President's Message : September 2018

Making the Turn for Home

by Alan Mantooth

You don’t have to be around me long to discover that I love sports. And while I’m a bit heartbroken at the moment that my Arkansas Razorbacks baseball team lost in the College World Series finals, there seems to be plenty of action currently surrounding the World Cup to hold my interest. This spring’s horse racing produced another Triple Crown Winner in Justify. I have been having a great time playing some golf this summer; I just played 36 outstanding holes of golf in Seoul, South Korea, with my colleagues from Yonsei University and Korea University.

To follow with the racing analogy, my tenure as IEEE Power Electronics Society (PELS) President is making the turn for home. Some great things have been initiated, but we are still working hard as a Society on improving things for our membership. In that spirit, the IEEE PELS Long Range Planning Committee met in early July to hold their biennial discussions on the future of the Society in terms of organization and administration (note that our technical future directions discussions occur at Future of Electronic Power Processing and Conversion  in the odd-numbered years). We will be putting the entire organization up for discussion including the composition of our Advisory Committee, our technical committee structure, our new initiatives, our staffing, what positions should be elected versus appointed, and generally how  we organize ourselves to manage an expanding and ever-diversifying field for the dissemination of technical advances, provide the right networking opportunities, enable member professional growth, and provide educational materials all for the benefit of our Society members.

As I mentioned in my message in the last issue of IEEE Power Electronics Magazine , we will be holding the first ever PELS Member Town Hall Meeting on Sunday, 23 September , at the IEEE Energy Conversion Congress and Exposition (ECCE) in Portland, Oregon from 4:30-6:00 pm (PDT).  During this meeting, I will briefly report  the results and recommendations that the Long Range Planning Committee has made. We will also talk about all the departments and the many exciting things happening within the Society. I look forward to seeing you there!

On another ECCE-related note, I would like to plug a one-day workshop that PELS is co-organizing with the Council on Electronic Design Automation (CEDA). This workshop,  Design Automation in Power Electronics (DAPE),  will be held the Saturday before ECCE (22 September , 8:30am) at the Oregon Convention Center, which is the site of ECCE. Registration is required, but the event is free. Details can be found on the workshop website at The purpose of this workshop is to assess the current state of the field in design automation for power electronics – particularly in the era of higher speed switching and higher power density power electronics enabled by wide bandgap semiconductor technologies. The lineup of speakers ranges from those in academics and  industry to design tool providers. Hopefully, you can make it there. Seating will  be limited, but we look forward to a great day.

In June, the PELS Administrative Committee (AdCom) passed a resolution that 20 June will be known as PELS Day. The suggestion for PELS Day was made by volunteer Alaa Abdallah from Tunisia. The AdCOM overwhelmingly thought that PELS Day was a great idea and supported its recognition beginning in 2019. We researched what dates would have historical significance to PELS, and it was discovered that on 20 June 1987, the IEEE Technical Activities Board (known as TAB) approved the Society’s formation. Thus, beginning in 2019, PELS Day will be celebrated worldwide each year on 20 June.

Of course, as I write this, the summer conference schedule is well underway. I have had the pleasure of kicking off a number of these. The first IEEE Workshop on Wide-Bandgap Power Devices and Applications in Asia held in historic Xi’An, China, was a huge success with more than 500 attendees. ECCE-Asia in Niigata, Japan, was also very well-attended and a great success. The Transportation Electrification Conference in Long Beach, California, also had record attendance. The International Symposium on Power Electronics for Distributed Generation Systems in Charlotte, North Carolina and the workshop on Control and Modeling for Power Electronics (COMPEL) in Padova, Italy, were similarly very successful! So, wow, it has been a very busy May and June for conferences, and I want to thank all of the committed volunteers who made  them successful.

This issue of IEEE Power Electronics Magazine is devoted to magnetics. While wide bandgap semiconductors, multilevel converters, wireless power and other technologies are receiving much attention, magnetics remains a vital part of many power electronics systems. I had the pleasure of presenting Prof. Charles Sullivan from Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, with the PELS Modeling and Control Technical Achievement Award “for contributions to the modeling and analysis of magnetic components for power electronics” at COMPEL in June. It seems that almost everywhere I turn in the Society, someone is developing some impressive and inspiring power electronics, and magnetics is at the heart of many of those advances. Enjoy this issue. I hope that it also inspires you.