Power Electronics Emerging Technology Award

Since the emerging areas in power electronics are evolving, the IEEE PELS Power Electronics Emerging Technology Award is established to recognize engineers and researchers who have made outstanding technical contributions to one or more emerging research topics in power electronics.  At least three emerging research topics will be announced each year with the call for nominations.  The PELS Technical Committee of High Performance and Emerging Technologies (TC 6) administrates the award and selects the emerging research topics annually.  An award will be given to a single person only.

2023 Topic Areas

  • Power electronics components, including but not limited to WBG devices, advanced magnetics, capacitors, and other passive components
  • Power electronics circuits and systems, including but not limited to advanced converter architectures, EMI/EMC, 3D packaging
  • Power electronics applications, including but not limited to robotics, space, electrified aviation, and other transportation sectors

Eligibility: Any active IEEE member is eligible to receive this award.  There is no restriction on nationality, age, gender, or IEEE member grade.

Criteria: The criteria considered by the Award Committee include:

  • the quality of technical achievement and contribution to the field
  • advancement of the technology
  • sustained impact on the relevant technical community and profession
  • the benefit to society
  • past relevant activities to the field and technical committee

Presentation: The award is presented during ECCE America.  Considering the international character of the PELS and its members, it may also be presented at another PELS conference upon mutual agreement.

Award Items:

  • Award plaque
  • A one-time monetary award of USD 1,500
  • Reimbursement of up to USD 1,000 towards the recipient's necessary conference registration, travel, and accommodation costs incurred to attend the award ceremony

Submitting a Nominee:  When submitting a nominee, you will be asked to log into your existing IEEE account (or register for a new one) to identify as a nominator.  Subsequently, select the IEEE Power Electronics Emerging Technology Award and enter the required data and documents.

The portal to submit applications is closed.                                                                                                                

Please send any questions to the PELS Awards Committee  

2023 Honoree: Leon Tolbert

leon tolbert
For technical leadership and innovation in developing advanced gate drives for SiC devices

Leon M. Tolbert received the Bachelor’s, M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He is currently a Chancellor’s Professor and the Min H. Kao Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, The University of Tennessee. He is a founding member of the NSF/DOE Engineering Research Center, CURENT. He is also a faculty member in the Bredesen Center for Interdisciplinary Research at UT. He is also an adjunct participant with Oak Ridge National Laboratory, where he previously worked from 1991 to 2020. He is a registered professional engineer in the state of Tennessee. His research interests include the modeling, characterization, and application of wide bandgap semiconductors, electric utility applications of power electronics, microgrids, and electric vehicles. He is a Fellow of the IEEE and is currently the Academic Deputy Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Power Electronics Magazine and the Publications Chair for the IEEE Industry Applications Society. Dr. Tolbert is the recipient of a National Science Foundation CAREER Award, the 2001 IEEE Industry Applications Society Outstanding Young Member Award, and Southeastern Conference Faculty Achievement Award in 2020. He has had ten prize papers from the IEEE. He has received several awards for teaching and service at The University of Tennessee.


Year Recipient Name Reason
2022 Jin Wang For contributions to high power density power converters and motor drives with wide bandgap devices
2021 Grant Covic For leadership and innovation in wireless power transfer
2020 Brij Singh For contributions to in-vehicle demonstration of engine-cooled power-dense scalable SiC inverter
2019 Chunting (Chris) Mi For contributions to wireless power transfer technologies