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Powering Society’s Progress Together: PELS Updates From the President

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Exciting News! The IEEE Power Electronics Society (PELS) has just launched its revamped website at www.ieee-pels.org. After over a year of dedicated work, involving significant contributions from numerous volunteers on the publicity committee – Helen Cui, Rakesh Kumar, Dong Cao, Yuan Li, and Bright Tetteth – and the diligent efforts of PELS staff members Mike Kelly and Jessica Uherek, we’re thrilled to unveil this updated platform. The countless hours invested in this project have certainly paid off, evident in the substantial improvements over the previous site, which I always admired. Our aim is to establish the PELS website as the premier destination for all things related to power electronics. This new iteration marks the initial stride towards achieving that goal, with ongoing plans to enhance its functionality in the future.

Besides the website launch, PELS maintains its ambitious goals in 2024. PELS contiues to embrace new ideas to ensure that our publications remain at the forefront of innovation. This includes exploring initiatives such as open reviews, where we may run some test case papers or test special issues that allow the reviews of a paper to be published, along with the paper itself (if permission is granted by both the reviewers and the authors). Another idea is to leverage artificial intelligence (AI) technology for more efficient text searches. Would this help authors find related literature better? Google searches and normal Xplore keyword searches sometimes have difficulties to find the correct papers until search terms are revised repeatedly.

On the education front, we are committed to expanding outreach efforts and formalizing our committee structure to unify our education strategy under a single VP. Our goal is to develop education material at all levels, from pre-college to post-graduate. Further, it can include industry training materials on standards, testing and measurement methods or other ideas that PELS members have. We also aim to encourage the growth of our professional membership and facilitate the transition from graduate to young professional status. To further enhance accessibility, we plan to host webinars in different languages and organize industry roadshows to engage with a broader audience. At the IEEE Applied Power Electronics Conference and Exposition (APEC) in 2024 (Long Beach, CA, USA), the Women in Engineering (WIE) Committee hosted an expert speaker that helped train attendees of the WIE breakfast to identify and develop the soft professional skill of Emotional Intelligence.

PELS is particularly excited to announce that its diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) Committee has become a standing committee within PELS. Under the leadership of Chair Lauren Kegley, this committee will continue to guide PELS into how it can make our Society a place where all members feel welcome. IEEE PELS embraces its role as a catalyst for change to improve gender and racial equity in the power electronics field. It is our duty to dismantle barriers that impede the progress of underrepresented groups. In fact, in 2024 PELS is striving to host more than 12 WIE events globally, and will be continually working to improve our nominations and recruitment processes for PELS leadership positions.

PELS has also established a volunteer Sustainability Committee, which is committed to advancing sustainability in power electronics. This committee will work on enhancing coordination and communication within PELS, expanding the scope of our sustainability initiatives, and collaborating with other international societies to create a global network for sustainable power electronics. Is it time that we stop offering hardcopy conference programs or stop printing our journals? What are your other ideas to make PELS a more sustainable society?

In these next few years, PELS hopes to expand its partnerships with global professional societies and regional trade associations to maximize our value to industry members worldwide.

For example, for the 2023 APEC Mentor Program, PELS partnered with Power Sources Manufacturers Association (PSMA). This attracted increased industry participation in PELS. Another idea being considered is to develop “Industry Road Shows,” in which IEEE PELS speakers travel to and give presentations at different company locations, so that employees of an entire company can learn more about IEEE PELS and all its programs. Additionally, the breadth of impact of the PELS Standards Committee has recently increased by partnering with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), and additional partnerships are possible. Similarly, PELS is expanding its roadmap activities to include high power applications. All these efforts should engage with and add value to our strong and growing industry PELS membership.

Whether you have ideas on how to engage with our industrial members or wish to participate in any of the other activities described above, your input is invaluable. Email me your ideas or willingness to volunteer in any of these initiatives: brad.pels@ieee.org.

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