael, and daughter Tara. His loss is deeply felt by his family, colleagues, and the engineering community.

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